Roth, W. & Roychoudhury, A. (1993). The development of science process skills in authentic contexts. The Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 30(2), pp 127-152.
This article discusses research conducted in 8th, 11th, and 12th grade science classes concerning the development of science process skills in an open collaborative classroom environment. In these settings, the researchers (one of whom was also a teacher in the classroom) found that for the most part students preferred this arrangement to a traditional teacher-led class and that students would develop process skills spontaneously as they pursued their own inquiries through tinkering and guided exploration.
The article is clear and very interesting. What I find most interesting about it is that it was written in 1993 and it references many other works reaching back to the 1960s all of which reach similar conclusions to what we have been discussing in class. The notion of 21st century skills has deep roots it seems!