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ERIC Number: ED520942
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 174
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-6837-1
Student and Instructor Perceptions of the Use of Inquiry Practices in a Biology Survey Laboratory Course
Fayer, Lisbeth Ann
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of South Dakota
The level of inquiry in science education has been the subject of a great deal of research by organizations such as The National Resource Council, The National Science Teachers Association, and The National Science Resources Center. Although inquiry has been promulgated as best practice, most colleges have not included inquiry science instruction in their coursework. The purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of the level of inquiry, which students and instructors in a Biology Survey Laboratory I course consider the most supportive of student learning at a small, rural, Midwestern university. A survey instrument developed using the Inquiry Level Rubric designed by Buck et al., (2008) and the Likert Scale (1932) was used to collect data from 192 Biology Survey Laboratory I course students and their two instructors. The instrument consisted of 36 five-point Likert scale items followed by four demographic questions. A total of 190 (99.0%) students' surveys contained usable information for statistical analyses. Semi-structured instructor interviews were completed after the survey. Descriptive statistics including means and standard deviations were analyzed to determine the perceptions of students and their instructors regarding the best level of inquiry to learn biology. Inferential statistical analysis with independent t tests were utilized to determine if there were statistically significant differences between education majors and non-education majors, underrepresented groups and students typically represented in the science fields, and students with high versus low inquiry experience K-12. Qualitative phenomenological data were collected and analyzed from instructor interviews. Descriptive analyses revealed that students perceived that they would learn best with Open or Authentic inquiry levels, while instructors' perceptions leaned towards Open or Guided inquiry levels in the Biology Survey Laboratory I course (Buck et al., 2008). Inferential data revealed that both underrepresented students and students who received little inquiry experience in grades K-12, perceived that they needed a greater amount of instructional support to learn best when compared to their counterparts. Phenomenological data pointed toward instructors' concerns about their students' ability to be successful if inquiry was utilized in the Biology Survey Laboratory I course, due to the admission requirements at a small, rural, Midwestern university. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A