NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ856415
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1059-0145
Infusing Authentic Inquiry into Biotechnology
Hanegan, Nikki L.; Bigler, Amber
Journal of Science Education and Technology, v18 n5 p393-401 Oct 2009
Societal benefit depends on the general public's understandings of biotechnology (Betsch in "World J Microbiol Biotechnol" 12:439-443, 1996; Dawson and Cowan in "Int J Sci Educ" 25(1):57-69, 2003; Schiller in "Business Review: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia" (Fourth Quarter), 2002; Smith and Emmeluth in "Am Biol Teach" 64(2):93-99, 2002). A National Science Foundation funded survey of high school biology teachers reported that hands-on biotechnology education exists in advanced high school biology in the United States, but is non-existent in mainstream biology coursework (Micklos et al. in "Biotechnology labs in American high schools," 1998). The majority of pre-service teacher content preparation courses do not teach students appropriate content knowledge through the process of inquiry. A broad continuum exists when discussing inquiry-oriented student investigations (Hanegan et al. in "School Sci Math J" 109(2):110-134, 2009). Depending on the amount of structure in teacher lessons, inquiries can often be categorized as guided or open. The lesson can be further categorized as simple or authentic (Chinn and Malhotra in "Sci Educ" 86(2):175-218, 2002). Although authentic inquiries provide the best opportunities for cognitive development and scientific reasoning, guided and simple inquiries are more often employed in the classroom (Crawford in "J Res Sci Teach" 37(9):916-937, 2000; NRC in "Inquiry and the national science education standards: a guide for teaching and learning," 2000). For the purposes of this study we defined inquiry as "authentic" if original research problems were resolved (Hanegan et al. in "School Sci Math J" 109(2):110-134, 2009; Chinn and Malhotra in "Sci Educ" 86(2):175-218, 2002; Roth in "Authentic school science: knowing and learning in open-inquiry science laboratories," 1995). The research question to guide this study through naturalistic inquiry research methods was: How will participants express whether or not an authentic inquiry experience enhanced their understanding of biotechnology? As respondents explored numerous ideas in order to develop a workable research question, struggled to create a viable protocol, executed their experiment, and then evaluated their results, they commented on unexpected topics regarding the nature of science as well as specific content knowledge relating to their experiments. Four out of five participants reported they learned the most during authentic inquiry laboratory experience.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A