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ERIC Number: EJ983128
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0047-231X
Writing a Scientific Research ("Testable") Question: The First Step in Using Online Data Sets for Guided Inquiry Assignments
Graves, Chiron; Rutherford, Sandra
Journal of College Science Teaching, v41 n4 p46-51 2012
Educational research focused on questioning techniques used in classroom settings is quite extensive. However, research regarding a teacher's ability to generate research questions is virtually nonexistent. Posing research or "testable" questions is a key component of inquiry-based instruction, and teachers must be able to both generate these questions and examine the validity of the questions students pose. This study examines preservice elementary teachers' ability to generate a testable question using data made accessible online through the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory and Michigan Sea Grant. A rubric was developed to analyze the quality of the questions generated by preservice teachers in two different courses, one feeding into the next. Most students were able to generate testable questions whether they received specific instruction or not. However, writing an exemplar testable question was more difficult. Therefore, preservice elementary teachers need more opportunities to conduct authentic research design. (Contains 3 figures and 3 tables.)
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A