Effectiveness and Accountability of the Inquiry-Based Methodology in Middle School Science
Master of Science
Madelienne Peters, EdD
When teaching science, the time allowed for students to make discoveries on their own through the inquiry method directly conflicts with the mandated targets of a broad spectrum of curricula. Research shows that using an inquiry-based approach can encourage student motivation and increase academic achievement (Wolf & Fraser, 2008, Bryant, 2006, National Research Council (NRC), 2000). On the contrary, other research points out that students at the middle school level are unable to properly and effectively perform the necessary and relevant steps of inquiry (Krajcik, Blumenfeld, Marx, Bass, Fredricks, 1998, Jeong, Songer, Lee, 2006). One aim of this paper is to support the findings that, with age-appropriate subject matter and scaffolding, middle school students are capable of inquiry learning and benefit greatly through its usage. Another goal is to highlight that the underutilization of the inquiry method, though supported by national science standards, is due to a lack of accountability in high stakes testing. This lack of inquiry accountability is undermining the inquiry science curriculum movement.
Hardin, Cade, "Effectiveness and Accountability of the Inquiry-Based Methodology in Middle School Science" (2009). Education | Print Theses. 363.