NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: ED564105
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Structural Equation Modeling of Knowledge Content Improvement Using Inquiry Based Instruction
Reeves, Christopher Gonwa; Fostvedt, Luke; Laugerman, Marcia; Baenziger, Joan; Shelley, Mack; Hand, Brian; Therrien, William
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
A key element in science education is establishing and maintaining linkages between teachers and researchers that can eventuate in enhanced student outcomes. Determining when and where a new educational program or intervention results in an enhanced outcome can be sensitive to many different forces that the researcher must carefully manage. The target of inquiry-based approach is to increase cognitive abilities such as critical thinking. However, students, teachers, and schools are evaluated based on content student knowledge. Statistical modeling choices affect the ability to determine the efficacy of the intervention and the ability to identify those students who receive the greatest and least benefit from the intervention. As it is imperative to determine how an increase in cognitive abilities corresponds to an increase in content across different demographics and learning abilities, the effect of some of the statistical modeling choices were investigated. Students' progress on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) was modeled over two years of implementation of the inquiry-based learning approach. A control group of students not receiving the science writing heuristic (SWH) learning approach was used for comparison. The study was conducted with Iowa elementary school students, in grades 3-6, with 24 school buildings randomly assigned to treatment and 24 to control. Structural equations modeling of student test scores in reading, math, and science content were created. Modeling mutually exclusive subsets of the data provided for results, that in some cases, were substantially different from a structural equation model created using all of the student data. The separate models identified that the special education students have the greatest improvement in their mathematics test scores with increased exposure to the science writing heuristic. Traditional students' math scores also benefit from the science writing heuristic learning approach. However, this does not appear to be the case for gifted and talented students. The science writing heuristic targets critical thinking and cognitive abilities. It is not surprising that the largest treatment path coefficients are seen for the treatment to math score improvement paths. While the science writing heuristic is implemented as a learning approach to teaching science, the approach focuses on cognitive development over content. Figures and a table are appended.
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. 2040 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208. Tel: 202-495-0920; Fax: 202-640-4401; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)
Identifiers - Location: Iowa
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Iowa Tests of Basic Skills