The Impact of an Inquiry-Based Geoscience Field Course on Pre-service Teachers

Aug. 01, 2012

Source: Journal of Science Teacher Education, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 503-529. (August 2012).

The goal of this study was to determine the effects of a field-based, inquiry-focused course on pre-service teachers’ geoscience content knowledge, attitude toward science, confidence in teaching science, and inquiry understanding and skills.

The field-based course was designed to provide students with opportunities to observe, compare, and investigate geological structures in their natural environment and to gain an understanding of inquiry via hands-on learning activities designed to immerse students in authentic scientific investigation.

ANCOVA and MANCOVA analyses examining differences in outcome measures between 25 students in the field experience and 37 education students enrolled in the traditional, classroom-based course showed that students in the field course generally had significantly higher scores.

Results provide evidence of the value of the field and inquiry-based approach in helping pre-service teachers develop the needed skills and knowledge to create effective inquiry-based science lessons.

Updated: Feb. 27, 2013