TITLE

Towards Meaningful Learning through Inquiry

AUTHOR(S)
Dumbrajs, Sivbritt; Helin, Piritta; K�rkk�inen, Hanna; Keinonen, Tuula
PUB. DATE
January 2011
SOURCE
Eurasian Journal of Physics & Chemistry Education;2011, Vol. 3 Issue 1, p39
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Case Study
ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study is to develop and implement a study module including scientific inquiry based experiments in the context of the physical phenomenon of friction, and to assess the learning outcomes. The aim is to describe the levels of students' understanding after instruction as well as to study where learning is situated on the continuum between meaningful and rote learning. This study is a qualitative case study and the participants of the study are sixth graders from a countryside school. The students studied the issue of friction by doing experiments in collaborative small-groups, following the principles of scientific inquiry. The data was collected firstly, by asking the students prior to the teaching intervention to explain what happens in a picture which shows someone slipping, and secondly, by using an open-ended questionnaire after the teaching intervention. Before instruction, students only used their prior experiences and perceptions in their explanations, whereas after it they also utilized the scientific knowledge and concepts which they had learned during the intervention. After instruction, the students' answers reflected deeper understanding of the phenomenon, and of the five types of learners found, one type reaches the level of meaningful learning. The finding of five types of learners reflects the complexity of students' understanding.
ACCESSION #
70457729

 

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