Inquiry-Based Learning

A Guidebook to Writing a Science Opera


The educational world is experiencing exciting yet tension-filled times. We all wish to strengthen and support creativity and creative teaching in schools. Yet recent debates about what “creativity” means, and how it should be implemented, raise the need for more specific approaches. Write a Science Opera (WASO) is one such approach. WASO is a transdisciplinary, inquiry-based approach to teaching at the intersection of art and science in schools. It is all about creative teaching and teaching for creativity.

Inquiry-Based Learning: A Guidebook to Writing a Science Opera provides teachers with the reasons for, and advantages of, introducing pupils of all ages to WASO. It provides step-by-step instructions for how to implement WASO in classrooms. WASO is challenging, but the rewards are powerful: In WASO, it is the pupils’ curiosity and creative imagination which develop their science and art curriculum.

Get ready for an exciting, creative journey …

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Introduction For the Teacher
Irma Smegen is a drama, kindergarten and elementary school teacher. She is the author of educational books and provides inspirational training courses for teachers, both of which she realizes in the framework of her company, “Speel je Wijs”. Playful learning is always the main ingredient in her work.
Oded Ben-Horin is an Associate Professor of Music and the Head of Department of Arts Education at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. He is the initiator of Write a Science Opera (WASO). He coordinates the Global Science Opera (GSO).
Carl Pennypacker
List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors
Introduction: For the Teachers

PART 1: Ideas for Inquiry

1 Inquiry-Based Learning with Write a Science Opera
 1 What Is Inquiry-Based Learning?
 2 Why Is This Important?
 3 What Attitude Will You Need as a waso Teacher?
 4 Why Use Opera?

2 Write a Science Opera (WASO)
 1 What Is Opera?
 2 What Is Write a Science Opera?
 3 The History
 4 Research Results
 5 How Much Time Does It Take?
 6 Can All Children Join?
 7 Examples of Write a Science Opera Projects
 8 waso Going Viral: Global Science Opera

3 Relations to Multiple School Subjects in the Curriculum
 1 Teaching School Subjects through waso
 2 Teaching Creativity and Entrepreneurship through waso
 3 Teaching Sustainability through waso

PART 2: Let’s Go!

4 Warming Up
 1 Body
 2 Voice
 3 Body and Voice
 4 Acting Exercises
 5 Concentration Exercises
 6 Cooperative Exercises
 5 Write a Science Opera in Thirteen to Fifteen Steps
 6 Write a Science Opera in Seven to Eleven Steps

7 Assigning the Tasks
 1 Directing
 2 Assistant Directing
 3 The Libretto
 4 Acting
 5 Music
 6 Set Designing
 7 Props
 8 Costumes
 9 Make-Up
 10 Dance
 11 Technology
 12 Public Relations
 13 Project Management

8 Extras to Think of when Performing
 1 Safety
 2 Preparations
 3 Stress Less
 4 Making Mistakes
 5 Asking Questions

9 Evaluation
 1 Frequency
 2 Objective of the Evaluation
 3 Other Ways of Evaluating
 4 Final Evaluation

Appendix 1: Ways of Making Groups

Appendix 2: Role Descriptions

Appendix 3: Strategic Partnership: Agents of Change (SPACE) – Pedagogical Framework
Teachers, art educators, science educators, educational policy-makers, graduate students, public libraries, academic libraries.
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