Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Non-traditional forms of curriculum development and delivery have shown particular promise in supporting the autonomy of students particularly in relation to science. Programs such as OPENSCIED are inquiry based- learning that promotes problem solving skills and cross curricular development supported by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This mixed method research study sought to illuminate how these types of curricular programs influence student autonomy and learning, especially with the implementation of OpenSciEd within Des Moines Public Schools. The study utilizes student state testing (ISASP)data alongside teacher surveys, interviews and observations to investigate the strengths or potential deficits of inquiry based science education, alongside the curriculum adoption. The purpose of the study is to align current teaching practices using the inquiry-based science curriculum to be reflected in potential growth in student testing data as DMPS fully adopts OpenSciEd. The results will serve as a catalyst within the district to bridge a curricular action that is already occurring at the elementary level and better prepare students for high school, college, and career.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Department of Educational Psychology, Foundations, and Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Lori Norton-Meier

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (28 pages)