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ERIC Number: EJ911894
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-1990-3839
A Comparative Study of Verbal Discourse Practices in Traditional and Inquiry-Based Undergraduate Biology Labs for Non-Science Majors
Narayan, Ratna
Educational Research and Reviews, v5 n10 p604-617 Oct 2010
This qualitative interpretative study serves to identify and compare the verbal discourse practices exhibited by students in traditional and inquiry-based undergraduate labs for non-science majors and to identify factors in both lab contexts that would facilitate and / or inhibit student participation in the discourse practices of the labs. Participants included 15 students and 4 teaching assistants. Audio visual recordings of participants in labs, interviews and field notes constituted primary data sources. Laboratory transcripts were constructed and Tapper's (1999) categories were used as a basis to delineate the discourse practices of the participants. Student discourse varied between the two types of laboratories as well as between the morning and afternoon sections of the same labs. Results revealed that design of the laboratory activities in both types of labs and the modus operandi of the teaching assistants were major factors impacting student discourse. The contents of discourse have a direct bearing on the learner's cognitive development and scholastic achievement. Thus, this study has implications specifically for Biology Departments involved in undergraduate education, and more generally across the K-16 curriculum as it provides data regarding the quality of discourse elicited by differing instructional practices. (Contains 11 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A