The Impact of Authentic Science Inquiry Experiences Studying Variable Stars on High School Students' Knowledge and Attitudes about Science and Astronomy and Beliefs Regarding the Nature of Science

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/194456
Title:
The Impact of Authentic Science Inquiry Experiences Studying Variable Stars on High School Students' Knowledge and Attitudes about Science and Astronomy and Beliefs Regarding the Nature of Science
Author:
Richwine, Pebble Lea
Issue Date:
2007
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The purpose of this concurrent mixed methods study was to investigate the impact on high school students' knowledge and attitudes regarding astronomy and beliefs about the nature of science after participating in an extended authentic, inquiry-oriented, research experience studying variable stars using a specifically designed curriculum guide "In the Hunt for Variable Stars." The study gathered quantitative data using a pretest posttest strategy on a modified form of an existing questionnaire called Students Attitudes Toward Astronomy and four student-supplied response content surveys. Qualitative methods included analysis of researcher's field notes, naturalistic observations, formal interviews, and students' artifacts. The methods and results of this study provided important baseline information to measure cognitive and affective changes resulting from an authentic scientific research experience for high school students.Ninety students participated in a targeted instructional sequence and their attitudes and knowledge were compared to 50 students in a comparable science course who were not provided an authentic research experience. The results obtained in this study strongly suggest that participation in research is successful at significantly increasing content knowledge. All four content surveys showed statistically significant increases for students in the intervention group as compared to the students in the non-intervention group. Qualitative results demonstrated that both groups of students initially held naïve ideas about science and astronomy. After participation in the intervention, the most dramatic changes were observed in students' understanding of astronomy content. No substantial change was seen in students' attitudes toward Astronomy and science but there is evidence of some limited impacts on beliefs regarding the nature of science.In combination, the data resulting from this mixed-method study lend considerable weight to claim in contemporary science education reform that students will learn and more scientifically accurate knowledge of astronomy after participating in authentic inquiry experiences.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
authentic inquiry; variable stars; astronomy education; inquiry; astronomy knowledge
Degree Name:
PhD
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Teaching & Teacher Education; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Johnson, Bruce; Slater, Timothy
Committee Chair:
Johnson, Bruce; Slater, Timothy

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleThe Impact of Authentic Science Inquiry Experiences Studying Variable Stars on High School Students' Knowledge and Attitudes about Science and Astronomy and Beliefs Regarding the Nature of Scienceen_US
dc.creatorRichwine, Pebble Leaen_US
dc.contributor.authorRichwine, Pebble Leaen_US
dc.date.issued2007en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe purpose of this concurrent mixed methods study was to investigate the impact on high school students' knowledge and attitudes regarding astronomy and beliefs about the nature of science after participating in an extended authentic, inquiry-oriented, research experience studying variable stars using a specifically designed curriculum guide "In the Hunt for Variable Stars." The study gathered quantitative data using a pretest posttest strategy on a modified form of an existing questionnaire called Students Attitudes Toward Astronomy and four student-supplied response content surveys. Qualitative methods included analysis of researcher's field notes, naturalistic observations, formal interviews, and students' artifacts. The methods and results of this study provided important baseline information to measure cognitive and affective changes resulting from an authentic scientific research experience for high school students.Ninety students participated in a targeted instructional sequence and their attitudes and knowledge were compared to 50 students in a comparable science course who were not provided an authentic research experience. The results obtained in this study strongly suggest that participation in research is successful at significantly increasing content knowledge. All four content surveys showed statistically significant increases for students in the intervention group as compared to the students in the non-intervention group. Qualitative results demonstrated that both groups of students initially held naïve ideas about science and astronomy. After participation in the intervention, the most dramatic changes were observed in students' understanding of astronomy content. No substantial change was seen in students' attitudes toward Astronomy and science but there is evidence of some limited impacts on beliefs regarding the nature of science.In combination, the data resulting from this mixed-method study lend considerable weight to claim in contemporary science education reform that students will learn and more scientifically accurate knowledge of astronomy after participating in authentic inquiry experiences.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectauthentic inquiryen_US
dc.subjectvariable starsen_US
dc.subjectastronomy educationen_US
dc.subjectinquiryen_US
dc.subjectastronomy knowledgeen_US
thesis.degree.namePhDen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineTeaching & Teacher Educationen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorJohnson, Bruceen_US
dc.contributor.advisorSlater, Timothyen_US
dc.contributor.chairJohnson, Bruceen_US
dc.contributor.chairSlater, Timothyen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberHarris, Christopheren_US
dc.identifier.proquest2079en_US
dc.identifier.oclc752259902en_US
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