The effects of an inquiry-based instructional method on Earth science students' achievement.

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Chang, C. Y.
Mao, S. L.

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This study examined the effects of an inquiry-based instructional method on secondary school students' earth science achievement. Students chosen to participate in this study included 232 earth science students enrolled in six earth science classes. A quasi-experimental non-equivalent control group design was employed in finding any significant gains in student achievement. The experimental group (n=116) received two weeks of the inquiry-based instruction while the control group (n=116) received the traditional lecture-type instruction. Selected items from Taiwan Indicators of Educational Progress in Science Process Skills and Taiwan Entrance Examinations for Senior High School were used to measure students' achievement. The data were analyzed employing an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) on posttest scores with pretest as the covariate. The results indicated that students taught using the inquiry-based instructional method did significantly score higher than those who were taught by the traditional teaching approach (F=6.75, p<0.05). In addition, there was also a significant improvement in the achievement test especially at the comprehensive (F =3.94, p<0.05) and integrated level test items (F=6.47, p<0.05).