Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Science teachers--Training of--Middle West; Student teachers--Training of--Middle West; Inquiry-based learning;


This study examines how students' scientific ideas compare between students who have taken different numbers of general science and inquiry science courses at a midwestern university. The purpose of this study is to gain perspective and to inform current teaching practices based on how preservice elementary education teachers view scientific ideas after taking a different number of inquiry science courses. Students in a science inquiry course completed a science survey (Appendix B) of science and non-science questions and were asked to explain their reasoning. A scoring rubric (Wilson et al., 2010) was used to apply a score for correct and incorrect claims as well as correct justification based on providing evidence and reasoning. While the results from a showed an upward trend in terms of correct responses as students progressed through both inquiry science and general science courses, the justification and science reasoning was lacking. A Kruskal-Wallis test showed a statistically significant relationship between the number of science courses and the scores on the science survey, H (3) = 9.313, P = 0.025. An additional Kruskal-Wallis test did not show a statistically significant relationship between the number of inquiry science courses and the scores on the science survey, H (2) =5.077, P = 0.079. Lastly, a Mann Whitney U test indicated that students seeking an endorsement in science teaching was not significantly higher than those who were not, U=151.00, p =0.789. These findings can have implications for university level inquiry science courses as well as inform my own instruction and advocacy for inquiry in my current school district.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Science Education Program

First Advisor

John Ophus, Creative Component Advisor

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (59 pages)



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