and answers could be left open for students to determine on their own. Third, in the most open approach, students could confront phenomena without textbook- or laboratory-based questions. Students could ask questions, gather evidence, and propose scientific explanations based on their own investigations.
Schwab proposed an additional approach, which he referred to as an “enquiry into enquiry.” (Schwab chose to use this variation of the spelling of the word.) In this approach, teachers provide students with readings and reports about scientific research. They discuss the details of the research: the problems, data, role of technology, interpretations of data, and conclusions reached by the scientists. Where possible, students read about alternative explanations, different and perhaps conflicting experiments, debates about assumptions underlying the research and the use of evidence, and other issues of scientific inquiry. Through this approach, students build an understanding of what constitutes scientific knowledge and how scientific knowledge is produced.
The work of Schwab, Dewey, and others, including Bruner and Piaget in the 1950s and 1960s, influenced the nature of curriculum materials developed in those decades and into the early 1970s. Russia’s launch of the Sputnik satellite in 1957 further spurred the development of these materials, many of which were supported by the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies and private foundations. Underlying many of these instructional materials was the commitment to involve students in doing rather than being told or only reading about science. This reform placed as much, if not more, emphasis on learning the processes of science as on mastering the subject matter of science alone. Teaching models were