ERIC Number: EJ1130309
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Learning about Genetic Engineering in an Outreach Laboratory: Influence of Motivation and Gender on Students' Cognitive Achievement
Goldschmidt, Marlen; Bogner, Franz X.
International Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement, v6 n2 p166-187 2016
During the last 10 years, outreach science laboratories have become increasingly popular due to resource and time limitations in schools. Outreach laboratories offer hands-on projects in a situated and authentic learning setting, thereby promoting the development of students' scientific literacy. However, students' cognitive achievement within this context is still a subject of study. The aim of our outreach-lab study was twofold: first, we investigated the influence of students' motivation to learn science on their cognitive achievement. Second, we examined possible gender differences with respect to achievement, cognitive load, and instructional efficiency. We conducted an educational intervention on plant genetic engineering with Bavarian 10th graders (N = 197) in an outreach laboratory. We applied a pre-post design with a follow-up test monitoring students' motivation to learn science, their cognitive achievement, and cognitive load. The last two variables were combined in the calculation of instructional efficiency. Our results indicated a substantial knowledge increase both in the short term and in the long term (medium to large effect), while highly motivated students achieved higher scores. Furthermore, we found significant gender differences in cognitive achievement and instructional efficiency, revealing that the females had a higher knowledge increase, resulting in a higher instructional efficiency (small to medium effect). Our findings suggest that active engagement in hands-on laboratory activities is especially beneficial for females. Therefore, we recommend improving the quality and quantity of laboratory experiences in science education to overcome gender differences. We discuss some potential implications for teaching.
Descriptors: Outreach Programs, Genetics, Science Laboratories, Motivation, Gender Differences, Cognitive Processes, Difficulty Level, Grade 10, Secondary School Students, Pretests Posttests, Efficiency, Science Instruction, Achievement, Hands on Science, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 10; Secondary Education; High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A