Connections between inquiry and art, incorporating art into an inquiry based science curriculum
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A natural connection exists between science and art that is evident in the beauty of nature, and the classic artists’ attention to scientific detail. This qualitative self study reveals the complementary relationship between science and art through research and literature and proposes an emergent science curriculum theory. The purpose of this study is to encourage and inspire science teachers, administrators, and curriculum designers within all levels of science education to integrate arts-based instructional methods into their inquiry based science curriculum. Inquiry-based curriculum is considered by most schools, universities, and national organizations to be best practice. An inquiry-based curriculum has weakness and gaps specifically in the areas of content knowledge, communication skills building, and student interest and engagement. The influence of inquiry based (IB) and inquiry and arts based (IAB) curriculum on these three areas of science curriculum are the focus for the design of this study, which was completed in a biology lab for undergraduate science majors at a small liberal arts university in the southwestern United States. The findings of this study indicate the benefits of incorporating the arts into science curriculum. These findings are significant to teachers, administrators, curriculum designers within all levels of science education.