Science education reforms in U.S. schools emphasize the importance of students' construction of knowledge through inquiry. Organizations such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Research Council (NRC), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) have demonstrated a commitment to searching for solutions and renewed efforts to improve science education. One suggestion for science education reform in U.S. schools was a transition from traditional didactic, textbook-based to inquiry-based instructional programs. While inquiry has shown evidence for improved student learning in science, what is needed is empirical evidence of those inquiry-based practices that affect student outcomes in a local context.
This study explores the relationship between instructional programs and curricular changes affecting student outcomes in the Santa Ana Unified District (SAUSD): It provides evidence related to achievement and attitudes. SAUSD employs two approaches to teaching in the middle school science classrooms: traditional and inquiry-based approaches. The Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) program is an inquiry-based science program that utilizes resources for implementation of the University of California Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science Education for Public Understanding Program (SEPUP) to support inquiry-based teaching and learning. Findings in this study provide empirical support related to outcomes of seventh-grade students, N = 328, in the LASER and traditional science programs in SAUSD.
|Advisor:||Guillaume, Andrea M.|
|School:||California State University, Fullerton|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Middle School education, Science education|
|Keywords:||Education policy, Inquiry-based science, Middle school, Science, Traditional curriculum|
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