Impact of Combined Explicit Reflective Nature of Science and Inquiry-based Instruction on Middle and High School Students’ Conceptions of the Nature of Science

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of a combined explicit reflective NOS and inquiry-based instruction on middle and high school students’ conceptions of nature of science. The existing literature has not succeeded to examine the impact of the combined explicit reflective and inquiry-based instruction on students’ conception of NOS which encounters for curriculum structure and instructional strategies at the same time. Guided by Duschl and Grandy 2013 Explicit NOS Instruction Model, Vygotsky’s Social Cognitive Theory, and Lederman’s Conceptualization of NOS Model, the sequential explanatory mixed method approach examined the success of the intervention to address the research questions. The sequential explanatory mixed method research approach was utilized to collect ‘pragmatic’ data to answer the thesis study questions, (1) What conceptions of the nature of science do Lebanese middle and high school students have?, (2) How does a combined explicit reflective NOS and inquiry-based instruction influence middle and high students’ conceptions of NOS?, and (3) How do demographics variables of gender and school level influence middle and high school students’ conceptions of nature of science in the context of a combined reflective explicit NOS and inquiry-based instruction? The sample was representative of the whole population and consisted of 116 middle and high school students. Data was collected using the Explicit Reflective Inquiry Based Instruction Nature of Science Questionnaire (ERIBINOSQ), reflective journal prompts, field notes from class observations and interviews with students. The quantitative data was analyzed using SPSS, while the qualitative data was analyzed using thematic coding and peer debriefing. The combined explicit reflective and inquiry-based instruction have caused a major improvement in students’ views of the NOS aspects. This intervention was successful at all levels since it has a curriculum implication and an instructional approach. The intentional explicit discussions of NOS themes using inquiry-based instructional approach caused a change. Three themes emerged as a conclusion: (a) Cultural and Social Development in relation with Implicit Teaching Approach, (b) Combined Curriculum and Instructional Implications, and (c) Communicating Science to Construct Literacy. These results suggest that the intervention had a positive influence in enhancing students’ NOS conceptions, but more research is needed to study the relationship between the traditional perceptions of NOS and students attainment in standardized tests.
explicit reflective nature, Inquiry-based learning., Science -- Study and teaching (Middle school)., nature of science