Tracking invasive birds: A programme for implementing dynamic open inquiry learning and conservation education

Michal Zion, Ornit Spektor-Levy, Yotam Orchan, Assaf Shwartz, Irit Sadeh, Salit Kark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Among potential topics in the new science of biodiversity, understanding the characteristics and impact of invasive birds is an attractive subject to include as part of junior high school biology studies. Birds are aesthetic and raise curiosity. Curiosity about birds, combined with field observations, can stimulate students to ask authentic questions. As birds are among the few wild vertebrates that one can easily observe, students can easily develop systematic methods to answer their questions and initiate a dynamic open inquiry process. The educational project 'Tracking Invasive Birds', presented here as a case study, is the result of a unique collaboration among conservation biologists, science educators and biology teachers. High school students participated in an open inquiry process facilitated by teachers, ecologists, and science educators. At the end of the inquiry process, these high school students conducted a bird watching tour for junior high school students. This paper shows how investigating a conservation environmental issue - invasive birds - contributes to the development of both dynamic open inquiry skills and environmental literacy among 11th- and 12th-grade students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Education
Issue number1
Early online date10 May 2011
StatePublished - 2011


  • Biodiversity
  • Bird invasion
  • Ecology
  • Environmental literacy
  • Open inquiry

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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