In Step 2: Inquiry Based Lesson Design, students continue developing the lesson planning skills they learned in Step 1 as they become familiar with exemplary middle school mathematics and science curricula. After observing a lesson being taught in a local school district classroom, students work alone or in pairs to plan and teach three inquiry-based lessons to sixth, seventh, or eighth graders. Middle school classrooms are selected both for the diversity of the student body and the quality of the classroom teachers, who serve as mentors for the Step 2 students assigned to them.
The Step 2 course emphasizes writing high quality 5E lesson plans with a focus on the importance of using appropriate questioning strategies throughout the lesson. Students discuss the unique attributes of adolescent students and strategies for teaching in the middle school environment. They learn to align lesson plans to district curriculum and how to develop and administer pre- and post-assessment instruments. For their final product, students analyze and modify one of the lessons they taught, taking into account the results of the assessments, their reflection on how successful the lesson was, and feedback from their mentor teachers and the course instructor who observed the lesson.