WHERE TO START?
The 5E Model, developed in 1987 by the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, promotes collaborative, active learning in which students work together to solve problems and investigate new concepts by asking questions, observing, analyzing, and drawing conclusions.
The 5E Model is based on the constructivist theory to learning, which suggests that people construct knowledge and meaning from experiences. By understanding and reflecting on activities, students are able to reconcile new knowledge with previous ideas.
In the classroom, constructivism requires educators to build inquiry, exploration, and assessment into their instructional approach. In many ways, this means the teacher plays the role of a facilitator, guiding students as they learn new concepts.
The Model Explained
Engage: ask a question about objects and events in the environment.
When students Engage, they:
- Express prior knowledge
- Ask questions
- Make observations
Explore: conduct a simple investigation.
When students Explore, they:
- Think freely
- Test predictions and hypotheses
- Record observations and ideas
Explain: use data to construct a reasonable explanation.
When students Explain, they:
- Explain possible solutions
- Listen to others critically
- Refer to previous activities or experiences
Elaborate: extend the concept.
When students Elaborate, they:
- Apply new labels, definitions, etc.
- Record observations and explanations
- Draw reasonable conclusions using evidence
Evaluate: demonstrate understanding of concepts and ability to use inquiry skills.
When students Evaluate, they:
- Answer open-ended questions
- Demonstrate understanding of knowledge
- Evaluate own progress
The 5E Model allows educators to create a unique learning experience for students. Teachers who can incorporate instructional models like the 5E Model into their classrooms help students build a strong foundation of knowledge through active participation.