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Introduction According to Haury (1993), “Inquiry is the set of behaviors involved in the struggle of the human beings for reasonable explanations of phenomena about which are they curious.” Most people learn best through personal experience and by connecting new information to what they already believe or know. Students are encouraged to engage themselves in the learning process particularly through cooperative learning and hands-on activities. Excellent teaching and quality textbooks are not enough. Students need to personally construct their own knowledge by posing questions, planning investigations, conducting their own experiments, and analyzing and communicating their findings (NRC, 1996; AAAS, 1990, 1993; National Council of Teachers of Mathematics [NCTM], 1991; Rosenshine, 1995; Flick, 1995). The pedagogy being promoted is an inquiry based approach. Especially in science, inquiry is considered a very important element.
Based on the study conducted by Gibson and Chase, many studies have been performed to further investigate that inquiry-based science activities had positive effects on students’ science achievement, cognitive development, laboratory skills, science process skills, and understanding of science knowledge as a whole when compared to students taught using a traditional approach (Chang & Mao,1998; Ertepinar & Geban, 1996; Geban, Askar, & Ozkan, 1992; Mattheis & Nakayama,1988; Padilla, Okey, & Garrand, 1984; Purser & Renner, 1983; Saunders & Shepardson,1987; Schneider & Renner, 1980; Wollman & Lawson, 1978). Perhaps, as Hodson (1990) suggested, inquiry-based learning is a more effective way for students to learn science.
This study was initiated to investigate if integrating inquiry-based laboratory activities in Biology enhanced students perceptions and attitudes of their learning environment.
Integrating Inquiry-Based Laboratory Teaching in Biology: Enhancing Students’ Perceptions and Attitudes of their Learning Environment – Abigail Jasmin
What implications for biology education can be gain from the results of the study? Null Hypothesis (Ho) Integrating inquiry-based laboratory activities in biology do not enhanced students’ perceptions and attitudes of their learning environment. Significance of the Study The outcomes of this study will be use as a basis for the improvement of the quality of the science education in terms of their learning environment.Statement of the Problem Mainly this study conducts to investigate if integrating inquiry-based laboratory teaching in Biology will enhance students’ perceptions and attitudes of their learning environment. Is there any difference between the male and female perceptions and attitudes in terms of classroom learning environment in biology by using inquiry-based laboratory activities? 3. 2011. Understanding Integrating Inquiry-Based Laboratory Teaching in Biology: Enhancing Students’ Perceptions and Attitudes of their Learning Environment – Abigail Jasmin 2 . According to Telli et al. Furthermore. Specifically. In what ways is inquiry-based laboratory teaching effective in terms of classroom learning environment as it enhance their perceptions and attitudes? 2. this provides biology teachers with information about the features of the learning environment most effective in teaching students. the study attempt to answer the following questions: 1. What connections present between the nature of classroom learning environment and students’ attitudes and perceptions? 4. it has been assumed that having a positive classroom learning environment is an educationally desirable ends its own right.
educators will be informed the importance of creating fun materials. Data gathering instruments will be employ are questionnaire supplemented by observation and interview. experiments. Scope and Limitation of the Study Focusing only on Second Year students of St. though not a main focus of this study.students’ perceptions and attitudes may help us to find some ways to enhance student’s learning by investigating which type of teaching is effective as their learning environment. and instruction method in constructing an enjoyable and productive learning environment. The scope of this study is to investigate only the effectiveness of using inquiry-based laboratory activities in terms of the students’ perceptions and attitudes. Lastly. The effect of the gender in the students’ attitudes and perceptions toward biology. Integrating Inquiry-Based Laboratory Teaching in Biology: Enhancing Students’ Perceptions and Attitudes of their Learning Environment – Abigail Jasmin 3 . Paul College of Makati enrolled during school year 2011-2012. might be as part of the results.
it is a “community of inquiry” (Schifter. show me and I remember. Integrating Inquiry-Based Laboratory Teaching in Biology: Enhancing Students’ Perceptions and Attitudes of their Learning Environment – Abigail Jasmin 4 . Changing the way we teach and what we teach is a continuing professional concern. Learners tend to learn more if they discover something on their own. 1997) An inquiry-based classroom is more than a “gathering of individual learners brought together for reasons of economy. says Haury (1993). and collaborate on constructing new knowledge. As a teacher. It can be defined as "a seeking for truth. The term inquiry can be described in different ways. In this community. the educational system has worked on enhancing students’ interest towards the subject and be motivated. or knowledge by questioning. its effects to students’ perceptions and attitudes of their learning environment is the main focus of this section. It involves activities and skills that focus on the active search for knowledge or understanding to satisfy a curiosity. Just what an old adage says. (Jarrett." Individuals take on the process of inquiry from the time they are born until they die. students and teachers share responsibility for learning. inquiry is essential in transmitting knowledge. A teacher’s goal should be to strive for the farthest end of the continuum where students are involved in full inquiry. A discussion about inquiry-based approach and how it makes the students’ awareness in science achieved was also regarded. One way of addressing this is to develop teaching style appropriate for the learner.” Rather. involve me and I understand. As mentioned by others." Because of this. one should have the knowledge of how students learn and how to teach it. “Tell me and I forget. 1996).CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE This chapter presents studies related to inquiry-based laboratory activities. information.
Excellent teaching and quality textbooks aren’t enough. Also. Flick. AAAS. In short. According to American Association for the Advancement of Science (1990) and National Research Council (1996). 1995. and problem solving. critical thinking. students need to have opportunities to progress from concrete to abstract ideas. 1996. students construct their own knowledge by actively taking charge of their learning—one of the primary tenets of inquiry. conducting their own experiments. AAAS. 1997) In the review of literature made by Foley & McPhee (2008). National Council of Teachers of Mathematics [NCTM]. Teachers need to know how and when to use a variety of strategies. and analyzing and communicating their findings. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (1993) and the National Research Council (NRC) (1996) endorse science curricula that actively engage students in science using an inquiry-based approach. planning investigations.Rosenshine. NCTM. 1990. Students need to personally construct their own knowledge by posing questions. 1996. and retry experiments and problems (NRC. 1995). 1991. they said that hands-on activities provide students with opportunities to engage in exploration and sense making with the science content. 1993. 1991. rethink their hypotheses. for all students. 1993). This approach has shifted the focus of science education from the traditional memorization of facts and concepts in separate specific disciplines Integrating Inquiry-Based Laboratory Teaching in Biology: Enhancing Students’ Perceptions and Attitudes of their Learning Environment – Abigail Jasmin 5 . (Jarrett. Good & Brophy (1997) concluded however. no single teaching method is appropriate in all situations. teacher’s teaching styles has some impact on students’ learning and the perceptions students develop about science learning. Embedding teaching strategies within an overall inquirybased pedagogy can be an effective way to boost student performance in academics. 1990. Science and mathematics reform standards call for inquiry teaching methods that enable students to contribute their own ideas and to pursue their own investigations (NRC. One may argue that teachers who are more constructivist and inquiry oriented in their teaching will have students doing “science” similar to the way scientists actually conduct their work. The hands-on science curricula also describe their materials as promoting scientific inquiry. Engaging students in inquiry can provide a powerful learning experience where students not only learn about science content but also gain reasoning and research skills.
have improved science process skills. A review of the literature suggest that few studies if any have been done that explore the long term impact of inquiry-based science instruction on students’ attitudes towards science and interest in science careers. For example. The interviews suggest that this pedagogical approach is what made science not only enjoyable but also interesting for students. Jaus. Additionally. 1983. (Gibson & Chase. Some short-term studies have shown that students who use an inquiry approach have improved attitudes towards science. inquiry-based science.to inquiry-based learning in which students seek answers to their own questions. Selim and Shrigley (1983) compared two instructional modes. In summary. 1977. the above studies indicate that students who learn science using an inquiry approach score higher on science achievement tests. 1998b. After the treatment period. they found that students taught by teachers using the discovery approach (an inquiry approach) had a more positive science attitude than the control group who were taught by teachers using the traditional lecture approach. However. all of these studies investigated the influence of inquiry-based science in comparison to traditional science at the end of a treatment period. 2002) These findings suggest that when science is taught using an inquiry-based approach. 1990). students remain interested and become motivated to put more effort into their studies. The treatment period was 21 days. Students who participated in SSEP were actively engaged in science using a hands-on and inquiry-based approach. Selim & Shrigley. 1998a. studies have shown that students who use an inquiry approach have improved attitudes towards both science and school while other studies show more negative attitudes resulting from traditional methods (Gibson. Shrigley. and have more positive attitudes towards science. which ranged from 2 weeks to 1 school year. These same studies show negative attitudes resulting from traditional methods. discovery and expository. for teaching science knowledge to fifth grade students. Integrating Inquiry-Based Laboratory Teaching in Biology: Enhancing Students’ Perceptions and Attitudes of their Learning Environment – Abigail Jasmin 6 . and this active approach is more engaging to them than sitting and listening to teachers. The pedagogy advocated for is an inquiry approach. Students stated they prefer hands-on. in which students are actively engaged using both science processes and critical thinking skills as they search for answers. when compared to students taught using a traditional approach.
According to Education Week (Lawton. Mc Closkey and Fults. This evaluation can also be supported by the results obtained for the dimension titled “Equipment” that. is closely related with children’s natural curiosity about living things. 1999. Bonnstetter. (Prokop. it seems their interest and attitudes may develop positively toward the subject. Frequent use of live organism in biology lessons and/or practical works may increase students’ interest toward biology. This finding. 1985. Thus. 1997). 2007) Integrating Inquiry-Based Laboratory Teaching in Biology: Enhancing Students’ Perceptions and Attitudes of their Learning Environment – Abigail Jasmin 7 . the students were very much interested in the use of live animals during the biology lessons. Tuncer & Chuda. Shymanski. Several papers relate inquiry activities resulted in greater interest in science and motivation to do science. 2004). students’ had positive attitudes toward practical settings. a poll by Bayer Corporation of Pittsburgh showed that students who used hands-on experiments and team problem solving in science classrooms have a better attitude about the subject than students who learned science through lectures and assigned textbook reading The teacher’s limited time for students on an individual base may stimulate development of student’s investigation skills and perceptions of the learning environment stimulating this. Gibson & Chase (2002) reported that inquiry activities not only led to more interest in science but that this interested persisted long after the inquiry intervention was over. we propose that the use of living organisms would be one of the key factors which can increase students’ positive attitudes toward biology. on the other hand. Educational implications of the study can be summarized as follows. Anderson. Yore. Chang & Mao. they may be more likely to study science in the future and persist in science classes. As long as students are finding out themselves. The thought that if students are more interested in science because of inquiry experiences.Many studies have connected hands-on or inquiry teaching to changes in students attitudes (Kyle. One study. This is consistent with Freedman’s (1997) and George and Kaplan’s (1998) results that.
It means that considering fun aspects in biology is an important issue in biology education. Integrating Inquiry-Based Laboratory Teaching in Biology: Enhancing Students’ Perceptions and Attitudes of their Learning Environment – Abigail Jasmin 8 . In other words. their positive attitudes towards Biology have increased and this results in better achievement in Biology. school and home. when students sense that biology courses and educational materials in Biology make a fun atmosphere in class.
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