THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE GUIDED INQUIRY METHOD IN THE TEACHING OF THE STRUCTURE OF MATTER TO 8TH GRADE STUDENTS
University of Athens (GREECE)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Many reviews have reported a large number of misconceptions related to the students’ comprehension of the structure of matter. These misconceptions may be caused due to several reasons. One of them is probably an inappropriate teaching method. This paper aims to measure the effectiveness of the guided inquiry method in the teaching of concepts that refer to the structure of matter.
This teaching method is based on the constructivism and uses student-centered activities that involve students in the learning process rather than allow them to passively gather information from a delivered lecture in the more traditional “stage on the stage” method of instruction. Many researches have shown that guided inquiry method is far removed from the traditional ways of teaching, where the teacher’s opinion dominates and the students are only compelled to memorize and reproduce knowledge.
Students are prompted to resolve a problem that is stated by the teacher. For the discovery of the solution of the problem, students proceed to investigate of alternative choices using subterfuges, strategies και methods that they had already practiced (constructivism). They use the analytical thought, as mental mean. The students explore and the teacher becomes the guide in this research.
In order to measure the effectiveness of the method, we proceed to the comparison of the guided inquiry with the traditional teaching method. Eight lesson plans for the teaching of the structure of matter were constructed for both methods. These lesson plans were applied to 8th grade students of secondary school. 174 students from the experimental group were taught with guided inquiry method. The same lessons were also applied to another 183 students from the control group using the traditional teaching method.
A pretest as well as a posttest with cognitive content questions was used as the instrument of this research. The statistical analysis of the tests showed a significant supremacy of the guided inquiry against the traditional teaching method.
Keywords: Chemical education research, guided inquiry learning, structure of matter.