Session S25c (Tuesday, 9:30am, Thomas 104)

P438: Evaluating the level of inquiry of laboratory experiments published in peer-reviewed science education journals

Marilyne Stains (University of Nebraska – Lincoln, USA)

One of the factors involved in closing the gap between science education research and instructional practices in science courses in higher education is instructors’ access to research-based instructional materials. The main resources for college-level materials are professional organization, peer-reviewed education journals, which mainly publish one type of material, i.e. laboratory experiments. Science education research has shown that inquiry-based rather than traditional experiments are more effective in developing students’ understanding and reasoning skills. In this study, we are investigating the level of inquiry of laboratory experiments published in the Journal of Chemical Education, The Physics Teacher, and The American Biology Teacher from 2000 to 2010. The level of inquiry is characterized with a published rubric. Preliminary findings indicate that The American Biology Teacher contains a higher proportion of experiments at level 2 and 3 on the inquiry scale than the Journal of Chemical Education (35% versus 19% respectively).

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