The Effectiveness of the Science- Inquiry Teaching Approach On the Students’ Achievement and Engagement in the UAE Public Schools

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The guided scientific inquiry investigations are designed to help students reaching particular answers through their high thinking processes and their skills in scientific activities. This paper investigates the impact of the science-inquiry teaching approach on the students’ achievement and evaluates its effectiveness on the students’ engagement level over a period of four months and a half in a UAE public school for girls located in the northern Emirates. Subjects of the study were 52 girls UAE nationals from the 6th grade, following the scientific reform in their school, these schools are called “Madares Al Ghad”. The sample has been divided in two: the first one n=26, is the experimental group where students received the science instruction from a trained science-inquiry teacher, while the second one called the controlled group n=26, received a more traditional scientific instruction of the same content. The dependent variables in the study were the students’ achievement and their engagement level. Both variables were measured through a mixed-method approach: first the quantitative data was collected using a pre- and a post-test to assess the students’ science achievement. Second the qualitative data was collected using an observation tool designed for the study and entitled EIT 2013 to evaluate the students’ engagement. The analysis of the quantitative data was done using the T-test. The results have revealed that the science-inquiry teaching approach produced a significant greater achievement among 6th grade students than the classical teaching approach. Qualitative data analysis of the results revealed that students in the experimental group developed significant positive attitudes towards science more than did those in the controlled group.
Science- Inquiry Teaching approach, students’ achievement, engagement, UAE public schools