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pp. 5404-5428 | Article Number: ijese.2016.402
Published Online: August 12, 2016
Article Views: 816 | Article Download: 531
Students’ frequent exposure to inquiry-based science teaching is presumed more effective than their exposure to traditional didactic instruction in helping improve competence in content knowledge and problem solving. Framed through theoretical perspectives of inquiry-based instruction and culturally relevant pedagogy, this study examines this assumption using TIMSS 2007 US eighth-grade student data. Data analysis revealed three instructional approaches, including more inquiry based, mixed, and practice based, were popularly practiced in classrooms. More inquiry-based instruction was not significantly associated with content and problem solving achievements across Caucasian, African American, and Hispanic American students. The mixed teaching approach had a significant positive relationship for Hispanic American student’s content and problem solving achievement. The relationship between practice-based approach with content and problem solving achievements of all three racial/ethnic groups were not significant. This study questions the popular assumption of the effectiveness of science teaching approaches and offers important implications for science teaching reform.
Keywords: Inquiry, Science performances, teaching approaches, and students’ racial groups
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