The influence of the Inquiry Institute on elementary teachers' perceptions of inquiry learning in the science classroom.

The influence of the Inquiry Institute on elementary teachers' perceptions of inquiry learning in the science classroom.

Date: May 2009
Creator: Williams-Rossi, Dara
Description: Despite the positive outcomes for inquiry-based science education and recommendations from national and state standards, many teachers continue to rely upon more traditional methods of instruction This causal-comparative study was designed to determine the effects of the Inquiry Institute, a professional development program that is intended to strengthen science teachers' pedagogical knowledge and provide practice with inquiry methods based from a constructivist approach. This study will provide a understanding of a cause and effect relationship within three levels of the independent variable-length of participation in the Inquiry Institute (zero, three, or six days)-to determine whether or not the three groups differ on the dependent variables-beliefs, implementation, and barriers. Quantitative data were collected with the Science Inquiry Survey, a researcher-developed instrument designed to also ascertain qualitative information with the use of open-ended survey items. One-way ANOVAs were applied to the data to test for a significant difference in the means of the three groups. The findings of this study indicate that lengthier professional development in the Inquiry Institute holds the most benefits for the participants.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
The Yucca, Yearbook of North Texas State University, 1974

The Yucca, Yearbook of North Texas State University, 1974

Date: 1974
Creator: North Texas State University
Description: Yearbook for North Texas State University in Denton, Texas includes photos of and information about the school, student body, professors, and organizations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Special Collections
Students As Historians: The Historical Narrative Inquiry Model's Impact on Historical Thinking and Historical Empathy

Students As Historians: The Historical Narrative Inquiry Model's Impact on Historical Thinking and Historical Empathy

Date: December 2007
Creator: Colby, Sherri Rae
Description: The dissertation explores middle-school students' abilities to engage in historical thinking. I dispute the Hallam-Piaget model, which discourages analytical thinking through the assumption that children lack skills to think critically about history. My historical narrative inquiry model (1) teaches procedural knowledge (the process of "doing" history); (2) enhances interpretative skills; (3) cultivates historical perspectives based upon evidentiary history; and (4) encourages student authorship of historical narratives. In the fall semester of 2006, with a classroom of twenty-five seventh-graders, I initiated a research study designed to explore the impact of the historical narrative inquiry model through a sequence of thirty-two lessons. The lessons involved small- and large-group activities, including oral presentations, discussions about primary documents, and consideration of the relation between narratology and the creation of written history. Students generated their own historical narratives in order to articulate their perspectives. Eight students having varied reading-level proficiency served as primary participants in the study. Each of these students received pre- and post-intervention interviews. Outcomes reflected the enhancement of pedagogy intended to facilitate historical thinking and historical empathy in the classroom.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
The effects of an inquiry-based American history program on the achievement of middle school and high school students.

The effects of an inquiry-based American history program on the achievement of middle school and high school students.

Date: May 2006
Creator: Harmon, Larry G.
Description: Implicit in the call for educational reform in the teaching of social studies has been the suggestion that pursuing inquiry-based principles will lead to improvement in student achievement. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of two types of pedagogy: traditional and inquiry-based upon student achievement as measured by a standards-based, state administered examination. Second, this study examined the relationship between the treatment teachers' level of implementation and student achievement. A nonequivalent control group posttest and experimental design was used in this study. Subjects involved in this study include 84 secondary American history teachers and their respective students from a large urban public school district in Texas. The sample consisted of two groups, one taught by traditional/didactic instruction (n=48) and the other taught by inquiry-based pedagogy (n=36). Data for this study were collected using a classroom observation protocol based upon the level of use rubric developed by the concerns-based adoption model. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) (p<.05) was used to measure the effects of inquiry-based instruction and traditional pedagogy on student achievement. Student achievement results were measured by the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) for American history, grades 8 and 11. The study found that ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Assessing the effect of inquiry-based professional development on science achievement tests scores.

Assessing the effect of inquiry-based professional development on science achievement tests scores.

Date: December 2002
Creator: Dickson, Teresa K.
Description: This study analyzed student test scores to determine if teacher participation in an inquiry-based professional development was able to make a statistically significant difference in student achievement levels. Test scores for objectives that assessed the critical thinking skills and problem-solving strategies modeled in a science inquiry institute were studied. Inquiry-based experiences are the cornerstones for meeting the science standards for scientific literacy. State mandated assessment tests measure the levels of student achievement and are reported as meeting minimum expectations or showing mastery for specific learning objectives. Students test scores from the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills Test (TAAS) for 8th grade science and the Biology End Of Course (EOC) exams were analyzed using ANCOVA, Chi Square, and Logistic Regression, with the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) 7th Grade Science Subtest as covariate. It was hypothesized that the students of Inquiry Institute teachers would have higher scale scores and better rates of mastery on the critical thinking objectives than the students of non-Institute teachers. It was also hypothesized that it would be possible to predict student mastery on the objectives that assessed critical thinking and problem solving based on Institute participation. This quasi-experimental study did not show a statistically significant ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Using Complexity Thinking to Build Adaptive Capacity in Schools: an Analysis of Organizational Change in California

Using Complexity Thinking to Build Adaptive Capacity in Schools: an Analysis of Organizational Change in California

Date: May 2014
Creator: Martin, Teddi Eberly
Description: In response to reductionist neoliberal approaches to organizational change that have been prevalent in American education since the 1980s, some educators have begun to employ a whole-systems approach to improving student learning. These approaches, based in complexity sciences, recognize the nonlinear, unpredictable nature of learning and the interconnected relationships among myriad factors that influence the teaching/learning that occurs in schools. In the summer preceding the 2011-2012 school year, a cohort of educators from California Unified School District participated in a 10-day training regarding human systems dynamics (HSD) and complexity thinking. Their goal was to build adaptive capacity throughout the district in the pursuit of improving student learning. Through analysis of the interviews from seven target participants from this training, this study investigates what target participants report regarding their use of HSD methods and models in their work in schools across the 2011-2012 school year. Findings indicate that target participants displayed distinct arcs of use of HSD methods/models. In addition, findings suggest that target participants’ need for support in learning and implementing HSD methods/models, the influence of systemic and individual history, and the role of agency affected their “arcs of use.” This study illuminates the ways in which HSD methods/models support ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Engaging Lives: a Nomadic Inquiry Into the Spatial Assemblages and Ethico-aesthetic Practices of Three Makers

Engaging Lives: a Nomadic Inquiry Into the Spatial Assemblages and Ethico-aesthetic Practices of Three Makers

Date: May 2014
Creator: Coats, Cala R.
Description: This research is a nomadic inquiry into the ethics and aesthetics of three makers’ social and material practices. Deleuze’s concept of the nomad operated in multiple ways throughout the process, which was embedded in performative engagements that produced narratives of becoming. Over four months, I built relationships with three people as I learned about the ethico-aesthetic significance of their daily practices. The process started by interviewing participants in their homes and expanded over time to formal and informal engagements in school, community, and agricultural settings. I used Guattari’s ecosophical approach to consider how subjectivity was produced through spatial assemblages by spending time with participants, discussing material structures and objects, listening to personal histories, and collaboratively developing ideas. Participants included a builder who repurposed a missile base into a private residence and community gathering space, an elementary art teacher who practiced urban homesteading, and a young artist who developed an educational farm. The research considers the affective force of normalized social values, the production of desire by designer capitalism, and the mutation of life from neoliberal policies. Our experiences illuminate the community-building potential of direct encounters and direct exchanges. The project generates ideas for becoming an inquirer in the everyday and ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries