Openness of inquiry of laboratory formats currently used in lower secondary Science

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Bryce, H. A. D.
Science -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- Western Australia; Science and Mathematics Education
thesis / dissertation description
Laboratory formats can range from 'recipe' type activities, in which students just verify concepts, to 'open' inquiry activities, in which students design and carry out their own experiments. There is much support in the literature for the use of 'open' inquiry formats. By way of a questionnaire secondary science teachers, sent to a sample of lower this study investigated the proportions of the different that are currently being used in laboratory formats lower secondary science in Perth schools. The study found that most of the formats used required students to follow set procedures to verify or determine a concept. Few 'open' inquiry activities were used which required the students to design and carry out their own experiments. The thesis also reports the teachers' perceived benefits and difficulties of using 'open' inquiry activities.