Science departments in higher education have been adjusting their curricula to include more inquiry-based instruction, and research on inquiry-based teaching at the collegiate level has been increasing. However, more data are needed regarding the effectiveness of inquiry-based pedagogy in improving students' conceptual understanding and attitudes toward science. The investigation described here was focused on nontraditional students taking non-science-major science courses. The goal was to compare students' attitudes toward science before and after taking an inquiry-based or a traditional science course. The hypothesis that the inquiry-based course would significantly generate a more positive attitude toward science was supported. Nontraditional students' perceptions of an effective science curriculum were also explored. Students' perceptions were very positive regarding inquiry-based learning; however, those who had not been previously taught through inquiry-based methods had reserved perceptions of this teaching approach. Regardless of the course they were enrolled in, students agreed overall that an effective science curriculum includes three common themes: connection, interaction, and application.
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Research Article| September 01 2019
Inquiry-Based Teaching in the College Classroom: The Nontraditional Student
Daniel A. Kiernan,
The American Biology Teacher (2019) 81 (7): 479–484.
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Daniel A. Kiernan, Christine Lotter; Inquiry-Based Teaching in the College Classroom: The Nontraditional Student. The American Biology Teacher 1 September 2019; 81 (7): 479–484. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/abt.2019.81.7.479
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