Inquiry-based curriculum, science, participation, attitudes
This study was designed as a collaborative action research study and focused on the use of an inquiry-based unit in an eighth grade honors science class at a middle school with a diverse population in the southeastern portion of the United States in the Spring of 2005. The inquiry-based unit was taught through the use of the electronics unit in Full Option Science System (FOSS). The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of an inquiry based curriculum on the level of participation in, attitudes of, and academic performance of students towards science. This collaborative action research study used both qualitative and quantitative methods. The qualitative forms consisted of written notes taken by the classroom teacher and I that included observations of the whole class as well as observations of students in smaller inquiry groups and conversation and interview notations of student comments while they were doing inquiry work, both individual and group, as well as my notations of interviews and conversations with the classroom teacher. Although used to a lesser degree, quantitative data was collected from pre and post attitude surveys as well as from students' scores on inquiry-based investigations, paper activities and formal assessments. All data was triangulated across a variety of data sources so that any resulting patterns or themes would be supported. My access to this middle school was based on my role as the science coach assigned to the school. As the science coach, I worked with teachers and students to integrate the FOSS middle school curriculum unit into the school's science curriculum. The FOSS kits, workbooks and related reading books were designed to increase the use of inquiry and hands-on activities within middle and elementary school science classrooms.
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Master of Education (M.Ed.)
College of Education
Teaching and Learning Principles
K-8 Math and Science
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Perlmutter, James, "The Effect Of An Inquiry-based Science Curriculum On Student Attitudes And Participation" (2007). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3301.