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This mixed-methods survey and open response design study explored the impact that Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) had on students’ attitudes towards science. Students completed the Scientific Attitude Inventory II (SAI II) both at the beginning of the study and after the study. Furthermore, students were asked to respond to open-ended journal questions. The participants included 49 grade 7 students (22 males and 27 females) in Southwestern Ontario who responded to both survey entries and journal response. The teacher implemented an IBL teaching style in science class. The quantitative findings sh¬¬owed a significant trend where students did not agree with statements regarding the importance of society understanding and learning about current scientific efforts. Other quantitative survey findings that were approaching statistical significance involved students being less likely to believe that science had all the answers and that students were less likely to believe that science’s main purpose is to develop theories. This may be in part due to the lack of social constructs in the population sampled. Qualitative data gathered through open-ended questions included students finding the hands-on nature of IBL to be very enjoyable; while other students found the lack of structure of the IBL method to be distressing. This brings to attention the need to further understand the inquiry method and how it can benefit learners but also how it may be ineffective with certain learners or in certain circumstances.
Frezell, Dan, "Impact of Inquiry Based Learning on Students’ Motivation, Engagement and Attitude in Science" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 7356.