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Is Inquiry-Based Instruction Good for Elementary Teaching Majors? The Effects on Chemistry Content Knowledge and Views About Teaching and Learning Science Documents

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Is Inquiry-Based Instruction Good for Elementary Teaching Majors? The Effects on Chemistry Content Knowledge and Views About Teaching and Learning Science 

written by Michael Sanger

Although science educators have advocated that elementary teaching majors learn science concepts using inquiry-based methods, many college professors believe that these courses are merely "watered down" versions of traditional lecture-based courses. This study compared the chemistry content knowledge of elementary teaching majors enrolled in an inquiry-based course and science majors enrolled in traditional lecture-based courses. It also compared the elementary teaching majors' views of how science is taught and learned to the views of secondary science teaching majors. The elementary teaching majors developed chemistry content knowledge comparable to the students enrolled in the traditional lecture-based course, but they developed views regarding how science is taught and learned that were more in line with the constructivist ideals than the secondary science teaching majors. The elementary teaching majors also improved their interest and confidence in teaching science in the elementary school setting. These results suggest that both sets of teaching majors would benefit more from inquiry-based science courses than lecture-based courses.

Published January 30, 2007
Last Modified July 9, 2013

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