Comparative study of authentic scientific research versus guided inquiry in affecting middle school students' abilities to know and do genetics
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This exploratory mixed methods study addressed the types of gains students made when engaged in one of two forms of inquiry. Gains were measured on three levels: conceptual understanding, the process of scientific investigation, and use of practical reasoning skills. One hundred-thirty 8th grade students from a rural public school in East Texas participated in this study. Classes of students were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups: guided inquiry or authentic student research learning. Non parametric statistical analysis and constant comparative qualitative analysis were used to triangulate pre-tests and post-tests, student journals, and student drawings to address the research questions. Findings support greater gains in conceptual understanding of domain specific content in a highly scaffolded guided inquiry. Further authentic scientific research learning was more effective for developing understanding of scientific investigation as a process and application of knowledge through practical reasoning skills.
Scallon, Jane Metty (2005). Comparative study of authentic scientific research versus guided inquiry in affecting middle school students' abilities to know and do genetics. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from