ERIC Number: EJ797397
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
The Design, Enactment, and Experience of Inquiry-Based Instruction in Undergraduate Science Education: A Case Study
Park Rogers, Meredith A.; Abell, Sandra K.
Science Education, v92 n4 p591-607 Jul 2008
The purpose of this study was to understand one case of undergraduate inquiry-based instruction through the words and actions of students and instructors. The data sources included fieldnotes from 16 of 29 classes, two sets of student and instructor interviews (beginning and end of the semester), and a collection of artifacts, such as the laboratory manual, lecture handouts, and the course syllabus. The participants for this study included four faculty instructors and two purposively selected student groups, totaling eight students. We found the instructors' two course goals, (a) teaching students how scientists do science and (b) using an interdisciplinary approach to develop students' content knowledge of the big ideas in science, were consistent with our observations and the students' descriptions of their experience in the course. However, we observed, and the students also noted, an important feature of the course that the instructors did not describe as a course goal was its reliance on the social nature of learning. This telling case demonstrates that inquiry-based instruction is achievable in undergraduate science education. Implications are discussed for college science instructors interested in inquiry teaching.
Descriptors: College Science, Interdisciplinary Approach, Laboratory Manuals, Instructional Materials, Science Education, Case Studies, Undergraduate Study, Inquiry, Teaching Methods, Science Instruction, Interviews, Student Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes, Course Descriptions, Course Objectives
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
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