Use of Inquiry Based-Pedagogy During Organism Dissection to Improve Scientific Questioning Skills of Middle School Students

Thesis
Description: 

Although many teachers consider dissection an important educational tool, it is mainly used to reinforce information previously gained by studying anatomy and physiology. Rarely is inquiry-based pedagogy used with dissection; instead the activity is mainly teacher-driven and worksheet-based. The purpose of this study was to examine the improvement in student question writing skills when a limited inquiry-based approach was used. Specifically, this mixed-method study aimed to assess scientific question formation in the context of multiple animal dissection labs in a diverse middle school science class with 33 students. Four dissections were conducted to explore the concept of adaptive evolution of both invertebrates and vertebrate organisms within their specific habitats. Students wrote pre-lab questions about animal adaptations, chose one question to answer, completed the dissection, and then wrote an answer to their chosen question based on the dissection. The results were collected and used to generate quantitative data (scores on the questions) and qualitative data (analysis of written content). There was no statistically significant difference between the means for all scientific questions written by the students for the first dissection and the last. Although, this comparison did not show significant results for improvement of scientific question writing skills over time, further analysis did demonstrate a positive improvement in the quality of the questions chosen by students.

Tabs

WHDL ID: 
WHDL-00006111
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