This study examines diverse elementary students including English Language Learners' (ELLs) science achievements and attitude changes following inquiry-based activity experiences. Thirty seventh-grade students explored the harmful and helpful effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays on the human environment using scientific methods to define problems, develop models, plan and carry out investigations, analyze/interpret data, use mathematics and computational thinking, construct explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering), engage in evidence-based arguments, and evaluate/communicate obtained information. These processes are known as inquiry-oriented approaches (NRC, 2000) and have been deepened and redefined as a set of eight science and engineering practices in the Next Generation of Science Standards (NRC, 2012). Individuals designed their own experiments by choosing different materials to test for the best protector of UV light. The Science Exploration Sheet (SES), which measured the scientific achievement, showed that 92% of students answered their own questions using their individual scientific models. However, pre- and post-attitude surveys revealed that there was no significant change in students' attitudes about science/scientists following the inquiry intervention (p< .05). Particularly, participating teachers' views of inquiry teaching experiences to their ELLs were discussed.
Teaching Methods and Strategies