LEARNING IN THE LABORATORY: EXPERIENCES IN AN HYBRID BETWEEN THE EXPOSITORY AND THE INQUIRY LABORATORIES

There are distinct styles of laboratory instructions in chemistry education which can be applied to biology: expository, inquiry, discovery, and more recently, problem-based. This work is focused in an hybrid type between the expository and the inquiry laboratories.
The process consists of two phases:
− First, learners were trained in an expository laboratory. All the students at the first course participate in this training. Within this learning environment, the instructor defines the topic, relates it to previous work, and directs students’ action.
− Later some students voluntarily participate in the inquiry laboratory. Inquiry-based activities are inductive. They have an undetermined outcome and require the learners to generate their own procedures. They are more student-centred, contain less direction, and give the student more responsibility for determining procedural options than the traditional format.
The aims (as general statements of what the teacher intends to achieve), and the objectives (as specific statements of what the students should be able to accomplish as a result of being taught in the laboratory) of this “hybrid” laboratory were analyzed and discussed.