The impact of an inquiry based approach on attitude, motivation and achievement in a high school physics laboratory.
Bittinger, David J.
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The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of an inquiry style laboratory on attitude, achievement and motivation in a high school physics class in Western New York. A quasi-experimental action research design was used to investigate student attitude, motivation, and achievement when exposed to inquiry style labs. The researcher investigated inquiry based laboratories as an intervention across a five-week period. Achievement, attitude and motivation were documented in Pre and post assessments. Data collection strategies included selected response check-ups, surveys, and classroom observations. Twenty-eight (28) High School Physics students enrolled in the researcher’s Physics class participated in this study. Collected data were displayed in bar graphs to detect patterns. It was found that inquiry learning in a laboratory setting has a similar effect on student achievement and motivation as the traditional approach, but can increase student attitude by promoting discussions and increasing student learning through errors. It is suggested that future research focus on the effects of errors on the learning process in a physics laboratory.
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