27 SES 02 B, Learning Strategies in Scientific Subject Matters
There are several kinds of inquiry-based learning methodologies used in science education. The learning cycle is one of them (Marek & Cavallo, 1997). Research studies found that the learning cycle has been more effective than traditional instruction for enhancing students’ achievement and conceptual understandings in science (e.g., Barman, Barman, & Miller, 1996; Lord, 1999; Marek, Cruse, Cowan, & Cavallo, 1994).
On the other hand, even with the use of the best teaching method, the result might be unsatisfactory. Additional variables related to students’ learning might influence effectiveness of learning activities. For instance, research showed students’ epistemological understandings affect their responses to learning activities (Hammer, 1994; Hogan, 1999; Sandoval, 2005; Tsai, 1998) in science and mathematics. Hogan (1999) investigated how middle school students’ epistemological views were related with their approaches to constructing knowledge with their friends. The researcher found the association between students’ personal frameworks for science learning and their participation in collaborative knowledge-building tasks. Therefore, science instruction should take into account students’ personal epistemologies as well. However, most of physics curricula which have been proved to improve students’ conceptual understandings do not influence their epistemological understandings in similar way (Elby, 2001; Redish, Saul, & Steinberg, 1998). Put in different terms, the implicit instructions focusing on students’ conceptual development and assuming their epistemological understandings would improve in the same way are not so effective compared to the instruction explicitly focusing on their epistemological development (Elby, 2001; Sandoval & Morrison, 2003) in terms of promoting their epistemological understandings. However, the limited number of studies inspected the effectiveness of epistemological instructions in which students’ personal epistemologies were explicitly emphasized in science and other domains.
Moreover, scientific inquiry researchers emphasize the importance of metacogntion for students’ learning. Several researchers claimed the necessity of metacognitive skills for scientific inquiry (Schraw, Crippen, & Hartley, 2006; White & Frederiksen, 1998). For instance, according to Schraw, Crippen, and Hartley (2006), scientific inquiry requires metacognitive skills such as planning, monitoring, reflection, and self-evaluation of learning. White and Frederiksen (1998) pointed out the importance of metacognitive reflection in inquiry processes. Furthermore, Weaver (1998) summarizes the successful and unsuccessful teaching practices. The study indicated that laboratory activities can improve conceptual change when discussion and reflection are integrated into them. A number of studies in science provided evidence that metacognitive instruction had positive impact on students’ conceptual understandings and achievement (e.g. Peters & Kitsantas, 2010;White & Frederiksen, 1998). However, studies exploring the usefulness of metacognitive inquiry-based instruction in which scientific inquiry was incorporated with metacognitive activities (e.g., White & Frederiksen, 1998) included very small portion of the metacognitive studies conducted in science.
In conclusion, in the light of above discussion, the purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of the metacognitive 7E learning cycle (M-7ELC) in which students’ epistemological understandings were explicitly addressed on tenth grade students’ conceptual understandings in physics. The research questions of this study as follows;
- What is the effect of the M-7ELC as compared to the traditional instruction (TI) on tenth grade high school students’ conceptual understandings in force and motion unit?
- Is there any interaction between students’ epistemological understandings and the treatment (type of instruction)
Bendixen, L. D., & Hartley, K. (2003). Successful learning with hypermedia: The role of epistemological beliefs and metacognitive awareness.Journal of Educational Computing Research,28(1), 15-30. Einstein, A. (1936). Physics and reality. Journal of the Franklin Institute, 221, 349–382. Elby, A. (2001). Helping physics students learn how to learn. American Journal of Physics, Physics Education Research Supplement, 69(7), S54–S64. Elby, A., McCaskey, T., Lippmann, R. and Redish, E. F. (2001). Retrieved from http://www.physics.umd.edu/perg/tools/attsur.htm Hammer, D. M. (1994). Epistemological beliefs in introductory physics. Cognition and Instruction, 12(2), 151-183. Hestenes, D., Wells, M., & Swackhamer, G. (1992). Force concept inventory. The Physics Teacher, 30(3), 141-153. Hogan, K. (1999). Relating students' personal frameworks for science learning to their cognition in collaborative contexts. Science Education, 83(1), 1-32. Lord, T. R. (1999). A comparison between traditional and constructivist teaching in environmental science. The Journal of Environmental Education, 30(3), 22-27 Marek, E. A., Cowan, C. C., & Cavallo, A. M. (1994). Students' misconceptions about diffusion: How can they be eliminated?. The American Biology Teacher, 56 (2), 74-77. Marek, E.A., & Cavallo, A. M. L. (1997). The learning cycle: Elementary school science and beyond. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Redish, E. F., Saul, J. M., & Steinberg, R. N. (1998). Student expectations in introductory physics. American Journal of Physics, 66, 212–224. Sandoval, W. A. (2005). Understanding students’ practical epistemologies and their influence on learning through inquiry. Science Education, 89(4), 634-656. Sandoval,W. A., & Morrison, K. (2003). High school students’ ideas about theories and theory change after a biological inquiry unit. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40, 369–392. Schraw, G., Crippen, K. J., & Hartley, K. (2006). Promoting self-regulation in science education: Metacognition as part of a broader perspective on learning. Research in Science Education, 36, 111-139. Tsai, C. C. (1998). An analysis of scientific epistemological beliefs and learning orientations of Taiwanese eighth graders. Science Education, 82, 473–489. Weaver, G. C. (1998). Strategies in K‐12 science instruction to promote conceptual change. Science Education, 82(4), 455-472. White, B. Y., & Frederiksen, J. R. (1998). Inquiry, Modeling and Metacognition: Making Science Accessible To All Students. Cognition and Instruction, 16(1), 3-118 Windschitl, M., & Andre, T. (1998). Using computer simulations to enhance conceptual change: The roles of constructivist instruction and student epistemological beliefs. Journal of research in science teaching, 35(2), 145-160.
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