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ERIC Number: EJ915589
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0157-244X
Negotiating the Inquiry Question: A Comparison of Whole Class and Small Group Strategies in Grade Five Science Classrooms
Cavagnetto, Andy R.; Hand, Brian; Norton-Meier, Lori
Research in Science Education, v41 n2 p193-209 Mar 2011
The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of two strategies for negotiating the question for exploration during science inquiry on student achievement and teachers' perceptions. The study is set in the context of the Science Writing Heuristic. The first strategy (small group) consisted of each group of four students negotiating a question for inquiry with the teacher while the second strategy (whole class) consisted of the entire class negotiating a single question for inquiry with the teacher. The study utilized a mixed-method approach. A quasi-experimental repeated measures design was used to determine the effect of strategy on student achievement and semi-structured teacher interviews were used to probe the question of teacher perceptions of the two strategies. Teacher observations were conducted using the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP) to check for variation in implementation of the two strategies. Iowa Test of Basic Skills Science (ITBSS) (2005 and 2006) and teacher/researcher developed unit exams (pre and post) were used as student achievement measures. No statistically significant differences were found among students in the two treatment groups on the ITBSS or unit exams. RTOP observations suggest that teacher implementation was consistent across the two treatment strategies. Teachers disclosed personal preferences for the two strategies, indicating the whole class treatment was easier to manage (at least at the beginning of the school year) as students gained experience with science inquiry and the associated increased responsibility. Possible mechanisms linking the two strategies, negotiated questions, and student outcomes are discussed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A