Identifier

etd-07102012-202739

Degree

Master of Natural Sciences (MNS)

Department

Natural Sciences (Interdepartmental Program)

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

New methods and practices are constantly being introduced in education due to new research that emerges as a push for student achievement increases. We as teachers must adapt to these new ideas to ensure student success. This study was completed to determine if inquiry-based teaching methods would be more beneficial in learning Biology concepts than traditional lecture instruction. The students were divided into two groups, which differed based solely on their instructional format. The activities involved in this study included inquiry-based activities and traditional activities, i.e. PowerPoints, guided notes, experiments and worksheets. The participants in this study, students in a ninth grade Biology class, were given a pretest to assess prior knowledge of the unit on DNA that would be covered in the classroom lessons. The same assessment was also administered at the completion of the unit to measure leisure gain. The instructional format of the material given showed an effect on learner outcomes. In general, there was a significant difference in the mean posttest scores. However, further analysis showed this difference was between honors students and academic students. When comparing unit test scores, inquiry students’ scores were significantly higher than the traditional lecture students. If inquiry activities are executed properly, implementing them into the Biology curriculum can increase learning gains of Biology topics.

Date

2012

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Browne, Dana

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