A Comparative Study of 5E-Based and Commonplace Materials and Teaching

  • Using a randomized design in a laboratory setting, this study sought to compare the impacts of inquiry-based and commonplace science teaching.
  • Students taught using inquiry-based materials organized around the BSCS 5E Instructional Model reached significantly higher levels of achievement than students experiencing commonplace teaching.
  • This finding was consistent for measures of both scientific reasoning and the construction and critique of scientific arguments.
  • Commonplace science instruction led to a significant achievement gap by race, whereas inquiry-based instruction did not.
  • This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health Office of Science Education.

By implementing modern standards for scientific research in education, this study sought to examine the effectiveness of an inquiry-based instructional unit organized around the BSCS 5E Instructional Model, as compared to the same unit organized around commonplace teaching strategies.

Click here to read the abstract, “The relative effects and equity of inquiry-based and commonplace science teaching on students' knowledge, reasoning, and argumentation.”

For full report, visit Journal of Research in Science Teaching.

Wilson, C. D., Taylor, J. A., Kowalski, S. M., & Carlson, J. (2010). The relative effects and equity of inquiry-based and commonplace science teaching on students' knowledge, reasoning, and argumentation. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 47(3), 276-301.