Trakya University, Faculty of Education (TURKEY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Page: 3367 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
Inquiry-based teaching has been a central concept in science education in association with scientific literacy, which is the new vision of current science education reform efforts in many countries around the world. Essentially, inquiry is a term used to describe both teaching and doing science. Through the inquiry in science classrooms, children have the opportunities to engage in science. It is important to realize that inquiry activities might take place in various types of inquiry according to degree of the teacher-centered or student-centered.
Many studies have revealed that inquiry-based instruction enhances students’ performances, skills and attitudes about science. However, there have been few studies which examine the effects of various types of inquiry-based instruction on students. For this reason, it is obvious that comparing the effects of various types of inquiry-based instruction will provide considerable contribution to the literature of science education.
This study firstly aims to design activities in various types of inquiry about “mixtures” which is a fundamental subject in science. Secondly, it is aimed to examine by comparing the effects of different types of inquiry on students’ scientific process skills and scientific attitudes. Quasi-experimental design was used for this study. The sample included 96 students who enrolled in Science and Technology Course at 7th grade in a middle school in a suburb region of İstanbul, the most crowded city of Turkey. Fourty four students of them were engaged in structured-inquiry activities about mixtures, while fifty two were engaged in coupled-inquiry activities during the four weeks. The course incorporated four 40-min lessons each week. Scientific Attitude Scale and Scientific Process Skill Test were given to the subjects as the pre- and posttest at the begining and end of the treatment for examining the effects of different types of inquiry on scientific attitudes and scientific process skills. Data revealed that coupled-inquiry activities were significantly more effective in promoting students’ scientific attitudes than structured-inquiry activities (t=5,593; p<0.05). This means that learning science through coupled-inquiry process, which gives students more opportunities to act like scientists and to do science, has a greater contribution on students’ approaches about science and scientists compared to structured-inquiry process. On the other hand, results implied that the effects of the two different types of inquiry on the scientific process skills did not demonstrate a significant difference (t=-0,592; p>0.05). However, both coupled- and structured-inquiry activities had meaningful contribution to development of scientific process skills. It may be expressed that when the worksheets which emphasize scientific process skills accompany students through their structured-inquiry activities, this type of inquiry which is described as low-level may be efficient on process skills as much as coupled-inquiry activities which include more high-level inquiry types. The results of the study is also very important in terms of usability of the different types of inquiry and effectiveness of them in crowded classrooms.
Inquiry-based science learning, structured-inquiry, coupled-inquiry, mixtures.