Teaching Science to Non-science Majors: An Action Research Study Using a Learner-centered, Inquiry-based Approach
Journal of Ethnographic & Qualitative Research
As a professor teaching general core science courses to non-science majors, I designed a learner-centered, inquiry-based course in order to potentially positively influence science-related attitudes of my students. Through the lens of action research with mixed methodology, I analyzed student attitudes regarding science through the Test of Science-Related Attitudes (TOSRA) and a deductive coding strategy on student narratives obtained throughout the course. A two-tailed t-test determined a significant increase in three of the categories (Social Implications of Science, Normality of Scientists, and Enjoyment of Science Lessons) and decrease in two of the categories (Attitude to Scientific Inquiry and Career Interest in Science). The coded narratives correlated with the increased categories, provided valuable rationale for the decrease in the Attitude to Scientific Inquiry and demonstrated effective use of academic language concerning science. The protocol showed students' ability to achieve a greater conceptual understanding of science along with its impact on their careers and personal decisions.
Action research, student attitudes, scientists' attitudes, teacher educators, social impact, molecular biology, concept mapping, T-test, statistics
Ervin, Jeremy, "Teaching Science to Non-science Majors: An Action Research Study Using a Learner-centered, Inquiry-based Approach" (2018). Education Faculty Publications. 93.