Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An examination of laboratory activities for elements of inquiry in Arkansas secondary biology courses
by Snyder, Michele E., M.S., University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 2011, 137; 1496840
Abstract (Summary)

In the last 20 years, several panels recommended improving science teaching by incorporating inquiry approaches into K-12 classrooms. These panels assert that inquiry improves student learning in large part by giving students ownership. However, many teachers still present labs that simply call for students to follow written directions. This cookbook approach is the antithesis of inquiry. To take a "snap shot" of biology teaching, I surveyed Arkansas biology teachers to 1) determine teachers' qualifications, 2) assess the labs that they considered their "best" via a rubric that assesses inquiry activities, and 3) discover the reasons teachers valued certain labs. The resulting image showed 1) Arkansas teachers are qualified to teach biology but could benefit from more content courses and additional planning and preparation time, 2) the lab activities were low in diversity and level of inquiry, and 3) most teachers either do not understand or do not value inquiry activities.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lanza, Janet
Commitee: Mitchell, Suzanne, Winter, Jim D.
School: University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Department: Integrated Science and Mathematics
School Location: United States -- Arkansas
Source: MAI 50/01M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Elementary education, Secondary education, Science education
Keywords: Arkansas, Biology, Cookbook lab, Inquiry-based instruction (IBI), Laboratory activity, Learning objective, Rubric
Publication Number: 1496840
ISBN: 978-1-124-77980-5
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