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Student Achievement Using Inquiry-based Instruction Essay

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There is a great deal of contradicting literature pertaining to what approach to use in a science classroom: inquiry-based or direct instruction. Inquiry-based instruction and direct instruction both have their advantages and disadvantages at every age and every intellectual level. This chapter will review the literature of scholars who have researched and provided evidence that either inquiry-based or direct instruction is more effective in developing conceptual comprehension in science classes.
Student Achievement Using Inquiry-based Instruction
Traditional Students
In a study done by Boud et al. (1986), inquiry-based laboratory activities were categorized into four levels. These levels (0 to 3) ranged from open questions, exploration, to closed questions with guidance. In level 0, the teacher would provide students with an inquiry-based question, procedures, and solutions. Students in level 1 were given an inquiry-based questions, but only with the procedures. Level 2 students were only provided with the inquiry-based question. Lastly, level 3 students were supposed to generate their own inquiry-based questions, procedures, and solutions. Boud et al. reported that through guided-inquiry students were more motivated, understood science content better, and it helped the teacher deal with a larger class size of around 35 students. It was noted that level 2 and level 3 are rarely given for students to accomplish in a high school science classroom.
In a study conducted by White et al. (1999), three middle school science teachers in urban public schools were taught physic concepts using a computer-based inquiry curriculum instead of the traditional lecture approach. The inquiry curriculum challenged students ...


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... J.S., Fishman, B., Soloway, E., Geier, R., & Tal, R.T. (2004). Inquiry-based science in the middle grades: assessment of learning in urban systemic reform. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(10), 1063-1080. doi: 10.1002/tea.20039
Scruggs, T. E., Mastropieri, M. A., Bakken, J. P., & Brigham, F. J. (1993). Reading versus doing: the relative effects of textbook based and inquiry-oriented approaches to science learning in special education classrooms. Journal of Special Education, 27(1), 1-15. doi: 10.1177/002246699302700101
White, B., Shimoda, T.A., & Frederiksen, J.R. (1999). Enabling students to construct theories of collaborative inquiry and reflective learning: computer support for metacognitive development. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 10(2), 151- 182. Retrieved from http://thinkertools.org/Media/IJAIED1999.pdf



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