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Effects of Inquiry-Based Agriscience Instruction on Student Argumentation Skills, Scientific Reasoning, and Student Achi...

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0041468/00001

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Title: Effects of Inquiry-Based Agriscience Instruction on Student Argumentation Skills, Scientific Reasoning, and Student Achievement
Physical Description: 1 online resource (466 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Thoron, Andrew
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: achievement, agriscience, argumentation, education, inquiry, reasoning, scientific, student
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of inquiry-based agriscience instruction on student argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and student achievement. The independent variable in this study was the teaching method used in the agriscience classes. The treatment groups utilized inquiry-based instruction or the subject matter approach. Inquiry-based instruction was treated as the treatment and subject matter the control. Characteristics that were treated as static attributes were gender, year in school, ethnicity, and socio-economic status. This study was conducted using a quasi-experimental design referred to as nonequivalent control group design. The population for this study was United States secondary school agriscience students. The accessible population was students of National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy (NATAA) participants. A purposive sample was selected according to the ability of the teacher to effectively deliver both teaching methodologies under investigation and familiarity with the content of the units of instruction. Correlations of variables in the study were used to uncover relationships due to the teaching method. Content knowledge posttest scores were found to have moderate relationships with other posttests ranging from r = .34 to r = .54. The treatment variable was found to have moderate or substantial correlation with four of the seven content knowledge posttests. Moderate correlations were also reported between treatment and argumentation skill scores and treatment and scientific reasoning. Demographic variables that were collected contained negligible relationships with posttests, argumentation skill scores, scientific reasoning scores, and type of treatment (inquiry-based instruction and subject-matter approach). Univariate analyses of covariance were conducted to determine the influence of the teaching method. Significant differences in content knowledge achievement, argumentation skills, and scientific reasoning were reported. Those students taught through inquiry-based instruction were reported as having higher content knowledge achievement, argumentation skills, and scientific reasoning than student taught through the subject matter approach. Participants in this study tended to be white, male, underclassmen, that did not qualify for free or reduced lunch programs. This study found that students taught through inquiry-based instruction outperformed students taught through the subject matter approach on content knowledge achievement assessments, argumentation skills, and scientific reasoning. Based on the findings, recommendations for teacher educators and curriculum developers, practitioners, and future research were given. Teacher educators should model inquiry-based instruction, curriculum development should incorporate more inquiry-based teaching into developed curriculum, both teacher education and curricular experts should engage in professional development opportunities for practitioners, practitioners should utilize inquiry-based instruction in their curriculum, and inquiry-based instruction in agriscience education is worthy of further investigation.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Andrew Thoron.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local: Adviser: Myers, Brian E.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2011-04-30

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2010
System ID: UFE0041468:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0041468/00001

Material Information

Title: Effects of Inquiry-Based Agriscience Instruction on Student Argumentation Skills, Scientific Reasoning, and Student Achievement
Physical Description: 1 online resource (466 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Thoron, Andrew
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: achievement, agriscience, argumentation, education, inquiry, reasoning, scientific, student
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of inquiry-based agriscience instruction on student argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and student achievement. The independent variable in this study was the teaching method used in the agriscience classes. The treatment groups utilized inquiry-based instruction or the subject matter approach. Inquiry-based instruction was treated as the treatment and subject matter the control. Characteristics that were treated as static attributes were gender, year in school, ethnicity, and socio-economic status. This study was conducted using a quasi-experimental design referred to as nonequivalent control group design. The population for this study was United States secondary school agriscience students. The accessible population was students of National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy (NATAA) participants. A purposive sample was selected according to the ability of the teacher to effectively deliver both teaching methodologies under investigation and familiarity with the content of the units of instruction. Correlations of variables in the study were used to uncover relationships due to the teaching method. Content knowledge posttest scores were found to have moderate relationships with other posttests ranging from r = .34 to r = .54. The treatment variable was found to have moderate or substantial correlation with four of the seven content knowledge posttests. Moderate correlations were also reported between treatment and argumentation skill scores and treatment and scientific reasoning. Demographic variables that were collected contained negligible relationships with posttests, argumentation skill scores, scientific reasoning scores, and type of treatment (inquiry-based instruction and subject-matter approach). Univariate analyses of covariance were conducted to determine the influence of the teaching method. Significant differences in content knowledge achievement, argumentation skills, and scientific reasoning were reported. Those students taught through inquiry-based instruction were reported as having higher content knowledge achievement, argumentation skills, and scientific reasoning than student taught through the subject matter approach. Participants in this study tended to be white, male, underclassmen, that did not qualify for free or reduced lunch programs. This study found that students taught through inquiry-based instruction outperformed students taught through the subject matter approach on content knowledge achievement assessments, argumentation skills, and scientific reasoning. Based on the findings, recommendations for teacher educators and curriculum developers, practitioners, and future research were given. Teacher educators should model inquiry-based instruction, curriculum development should incorporate more inquiry-based teaching into developed curriculum, both teacher education and curricular experts should engage in professional development opportunities for practitioners, practitioners should utilize inquiry-based instruction in their curriculum, and inquiry-based instruction in agriscience education is worthy of further investigation.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Andrew Thoron.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local: Adviser: Myers, Brian E.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2011-04-30

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2010
System ID: UFE0041468:00001


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1 EFFECTS OF INQUIRY BASED AGRISCIENCE INSTRUCTION ON STUDENT ARGUMENTATION SKILLS, SCIENTIFIC REASONING, AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT By ANDREW C. THORON A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORI DA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2010

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2 2010 Andrew C. Thoron

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3 To a ll the agriscience teach ers who mentor, encourage, and care for their students and to my s tudents at Mt Pulaski High School Illinois

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I consider myself to be blessed with the opportunity to connect with many people I looked up to during my education, teaching, and research There are times I wonder how a boy who grew up in the small to wn of Waggoner Illinois and rural Raymond wanted to get a doctora l degree I am blessed with many people who invested time and money in my educati on because they believed in me I am grateful to have had a foundation set by my parents who promoted educat i on and setting and accomplishing goals I thank my parents, brothers, and family members for encouragement during my doctora l studies Family is a wonderful asset to have and I love you all I have to mention a special thank you to my high school agricul tural education teacher, Mr. Richard Watson, for instilling a love for agricultural education through modeling dedication to his profession and students Mr. Watson had the greatest hand in m y becoming an educator and choosing agri cultural education as a c areer I thank Dr. Jeff Wood for encouragement and mentorship during my teaching and my interest in pursuing a doctoral degree I thank Kent Weber and Jeff Maierhofer for their mentorship and for helping me realize how to make a difference not just an imp ression from the first day I started teaching high school I thank the students and their families that I worked with during my high school teaching at Mt. Pulaski High School in Illinois M y students made it difficult to leave the classroom but easy to b e passionate about the profession and the future of agriculture I continue to value the relationships I have built and am proud of my students successes Through my experiences as a high school teacher at Mt. Pulaski I will be able to share many great s tories with future teachers I prepare for the profession My experience as an agriscience teach er at Mt. Pulaski sure makes it easy to recruit new students to the profession because I can honestly say I once had the best job in the world.

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5 There is not jus t one person that comes to mind when I thi nk of my studie s at the University of Florida I consider myself lucky to have obtained two degrees from the University of Florida and the number one Department of Agricultural Education and Communication in the nation T he person with the largest influence in my success at the university is my major professor, mentor, friend, and colleague Dr. Brian Myers I th a nk Brian for his hard work and for helping me develop into a pro fessor I will be forever grateful I lo ok forward to many years of friendship and collaboration as we further the knowledge base and make the term agriculture to be syn onymous with science I th a nk Brian Margaret and their two sons for opening their home and sharing several wonderful meals du ring my degree program Those meals and just time spent outside playing with Tim and Tony helped me r ealize there is life outside Rolfs Hall. I thank Dr. Ed Osborne for reading and editing my dissertation and challenging my thinking during my dissertation. I admire Dr. Os hard work and ability to think critically without being critical. I thank Dr. O for being a model educator with a great mind for research and thinking with me through my research study and conceptual framework Dr. Ed Osborne is the para mount figure in agricultural education and perhaps the most humble person I have ever known I thank Dr. Kirby Barrick for his friendship and mentorship of a young person in the profession I admire Dr. Barricks ability to structure thoughts help me stru cture my thinking, and bring in experiences relevant to my study; m ost of all I appreciate our friendship I have discovered a person w h o cares about my professional and personal well -being I appreciate Dr. Barricks enthusiasm for my approach to teaching and helping me realize there are always ways to become a better educator I look forward to more opportunities to work both nationally and internationally with Dr. Barrick anytime I thank Dr. Rose Pringle for serving on my dissertation

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6 committee and inqu iry expert as agriscience education identifies how inquirybased instruction is utilized in the profession It was refreshing to watch great teaching during Dr. Pringles classes Finally, I thank the undergraduate and graduate students I worked with in the department, the professors, and staff Ya ll made Rolfs Hall and the Univer sity of Florida feel like home even if I never quite picked up on my southernisms Its GREAT to be a FLORIDA GATOR! During my time at the university I was able to witness national championships in both basketball and football and those were enjoyed with great friends like Katy Groseta, Nick Fuh r man, Ros Fuhrman, Robert Strong, Anna Warner, and Karen Cannon. My last year was enjoyed with Robert as we progressed through our doctoral program motivating each other to keep plugging away I thankful of the countless lunches we had together discussing the process and motivating each other through the process I enjoyed my final year with Christopher Stripling, Chris Estepp, and Kate S houlders and I cant wait to see where their first job s take them There were several undergraduates I have grown close to during my four years, watching them develop into teachers has been fun and rewarding Some undergrads will remain at the university t o complete their degree, I am sorry I am leaving but you are in good hands Last but certainly not least (perhaps most) I thank my Den Mother Ann De Lay Ann kept me grounded and refreshed, and made me always feel at home with the sweet gifts, hugs, and her wonderful pe rsonality There are few friends finer than Ann De Lay I am glad to have her as my friend All t his is possible because of God I remind myself o f the passage from Matthew 6:33 But s eek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, a nd all these things shall be added to you

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7 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................................... 4 LIST OF TABLES .............................................................................................................................. 11 LIST OF FIGURES ............................................................................................................................ 12 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ............................................................................................................ 13 ABSTRACT ........................................................................................................................................ 15 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................... 17 Statement of Problem .................................................................................................................. 29 Purpose of the Study ................................................................................................................... 30 Statement of Objectives .............................................................................................................. 30 Statement of Hypotheses ............................................................................................................ 31 Significance of the Study ............................................................................................................ 31 Definition of Terms ..................................................................................................................... 32 Limitations of the Study ............................................................................................................. 33 Assumptions of the Study ........................................................................................................... 33 Chapter Summary ........................................................................................................................ 34 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE ..................................................................................................... 36 Theoretical Model Guiding the Study ........................................................................................ 36 Constructivism ............................................................................................................................. 37 Inquiry .......................................................................................................................................... 45 Foundations of Inquiry ........................................................................................................ 45 Testing and the Impact on Inquiry ...................................................................................... 52 Defining Inquiry Based Instruction .................................................................................... 55 Scientific inquiry .......................................................................................................... 60 Inquiry teaching ............................................................................................................ 60 Examples of inquiry -based instruction ....................................................................... 65 Levels of Inquiry .................................................................................................................. 66 Inquiry in Agriscience ......................................................................................................... 67 Argumentation Skills .................................................................................................................. 70 Argumentative Measures ..................................................................................................... 71 Argumentation Studies ........................................................................................................ 74 Scientific Reasoning ................................................................................................................... 78 Deductive Reasoning in Science Education....................................................................... 78 Inductive Reasoning in Science Education ........................................................................ 79

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8 Utilizing Reasoning ............................................................................................................. 79 Reasoning Studies ................................................................................................................ 80 Student Achievement, Content Knowledge, Science Process Skills, Attitudes, and Values ....................................................................................................................................... 82 Chapter Summary ........................................................................................................................ 87 3 METHODS .................................................................................................................................. 89 Research Design .......................................................................................................................... 90 Procedures .................................................................................................................................... 93 Population and Sample ............................................................................................................... 95 Instrumentation and Data Col lection ......................................................................................... 96 Unit of Instruction Plans ..................................................................................................... 97 Content Knowledge Achievement Assessment Instruments ............................................ 97 Lawsons Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning ........................................................... 98 Argumentation Skills ........................................................................................................... 99 Fidelity of Treatment Delivery ........................................................................................... 99 Analysis of Data ........................................................................................................................ 100 Chapter Summary ...................................................................................................................... 100 4 RESULTS .................................................................................................................................. 102 Objective One: Describe the Ethnicity, Gender, Year in School, and Socio -Economic Status of H igh School Agriscience Students ....................................................................... 107 Ethnicity ............................................................................................................................. 107 Gender ................................................................................................................................ 107 Grade Level ........................................................................................................................ 108 Socio Economic Sta tus ...................................................................................................... 108 Objective Two: Ascertain the Effects of Inquiry Based Instruction on Student Argumentation Skills, Scientific Reasoning, and Content Knowledge Achievement of High School Agriscience St udents. ...................................................................................... 109 Content Knowledge Achievement .................................................................................... 109 Student Argumentation Skills ........................................................................................... 111 Scientific Reasoning .......................................................................................................... 111 Objective Three: Examine the Relationship Between Content Knowledge Achievement, Argumentation Skills, Scientific Reasoning, Ethnicity, Gender, Year in School, and Socio Economic Status of High School Agriscience Students. ......................................... 112 Tests of Hypotheses .................................................................................................................. 114 Hypotheses Related to Content Knowledge Achievement ............................................. 114 Hypotheses Related to Argumentation Skills .................................................................. 116 Hypotheses Related to Scientific Reasoning ................................................................... 117 Summary .................................................................................................................................... 117 5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS ......................................... 119 Objectives .................................................................................................................................. 120 Null Hypotheses ........................................................................................................................ 120

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9 Methods ..................................................................................................................................... 121 Summary of Findings ................................................................................................................ 124 Objective One .................................................................................................................... 124 Objective Two .................................................................................................................... 124 Objective Three .................................................................................................................. 126 Null Hypothesis One ......................................................................................................... 127 Null Hypothesis Two ......................................................................................................... 128 Null Hypothesis Three ....................................................................................................... 128 Conclusions ............................................................................................................................... 129 Implications ............................................................................................................................... 129 Objective One: Describe the Ethnicity, Gender, Year in School, and Socio Economic Status of High School Agriscience Students. ............................................. 129 Objective Two: Ascertain the Effects of Inquiry Based Instruction on Student Argumentation Skil ls, Scientific Reasoning, and Content Knowledge Achievement of High School Agriscience Students. ................................................... 130 Objective Three: Examine the Relationship Between Content Knowledge Achievement, Argumentat ion Skills, Scientific Reasoning, Ethnicity, Gender, Year in School, and SocioEconomic Status of High School Agriscience Students. ......................................................................................................................... 131 Hypothesis One: There is No Significant Difference in St udent Content Knowledge Achievement Based upon the Teaching Method ......................................................... 132 Hypothesis Two: There is No Significant Difference in Student Argumentation Skills Based upon the Teaching Method ...................................................................... 133 Hypothesis Three: There is No Significant Difference in Student Scientific Reasoning Based upon the Teaching Method .............................................................. 135 Discussion .................................................................................................................................. 136 Recommendations for Teacher Education and Curriculum Development ............................ 139 Recommendations for Practitioners ......................................................................................... 140 Recommendations for Further Research .................................................................................. 141 Summary .................................................................................................................................... 142 APPENDIX A EXAMPLE LESSON OF INQUIRYBASED INSTRUCTION ........................................... 144 B SCIENCE TEACHING INQUIRY RUBRIC (STIR) ............................................................ 145 C INSTRUCTIONAL PLANS .................................................................................................... 147 Subject Matter Instructional Plans ........................................................................................... 147 Inquiry Based Instructional Plans ............................................................................................ 371 D PRETESTS/PO STTESTS ......................................................................................................... 394 E CONTENT KNOWLEDGE ASSESSMENT PLANNING MATRICS ............................... 417 F ARGUMENTATION SCORING RUBRIC ............................................................................ 420

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10 G ARGUMENTATION INSTRUMENT .................................................................................... 421 H LAWSONS CLASSROOM TEST OF SCIENTIFIC REASONING .................................. 423 I INTROD UCTION LETTER .................................................................................................... 434 J EXPLANATION & DESIGN OF THE STUDY .................................................................... 435 K EXPLANATION OF INQUIRY BASED INSTRUCTION AND SUBJECT -MATTER LESSON P LANS ...................................................................................................................... 438 L EXPLANATION OF SCHOOL, METHOD, STUDENT ID NUMBER, DEMOGRAPHIC SHEET, AND COMPUTER BASED TESTING SYSTEM .................. 439 M DEMOGRAP HIC SHEET IN WORD ................................................................................. 442 N EXPLANATION OF JUMP DRIVE, AUDIO RECORDING, AND IRB ........................... 443 O IRB APPROVAL ...................................................................................................................... 444 P INFORMED CONSENT FOR STUDENTS ........................................................................... 445 Q INFORMED CONSENT FOR PARENTS ............................................................................. 446 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................................................................................................. 447 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ........................................................................................................... 465

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11 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2-1 A Comparison of Traditional and Inquirybased instruction. ............................................. 61 2-2 Levels of inquiry: What is given to the learner? .................................................................. 67 4-1 Treatment Group Membership Totals ................................................................................. 104 4-2 Treatment Group Participant Totals .................................................................................... 105 4-3 Response Rates for Data Collection Components (n = 305) ............................................. 106 4-4 Pilot Test Mean Content Knowledge Assessment Scores and Instrument Reliability .... 106 4-5 Participant Ethnicity (n = 305) ............................................................................................ 107 4-6 Participant Gender Distribution (n = 305) .......................................................................... 108 4-7 Participant Grade Level (n = 305) ....................................................................................... 108 4-8 Participant Socio Economic Status (n = 305) .................................................................... 109 4-9 Participate Mean Pretest Scores (n = 305) .......................................................................... 110 410 Participant Mean Posttest Scores ........................................................................................ 110 411 Participant Mean Student Argumentation Skill Scores ..................................................... 111 412 Participate Mean Scientific Reasonin g Scores ................................................................... 1 11 413 Correlations Between Variables .......................................................................................... 113 414 Content Knowledge Posttest Scores by Treatment (n = 305) ............................................ 116 415 Univariate Analysis of Treatment Effects for Content Knowledge .................................. 116 416 Univariate Analysis of Treatment Effects for Argumentation S kills ................................ 117 417 Univariate Analysis of Treatment Effects for Scientific Reasoning ................................. 117

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12 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1 Theoretical model for the effects of inquiry-based instruction. .......................................... 37 2-2 Tharp and R. Gallimore (1989). Rousing schools to life (p.35). ......................................... 51 2-3 Quality argument and reasoning. Adapted from Giere (1991) representation of interaction between reasoning, theory, and argument. ........................................................ 73

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13 LIST OF ABBREVIATION S AAAS American Association for the Advancement of Science AS Argumentation skills ATP Adenosine triphosphate CAERT Center for Agricultural and Environmental Research and Training CKA Content knowledge achievement DITM Direct -interactive teaching methods ETS Educational Testing Service IBI Inquiry -based instruction LCTSR Lawsons Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning NAAE National Association for Agricultural Education NAEP National Assessment of Education Progress NATAA National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy NCEE National Center for Excellence in Education NCES National Center for Education Statistics NCLB No Child Left Behind NDEA National Defense Education Act NRA National Research Agenda NRC National Re search Council NSES National Science Education Standards NSTA National Science Teachers Association NSF National Science Foundation PBCAI Problem -based computer assisted instruction PBL Problem -based learning PS Problem -solving

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14 SES Socio -economic status SM Subject matter SR Scientific reasoning STIR Scientific Teaching Inquiry Rubric TAP Toulmins Argumentation Pattern USDE United States Department of Education

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15 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy EFFECTS OF INQUIRY BASED AGRISCIENCE INSTRUCTION ON STUDENT ARGUMENTATION SKILLS, SCIENTIFIC REASONING, AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT By Andrew C. Thoron M ay 2010 Chair : Brian E. Myers Major: Agricultural Education and Communication The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of inquirybased agriscience instruction on student argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and student achievement The independen t variable in this study was the teaching method used in the agriscience classes The treatment groups utilized inquiry -based instruction or the subject matter approach Inquiry-based instruction was treated as the treatment and subject matter the control. Characteristics that were treated as static attributes were gender, year in school, ethnicity, and socio -economic status This study was conducted using a quasi -experimental design referred to as nonequivalent control group design. The population for this study was United States secondary school agriscience students The accessible population was students of N ational A griscience T eacher A mbassador A cademy (NATAA) participants A purposive sample was selected according to the ability of the teacher to effec tively deliver both teaching methodologies under investigation and familiarity with the conten t of the units of instruction. Correlations of variables in the study were used to uncover relationships due to the teaching method Content knowledge posttest sc ores were found to have moderate relationships with other posttests ranging from r = .34 to r = .54. The treatment variable was found to have

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16 moderate or substantial correlation with four of the seven content knowledge posttests Moderate correlations were also reported between treatment and argumentation skill scores and treatment and scientific reasoning. Demographic variables that were collected contained negligible relationships with posttests, argumentation skill scores, scientific reasoning scores, an d type of treatment (inquiry based instruction and subject -matter approach). Univariate analyses of covariance were conducted to determine the influence of the teaching method Significant differences in content knowledge achievement, argumentation skills, and scientific reasoning were reported. Those students taught through inquirybased instruction were reported as having higher content knowledge achievement, argumentation skills, and scientific reasoning than student s taught through the subject matter ap proach. Participants in this study tended to be white, male, underclassmen that did not qualify for free or reduced lunch programs This study found that students taught through inquiry -based instruction outperformed students taught through the subject mat ter approach on content knowledge achievement assessments, argumentation skills, and scientific reasoning Based on the finding s recommendations for teacher educators and curriculum developers, practitioners, and future research were given Teacher educat ors should model inquiry -based instruction, curriculum development should incorporate mo re inquiry-based teaching into curriculum, both teacher education and curricular experts should engage in professional development opportunities for practitioners, practitioners should utilize inquiry based instruction in their curriculum, and inquiry -based instruction in agriscience education is worthy of further investigation.

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17 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION What does a successful classroom look like ? To what extent can inqu iry based instruction create a successful teaching and learning process ? Berliner (1987) noted teaching is an art and a science. Inquiry-based instruction incorporates both the art and science of teaching and learning, and when used effectively, students p erform at a higher cognitive level (Llewellyn, 2005) This study examines the differential effects of inquiry based instruction and traditional teaching methods on students argumentation skills, scientific reasoni ng, and knowledge achievement. This chapte r will describe the national trends in student achievement, present educational responses to the hands -on science movement, and trace the increased interest of an inquiry -based teaching approach in science and agriscience Next, this chapter will recognize the call for agriculture as a contributing factor in science curricula and agricultural educations potential for enhancing student science achievement through enrollment in agriscience classes Furthermore, the chapter will discuss the historical approac h to teaching agriculture in secondary classrooms and demonstrate contributions to student achievement in science Finally, this chapter will examine the need for an agriscience curriculum that creates learners with a working knowledge of science concepts and principles that are engaging and challenging. National trends of student achievement in the United States have been recorded by the federal government through the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) since 1969. The NCES assesses students in the areas of science, math, and reading at ages 9, 13, and 17. Throughout the 1970s the NCES reported declining scores in each area that led to a renewed focus on academics through what was referred to as a back to the basics approach The back to the ba sics agenda progressed through the 1980s (NCES, 2000) The curricular focus of the back -

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18 to the -basics agenda was the core subject areas of math, reading, and science Learners were assessed in the core areas, and projections were made for national student competence. In response to A Nation at Risk (NCEE, 1983) the secondary school level adopted higher graduation requirements in the areas of English, math and science The United States saw the shift of focus toward the core content areas and experienced an increase in test scores Progression of student -driven achievement during the 1990s led to the establishment of academic standards and goals, and the NCES (2000) reported stable performance in the science and math subjects and modest gains in reading for a ll learners. In the early twenty -first century, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation was passed and has remained a driving factor in measuring student achievement (USDE, 2009) President Obamas administration stated a revamped focus of NCLB that would replace current inadequate assessments and adjust support [for] schools to gain improvement [on assessments], rather than punish those for not improving scores in science, math, and reading (Obama, 2007) Arne Duncan, United States Secretary of Educati on stated, I ask you to join President Obama and me in a new commitment to results that recognizes and rewards success in the classroom (Duncan, 2009) Student trends in the 2004 (Freeman, 2004) and 2008 NCES reports show continued progress in the areas of math and reading (NCES, 2008) Throughout all reports science scores have remained consistent in student achievement, according to the NCES (2008) Each NCES report compares scores to the early 1970s to show gain scores overall However, comparing rec ent scores in math, reading, and science to the mid -1990s data, scores are lower or nearly the same Student achievement showed signs of peaking or in some demographics declining slightly when compared to the mid 1990s.

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19 Specifically, national trends in stu dent science achievement have differed from the gains in math and reading Reading assessments describe the most favorable landscape of the educational system in America Reading scores continue to increase among children, and achievement gaps show trends of closing across race and gender (NCES, 2008) Math achievement developed trends similar to reading Science achievement has become more stable and has even declined since 1996 (USDE, 2009) In a 2004 report by the National Assessment of Education Progres s (NAEP), science exhibited a decline in student proficiency between 1996 and the year 2000 (USDE, 2009) In 2000, eightytwo percent of the nations twelfth graders performed below the proficient level on the NAEP science assessment The document stated, the longer students stay in the current system the worse they do According to the 1995 Third International Mathematics and Science Study, U.S. fourth graders ranked second By twelfth grade, they fell to 16th. (USDE, 2009) Stagnant and lowering scores in science achievement have caused concern throughout the nation. The United States Commission on National Security argued that inadequate student science achievement scores pose a great threat to national security (USDE, 2009) The USDE and NCLB legislation called for federal funding to build partnerships among local districts, universities, businesses, science centers, and other community organizations to increase science achievement NCLB stated that funding will only be infused in programs backed by evidence of success in evaluating student achievement The current climate in United States education promotes research in educational programs The USDE (2009, paragraph 13) stated, researchers have scientifically proven the best ways to teach reading We must do the same in science. Americas teachers must use only research -based teaching methods and the schools must rej ect unproven fads.

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20 Education has responded to calls by NCLB and the USDE There have been many efforts to improve teaching and learning i n the secondary setting (Abrams, 1998) Continued efforts to provide research -based evidence have produced research in the areas of teaching and learning with experimental designs based on standardized testing (Anderson, 2002) In response, the National Re search Council (NRC) has pushed for greater hands -on focus in science and inquiry based instruction (NRC, 1996; NRC, 2000). The hands -on science movement started with Dewey (1910) when he called for less book learning and a shift in focus to learning throu gh experience Throughout educational history, hands -on learning has been an objective of researchers and science educators (Kimball, 1967) Lee and Krapfl (2002) stated that effective teaching utilizes a hands -on teaching methodology However, a continuou s focus on assessments and teaching to cover material as prompted by NCLB, teaching for the test can derail science education and shift focus away from teaching higher -order thinking, amount of time spent on complex assignments, and in the actual amount of high cognitive content in the curriculum (Valli, 2008, paragraph 6) Lederman (1998) argued less is more, and focusing on in-depth understanding unifies scientific concepts and leads to greater success on achievement exams The American Association fo r the Advancement of Science (AAAS), (AAAS, 1989; 1993), NRC (NRC, 1996; 2000), and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) (NSTA, 1982) agreed that when science concepts are developed effectively learners are more apt to be successful as indicate d by the levels of achievement in science content knowledge and scientific skills. The decision to teach content or conceptual understanding originated as a result of the low student achievement scores in the late 1960s Hands -on learning enhanced achievement, but the primary focus on curricula caused the teachers to overlook the minds -on approaches needed for

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21 developing student cognition (Pedersen & McCurdy, 1992) This loss of focus of educational instructional goals led science education away from hands -on approaches In 1989 the National Science Education Standards and Project 2061 (AAAS, 1989) called for greater conceptual understanding in science Lederman (1998) argued that the outcomes of the AAAS report are believed to be superior educational outco mes than the mere memorization of foundational discipline based subject matter. Once again, the hands -on conceptual understanding of overarching transferable goals came to the forefront of science education (NRC, 1996) Gardner (2006a) stated that the multi -directional approach to teaching would accommodate the most learners, and the NRC (2000) report called for inquiry -based instruction in the classrooms as an effective learning method. The NRC reports (1996; 2000) called for inquirybased methods that l ed to current reforms and an increased emphasis on inquiry in science curricula (Lederman, 1998) A strong agreement exists among the NRC, AAAS, NSTA, and NSF (National Science Foundation) on the need for inquiry -based instruction Inquiry has been identif ied as a teaching and learning method that provides learners with motivation to learn and develop skills to be successful throughout life (Dewey, 1910) NRC explained that students benefit by learning science through authentic investigations similar to tho se conducted by professional scientists In theory, with the placement of science in a context through inquiry based instruction, teachers and students begin to develop their approach to science, and this investigative learning leads to greater understandi ng (NRC, 2000) The NRC reports and Project 2061 led to the reinvention of the inquiry philosophy and increased interest in the United States educational system, producing learners with the ability to apply scientific process skills and to think critically

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22 The appeal of inquiry-based teaching for learners and educators is the provided structure of knowledge in action rather than knowledge -out -of -context (Applebee, 1996, p.30) Advancement in cognitive research and the need to educate all students have led researchers to further evaluate teaching methods (Hinrichsen & Jarrett, 1999) Gardner (2006a) stated that not all learners learn well through lecture and memorization of facts Gardner argued memorizing facts with little application and investigation may lead to learner disengagement. Developing superior ways to teach and amalgamating better ways to engage students should be a goal of every educator (NRC, 2000) This twofold approach to becoming a master teacher is difficult to consummate (Lederman, 19 98) Inquiry-based instruction contains multiple dimensions of teaching and learning and leads learners to think critically without being critical or concerned with arriving at the correct answer Inquiry -based instruction continues to focus on the ability to explain the process examined in the development of learner answers (Keil, Haney, Zoffel, 2009) Inquiry instruction places the primary learning responsibility on the student as the teacher facilitates the learners thin king (Donner & Bickley, 1993). Fu rthermore, the Standards (1996) state that inquiry is key to student understanding of science. Inquiry is a multifaceted activity that involves making observations; posing questions; examining books, and other sources of information to see what is already known; planning investigations; reviewing what is already known in light of experimental evidence; using tools to gather, analyze, and interpret data; proposing answers, explanations and predictions; and communicating the results Inquiry requires identif ication of assumptions, use of critical and logical thinking, and consideration of alternative explanations. (p. 23) Inquiry is also stated as a state of mind that of inquisitiveness by the NRC Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards [NS ES] (NRC, 2000, p. xii) Finally, the NSES stated that inquiry is not the single type of instruction to take place in a classroom but that inquiry is at

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23 the heart of all learning Agriscience educations role in inquiry based science education has been rec ognized by the NRC in a 1998 report titled Agricultures Role in K 12 Education where the agriscience, food and fiber, and environmental sectors were encouraged to engage students in the agriculture profession through involvement in an agriscience context (NRC, 1998) This report called for agriculture to actively engage students, model science as inquiry, and foster scientific interactions with educators. The National Research Agenda (NRA) (Osborne, n.d.) for agricultural education addressed the call by th e NRC and outlined areas of research importance The NRAs fifth research priority area in the section of agricultural education in schools (p.18) is to determine the effects of agricultural instruction (p.21) When enhancing agricultural education program s and student achievement and performance, the goals of science education must be considered Improved programs and student achievement will allow agriscience classrooms to implement curricula that are better suited for changing student needs The developm ent of students who are thinkers and who can respond to an ever changing world is vital to the advancement of society (Gardner, 2006a) The NRA also stressed the importance of rigorous, relevant, and standards based curriculum (p.8) The development of c urricula that expand students knowledge and critical thinking and provides positive application of content knowledge is vital to student success in the classr oom and beyond (Dewey, 1910). In its report, the Committee on Agricultural Education in Secondary Schools (NRC, 1988) called for curriculum expansion in agricultural education to include more science As a result, agricultural education started highlighting biological and physical science in the curriculum Following the committees report, several pe rception studies were conducted that measured teachers perceptions of science integration into the agricultural education curriculum

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24 (Balschweid, 2002; Balschweid & Thompson, 1999; Balschweid & Thompson, 2002; Connors & Elliot, 1994; Dyer & Osborne, 1999; Johnson & Newman, 1993; Layfield, Minor, & Waldvogel, 2001; Myers, Thoron, & Thompson, (2009); Myers & Washburn, 2008; Newman & Johnson, 1993; Peasley & Henderson, 1992; Thompson, 1998; Thompson & Balschweid, 1999; Thoron & Myers, 2009a; Welton, Harbstreit, & Borchers, 1994) A majority of the studies overwhelmingly found that teachers accepted and agreed with the need for science integration Overall, the studies also reported that teachers have positive thoughts toward a more science -based curriculum (En derlin & Osborne, 1992; Enderlin, Petrea, & Osborne, 1993; Johnson, 1996; Roegge & Russell, 1990; Whent & Leising, 1988). Early studies focused on the perceptions of integration, while current studies tend to focus on the need for more science -based curric ula Prior to the NRC (1988) report, agricultural education struggled to decide whether it should maintain a focus on vocational or academic learning Recent studies indicate that the profession agrees that the answer to the above problem is in recognizing the importance of training students prepared for the workforce, while also challenging students academically (Myers, 2004) Thoron and Myers (2009a) recently called for the profession to push ahead toward teaching agriculture as an integrated science, sim ilar to the NRC (1988) report with its call for the teaching of science through agriculture (p.5). Researchers in agricultural education (Shinn et al. 2003) connected the students willingness to learn with the teachers level of qualifications and concern for student learning Shinn et al. affirmed the importance of teachers being equipped with the ability to help students connect past knowledge and experience to new ideas Inquiry -based instruction supports the findings of Shinn et al. as a key aspect of student achievement and preparation for skill success in the classroom Inquiry-based instruction seeks to capitalize on correct student experiences and

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25 transfer those experiences to new learning situations (NRC, 2000) Therefore it could be posited that agricultural education is contributing to scientific inquiry (science education) through its s hared common science concepts. Common ground exists between agricultural education and science education in addition to enhanced student science achievement Stu dent enrollment in agriscience courses provides an additional science based course A gricultural classes commonly receive science credit toward high school graduation (Connors & Elliot, 1995; Thoron & Myers, 2008) Connors and Elliot (1995) conducted a stu dy that compared ninth grade agriscience students achievement scores to nonagriscience peers and found agriscience students scored higher on the states standardized tests Chiasson and Burnett (2001) conducted a similar study in Louisiana and found comp arable results. Both sets of researchers concluded that students enrolled in the agriscience curriculum contributed to the enhancement of student scores on the states standardized assessments Researchers also concluded that agriscience should be recogniz ed as a contributor to students level of achievement in science. Thompson (1998) studied the results of agriscience in public schools and concluded that the integration of science will academically strengthen vocational courses and make academic courses more relevant (p. 77). Thoron and Myers (2008) called agriscience the integrated science and challenged agriscience teachers to better utilize learning laboratories and to reflect on teaching methods Thoron and Myers declared that the natural critical th inking applications that agriculture presents have the potential for a unique, contextual, inquirybased focus in learning Bringing student learning forward in the agriscience classroom and allowing students to direct thoughts toward the identification of problems remain important places to begin the integrated science concept Potential ways to solve the problems and methods which effectively communicate the

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26 importance of the situation is becoming increasingly important to the sciences and the conduct of research. The natural fit of inquiry -based instruction and science integration in agriculture is not a new concept Agricultural education has historically been taught through an inquiry approach. Osborne (1989) was one of the first to react to the NRCs c all for more science integration Yet, other research conducted in agriscience utilized the problem -solving (PS) approach or problem based learning strategies (PBL) Problem solving and PBL are types of constructs within the inquiry approach However, agr icultural education has been slow to react to the call for an expanded use of inquiry -based instruction broadly defined by peers in science education. However, lack of or little evidence of a title in a journal does not signify lack of focus Hawkins (1990) described a loop in history as education expands and develops integration of new teaching and learning techniques Hawkins stated that integration takes time; with each study the loop expands and then becomes accepted in the profession. As with any innovation, change is slow (Kirton, 2003) Bringing about the next innovation includes finding researchbased evidence to deliver the science content within agriculture that is supportive of the NRA Therefore, the need for research to be conducted at the local level to move the profession further into science integration with an inquiry -based focus is vital (Schunk, 2000). A continued need exists for all elective subjects, including agriculture, to demonstrate value and contributions to student achievement in core subjects such as science (Odden, 1991) Studies have shown that agriscience students are more successful in science scores than students not enrolled in agriscience education (Conners & Elliot 1995; Chiasson & Burnett 2001) One could purport an expanded effort must be conducted by all elective subjects to document the

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27 contributions to student achievement in the areas of math, reading, and science Those results must be communicated to school administrators. Currently, curriculum decisions remain at the local school district level, even with No Child -Left Behind legislation (NCLB) (NCES, 2006) Curricular decisions are of greater importance each year to further science integration at the local level (Thoron & Myers, 2008) Thoron and Myers (2008) indica ted local control and shared input from teachers nationwide will help bring an agriscience focus to fruition. Greenfield (1996) found ethnicity, gender, and attitudes toward science have effects on the students selection of science electives Greenfield s tated that a need exists to infuse science in other curricular areas to enable students to build science knowledge out of the core structure of identified science courses. Agriscience students should exhibit a working knowledge and foundation of science co ncepts and processes to be successful (Myers, 2004) in the industry and to perform well on achievement tests (NRC, 1998) Several studies provide a knowledge base for the use of science process skills and student achievement in agriscience (Dyer & Osborne, 1996; Flowers & Osborne, 1988; Myers & Dyer, 2004) In addition, Keil, Haney, and Zoffel (2009) stated that inquiry -based instruction leads to higher process skills in their sevenyear study of envir onmental health PBL curricula. The need to develop a working foundation in science expands beyond the secondary level Lawson (1992a) stated that students in collegiate biology courses do not use formal reasoning patterns, which include the ability to develop hypotheses, control variables, and design an experim ental protocol skills crucial in the scientific process Seymour and Hewitt (1997) reported that students identified poor secondary education in the area of scientific reasoning as the reason for their difficulty in college classes utilizing reasoning sk ills Others have reported

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28 that learners have difficulty distinguishing evidence with bias/fairness (Baron, 1991; Perkins, Farady, & Bushey, 1991; Toplak & Stanovich, 2003). Standardized tests and traditional lecture-based teaching are creating learners that lack the ability to develop arguments with adequate evidence (Baron 1991; Cerbin, 1988; Perkins et al., 1991) Learners are now less likely to link evidence with claims (Kuhn, 1992; 1993a; 1993b; Shaw, 1996) An examination of these characteristics toge ther leads one to conclude that learners are not being effectively prepared for post -secondary e ducation or workplace careers. The acquisition of scientific reasoning and argumentation skills does not call for a lack of focus on content knowledge Means an d Voss (1996) stated that reasoning skills and content knowledge are related Learners who demonstrate advance argumentation skills tend to score at a higher level on content knowledge exams (Perkins, Allen, & Hafner, 1983). However, traditional teaching m ethods are not satisfying the needs of individuals entering careers in agriculture, attending major universities, or pursuing other postsecondary education endeavors Employees in a highly competitive market must have the ability to reason and provide deve loped arguments for or against the conclusions they reached as they are solving problems (NRC, 1996) The NRC (2000) stated that inquiry -based instruction is the optimal tool to provide students with the ability to transfer knowledge to real -world applicat ions Educators must focus on creating learners who can think their way through a real -life problem, engage in the curriculum, and ask questions of their peers to expand thinking beyond the context of what they were taught to remember in high school. Stude nt engagement is oftentimes a limiting factor to student success, and far too many educators find students unmotivated to learn and strive for success (NRC, 2000) The use of inquiry -based learning supports student instructor interaction (Donner & Bickley, 1993) Shinn

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29 et al. (2003) stated the use of inquirybased instruction becomes more engaging for the students, while the NSES stated that inquiry learning created active student engagement during the learning process (Anderson, 2002) According to the NSES, inquiry is something that students do, not something that is done to them (NSES, 2000, p.2) Inquiry is a range of activities with several stages of active learner participation (NSES, 2000) Furthermore, Myers, Dyer, and Breja (2003) indicated that s cience integration aided recruitment efforts in successful secondary agricultural programs Inquiry and agriscience integration could prepare an engaged student with a solid foundation in science (Shinn et. al, 2003) Statement of Problem The National Aca demy of Sciences (NRC, 1996) called for a shift away from traditional prescriptive methods of instruction and a movement toward inquiry instruction. Continued progress to provide evidence that agriculture contains science in secondary classrooms across the nation must be supported by emerging research that calls attention to this matter As agriscience education integrates more science concepts, the teaching methods utilized in science educ ation need to be investigated. Current standardized testing provides a basis in which teaching methods can shift the focus from teaching for a test to teaching students how to interact positively with test objectives All 50 states have adopted a variety of testing and accountability programs (Council of Chief State School Officers, 2002) Many teachers find direct instruction a feasible way to prepare students for standardized tests (Wideen, OShea, Pye, & Ivany, 1997) The NRC (2000) stated that active methods and inquiry better prepare students not only for assessments but also connect experience to real -world applications However, teachers feel a time pressure commitment to progress through required textbooks and exam guides to satisfy testing requirements Furthermore, teachers are reluctant to implement instructional practices that they perceive are not helpful in

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30 addressing required content (Flick, Keys, Westbrook, Crawford, & Carnes, 1997) Costenson and Lawson (1986) interviewed teachers and cited teachers unwillingness to utilize inquiry due to the amount of class hours spent on objectives, followed by preparation time and energy in developing inquiry skills with students Lederman (1998) stated that it is not the lack of teachers willingness to change, but argued the problem is the training the teachers receive i n inqui rybased teaching techniques. The National Academy of Sciences (NRC, 1996) called for more student -centered classrooms and more student -centered activities, while Anderson (2002) stated that inquirybased instruction is accepted as good teaching and learning The problem this study investigated was the continuing lag in student science achievement scores (USDE, 2009) by United States secondary school students and the need to determine if and how secondary agricultural education programs can help addr ess this national concern. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of teaching method on argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and student content knowledge achievement of high school agriscience students The speci fic hypotheses and objectives of this research are as follows: Statement of Objectives 1. Describe the ethnicity, gender, year in school, and soci o-economic status of high school agriscience students. 2. Ascertain the effects of inquiry based instruction on s tudent argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and content knowledge achievement of high school agriscience students. 3. Examine the relationship between content knowledge achievement, argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, ethnicity, gender, year in school, and soci o-economic status of high school agriscience students

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31 Statement of Hypotheses For the purpose of statistical analysis, the research questions were posed as null hypotheses All null hypotheses were tested at the .05 level of signifi cance. Ho1 There is no significant difference in student content knowledge achievement based upon the teaching method. HA1 Students taught using inquiry -based methods will achieve higher scores on content knowledge assessments than students taught by prescriptive methods Ho2 There is no significant difference in student argumentation skills based upon the teaching method. HA2 Students taught using inquiry -based methods will achieve superior argumentation skills than students taught using prescr iptive methods Ho3 There is no significant difference in student scientific reasoning based upon the teaching method. HA3 Students taught using inquiry -based methods will achieve higher scientific reasoning scores than students taught using prescr iptive methods Significance of the Study This study has significance for the National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy (NATAA) teachers and the NATAA teacher training program. NATAA is a training program developed for agriscience teachers in the United States Each year select agriscience teachers participate in a week long intensive inquiry-based workshop to develop strong methods for use in their classroom and training of other agriscience teachers. This study provides information on the effecti veness of inquiry-based instruction for school based agriscience education across the United States Agriscience teachers across the country and internationally will find the study useful in the selection of teaching methods The results of this study coul d assist agricultural educators by identifying the key to adapting curriculum to inquiry-based instruction and the role of professional development on student

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32 achievement in agriscience Agricultural educators will benefit from results of this study since the study aids in the preservice preparation program in the sele ction of teaching methodology. Curriculum developers in agricultural education will be interested in the results since this study will address the selection of teaching methods and curriculum development in agriscience Agriscience students may be affected by the increase of inquiry-based instruction through their engagement in inquiry -based curriculum This dissertation study addresses a critical gap in the literature and indicates few studies have investigated successful integration of inquiry-based instruction in agricultural education This study could contribute to the design of curricula that target inquiry in education This study will help provide a model of inquiry-based instruction in school -based agriscience education. Finally, this study answers the call by the NRA and comes at a time when there is an increasing need to raise awareness and position of agricultural education as a contributor to improving student learning. Definition o f Terms The following terms are operationally defined for the purpose and use of this study: Argumentation skill: the ability to develop statements that provide support for a conclusion (Halpern, 1989) In this study argumentation skill was defined as the score on a scoring rubric Agricultural education: a term used to represent the profession of teaching students in the agriculture industry from the production, transportation, processing, marketing, managing, and consuming of food, fiber, and natural r esources Content Knowledge : subject matter tested following treatment which measures the level of correct responses from content presented in class from the instructor Content Knowledge Achievement : the level of correct responses on the content kno wledge test administered following the treatment. In this study content knowledge is determined through an electronic multi -choice exam using CSAT Tracker. Ethnicity : in this study students were categorized as White, Black, or Hispanic.

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33 Inquiry : a multif aceted activity that involved making observations; posing questions; examining books and other sources of information to see what is already known; planning investigations; reviewing what is already known in light of experimental evidence; using tools to g ather, analyze, and inte rpret data; proposing answers, explanations, and predictions; and communicating the results (NRC, 1996, p. 23). Inquiry -based learning: a way of acquiring knowledge through the process of inquiry (Hebrank, 2000) CAERT lesson plan s were provided to the teacher with modification by the researcher to adapt the lessons for inquiry-based learning. Prescriptive methods : teacher provides step by step methods; the teacher is the sole source of knowledge, authority, providing clear step-by-step directions This study utilized CAERT lesson plans with researcher providing clear step by-step directions for the teacher to follow specific teaching techniques Scientific reasoning : the use of the scientific method, inductive, and deductive rea soning to develop and test hypothesis The L CTSR by Lawson (1978) was used to measure scientific reasoning of participants. Subject matter approach: an expository teaching strategy in which the teacher assumes full responsibility in the determination of how subject matter will be learned (Flowers 1986) The use of Rosenshine and Stevens (1986) six step model for this approach which includes a daily review, presentation of new material, student practice (guided), formative assessment, independent student pr actice, and reviews. Limitations of the Study The conclusions and implications drawn from this study are subject to the following limitations: The data are limited to the purposively selected students of teachers participating in the National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador program Therefore, results cannot be generalized beyond the population of this study. The results are limited to the extent that the content of the instruction was common to all agricultural programs in the sample. Assumptions of the Study The following assumptions were made for the purposes of this study: The students involved in the study perform to the best of their ability.

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34 Measured variables such as argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and content knowledge are accurately identified. Teachers deliver the inquiry/prescriptive treatments accurately The researcher has verified through audio recordings to determine that methods were delivered to the extent possible. Chapter Summary This chapter has provided evidence that suc cessful teaching and learning are important to the success of education in public schools across the United States The focus of this study is to determine the effects of inquiry -based instruction on argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and student content knowledge achievement. Inquiry-based instruction is nationally promoted through the National Research Council as an effective teaching method that promotes learners to develop content, pr ocedural, and thinking skills. Inquiry -based instruction is a ccepted by practicing teachers as an effective method Inquiry -based instruction is underutilized in classrooms because there is a lack of clarity and familiarity in the adoption of the techniques unique to inquiry-based instruction. Teachers identify the time of changing their curriculum and learning the methods as major barriers to the utilization of the inquiry method. Theory and research suggested that inquiry based instruction create better learners through authentic experiences, yet little research in agricultural education examined the effect of inquiry based instruction on student achievement This study examined the effect of inquiry-based instruction as compared to a traditional teaching approach. Students were assessed on knowledge assessments, sc ientific reasoning, and argumentation skills to fully determine the effects of inquiry -based instruction in school -based agricultural education. The significance of the study was to begin development of a model for inquiry-based integration in the agriscie nce curriculum The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of

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35 teaching method on argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and student content knowledge level achievement of high school agriscience students Terms are identified in the chapter limitations and assumptions are recognized in the chapter The following chapter will describe the theoretical and conceptual framework of this study Additionally, chapter two will present the literature that serves as the basis for this study

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36 CHAPT ER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE Chapter one described the justification for measuring the effect of inquiry-based instruction in school -based agricultural education. The principal focus of this study was to determine the effects of inquiry -based instruction on s tudent argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and content knowledge achievement. This chapter describes the theoretical and conceptual frameworks that guided the study Furthermore, this chapter represents the salient research relevant to this study. The review of literature focused on empirical research in the following areas: foundations of inquiry, inquirybased instruction, levels of inquiry, inquiry in agriculture, argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and content knowledge achievement. Theo retical Model Guiding the Study Figure 1 depicts the conceptual model used to guide this study and explain inquiry-based instruction The model represents the interactions taking place in an inquiry -based classroom There is a significant amount of student to student interaction during inquiry -based instruction (IBI). Students will draw upon each others experiences during the inquiry. There is also the social and cultural context that occurs during inquiry-based instruction When using IBI learners will de velop a better understating of how to communicate with peer learners who have a different background than theirs (NRC, 2000) The social -cultural interactions that students have during this teaching method may lead to better communication skill sets and apprec iation for different opinions. Inquiry -based instruction promotes student to teacher contact As in many cases, the teacher will act as the facilitator and aid the learners thinking, thus explaining the instructor -to student role seen in Figure 2-1 A nother portion of the model is teacher preparation, skill, and

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37 knowledge During inquiry -based instruction the teacher does not need to be aware of all the potential correct answers The teacher does need to facilitate learning, have a strong foundation, a nd know where to guide students to find the correct answers during their inquiry (NRC, 2000) Finally, the goal of the study was to utilize all interactions of inquiry -based instruction of the model and measure the effectiveness of the inquiry method in ar gumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and knowledge -based achievement. Figure 2-1. Theoretical model for the effects of inquiry-based instruction. Constructivism Constructivism is the guiding philosophical perspective used in this study. The construct ivist approach to teaching and learning has been highlighted in research and in practice in numerous educational contexts (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000; Hamlin, 1992; Lampert, 1992; Myers & Dyer, 2006; Newcomb, McCracken, & Warmbrod, 1993; NRC, 2000; Phipps,

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38 Osborne, Dyer, & Ball, 2008; Schunk, 2004) Constructivism is not universally accepted as a theory (Fosnot, 1996; Schunk, 2004; Simpson, 2002; Staver, 1998); however, teaching and learning experts agree constructivism is rooted in Piagets Theory of Cognitive Development and Vygotskys Sociocultural Theory (Fosnot; Schunk) Schunk stated (p. 285), the rise of constructivism has been theory and research in human development, especially the the ories of Piaget and Vygotsky. Simpson (2002) reported that constructivism is not a theory by strict definition but rather an epistemology or philosophical explanation with a focus on the nature of learning As an epistemology, constructivism is concerned with the role of the learner and teacher as a facilitato r Constructivism incorporates cognitive theories that place emphasis on learners information processing as a central cause of learning, yet constructivism digs deeper to capture the complexity of human learning (Schunk, 2004) Constructivism shifts the f ocus from how knowledge is acquired to how it [knowledge] is constructed (Schunk, p. 285) Piagets Theory of Cognitive Development (1972) and Vygotskys Sociocultural Theory (1978) combined to form the theoretical basis for the study undertaken from a constructiv ist philosophical perspective. Piagets Theory of Cognitive Development depends on biological maturation, experience with the physical environment, experience with the social environment, and equilibration. Biological maturation is the factor o f a learner maturing with age, experience with the physical environment refers to the learners interaction and experience within a given learning situation, experience with the social environment refers to the learners interaction between peer learners a nd instructors, and equilibration refers to an adaptation between cognitive structures and the environment (Duncan, 1995) Piaget proposed that learners organize their knowledge into

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39 schemes and process learning through adapting these schemes to interpret new experiences When learners encounter new experiences they attempt to understand by assimilating the new experience into previous knowledge schema to a point of cognitive equili brium (Phillps, et al., 2008). Piagets theory has four distinct stages and suggests that learners pass through each stage in a fixed sequence. Piagets stages often have an age associated with them, but the age should not be equated with stage (Schunk, 2000) Piagets four stages of cognitive development are sensorimotor, preoper ational, concrete operational, and formal operational During the learners sensorimotor stage they attempt to understand the world with present actions In the preoperational stage of cognitive development one acquires the ability to imagine the future and reflect on the past but remain focused on the present Distinguishing fantasy from reality is difficult, but a realization develops that other people may think and believe differently than they do (Schunk). The third and fourth stages are of greater inte rest to this study and agricultural education In the third stage, concrete operational, individuals develop the ability to think logically, reverse operations, and interpret multiple characteristics Learners in the concrete operational stage can solve problems, describe relationships, classify, order, and understand time and space as long as they involve familiar objects or situations Learners in the concrete operational stage lack the ability to think abstractly However, in Piagets final stage, formal operational, individuals develop the ability to reason about abstract concepts and develop hypo theses (Phipps, et al., 2008). Piagets theory is accepted to describe the constructivist theory through the belief that people learn by interacting with their environment, peer learners, and instructors, and by

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40 transforming those experiences into their schema through assimilation (Phipps, et al., 2008) Constructivism is rooted in the learners view that interacts with their previous experiences, environment, and people (Fosnot, 1996) John Dewey (1902) stressed in order for students knowledge to grow they must interact wi th their pervious experiences. Vygotskys Sociocultural Theory is a foundational theory of constructivism that focuses on the social environme nt as a facilitating portion of learning (Schunk, 2004) Vygotsky argued that humans have the ability to alter their environment for their own purposes (Schunk) through language and social interaction (Tudge & Scrimsher, 2003) Vygotskys theory stresses t he interaction of interpersonal skills that create meaningful learning and stimulate development of cognitive growth through a context (Schunk) Meece (2002) suggested that Vygotskys theory places social interactions in a pivotal role in knowledge constru ction Social interactions may come in the form as student -to -student interactions, teacher -to -student interactions, and student to teacher interactions Next, Vygotsky contended that social interactions lead to self -regulation of actions and mental operat ions through the use of tools (symbols and language) Finally, the zone of proximal development (discussed more in -depth later in this chapter) is the difference between what learners do on their own and the assistance that learners need from others (Meece ; Schunk) In this study, assistance in cognitive development is provided by the agriscience teacher. Vygotskys Sociocultural Theory provides a framework for the constructivist portion of this study The theory provides a foundation for social learning be tween individuals in the classroom environment, learning in a context, and the teacher in assuming a facilitating role for the learners Piagets theory has similar implications and adds to the richness of constructivism

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41 through the acknowledgement of lear ners experiences and the learners ability to adopt and adapt ne w knowledge into their schema. Constructivist theory maintains continued growth in applications of teaching and learning (Phipps, et al., 2008; Schunk, 2000) Constructivist theory states that learners are actively involved in their learning and construction of new knowledge based on prior knowledge and experiences (Schunk) Dewey (1916) described, what is later accepted as constructivism, as the creation of meaningful learning when learners draw upon their current knowledge within a context and build on that understanding when experiencing a new construct Though Dewey never uses the term constructivism Fosnot (2005) recognized Dewey as an earlier constructivist. Doolittle and Camp (1999) identify constructivism as an emerging theory that does not have a unitary position but is rather based on a continuum In their review of literature they identified three broad categories of constructivism: cognitive constructivism, social constructivism, and radical constructivism This study aligns with cognitive constructivism, which allows for some structure to be provided by the teachers and states that all knowledge is not subjective (there is truth, and there is a right and wrong) and mental structures take place within a knowable reality Doolittle and Camp stated that cognitive constructivism is a process of building internal models or representations that accurately correspond to processes and structures that exist in the real world (c ognitive const ructivism, 1). Aspects of constructivist theory can be traced back to Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, because they all spoke of the formation of knowledge Yager (1991) credits Giambatista Vico as the first constructivist philosopher in 1710. Vico believ ed knowing comes through the ability to explain (Yager) Immanual Kant built on Vicos foundation in the 18th century and stated that recipients of information are not passive Kant argued that learners actively take knowledge,

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42 connect it to previous knowledge, and create their own knowledge through interpretation (Cheek, 1992) John Locke stated that no mans knowledge goes beyond his experience, while Kant described logical analysis leading to growth of knowledge founded in individual experience Locke an d Kant both agreed that experiences develop new knowledge (Brooks & Brooks, 1993). Constructivism philosophy is generally credited to Jean Piaget (18961980) Prior to that Henrich Pestalozzi (17461827) stated that the educational process is a natural dev elopment of children and their sensory influences Pestalozzi argued that children utilize senses rather than words, and therefore labeled rote learning as mindless (Fabricius, 1983) Piaget was the first to provide a foundation for modern day constructivi sm Piagets view toward constructivism consisted of organization and adaptation. Piaget believed that people organize their thoughts to make sense, and that they separate their important thoughts from less important thoughts New ideas and experiences the n provide further information that either assimilates or eliminates what they already have experienced (Berger, 1978) Fosnot (1996) stated that elaborations and relationships during meaningful learning occur between old and new ideas and develop into a pa rt of the learners memory as learners actively construct new information into their existing framework. Constructivist theory in education consists of two basic ideas First, constructivist theory in the educational context is the belief that the learner must construct knowledge Secondly, constructivist theory contends that the teacher cannot supply the knowledge for the learner (Bringuier, 1980) but the teacher can provide context (Phipps, et al., 2008) Learner construction of knowledge leads the constr uctivist approach to emphasize the active role of the learner in building and understanding their cognition (Jonassen, 1991) with the teacher assuming a fac ilitating role (Schunk, 2004).

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43 Constructivism stresses the interactions between learners and their environment (Crotty, 1998), learners and learners, (Brooks & Brooks, 1993) and instructors and learners (Crotty; Fosnot, 1996) embedded in a context (Brooks & Brooks) The interactions between people and the environment encourage learners to develop their own understanding of knowledge (Brooks & Brooks) Constructivism states that students are actively engaged in developing and enacting their conceptualizations by working together in their learning environment Learners perceptions and interpretations of their epistemological beliefs are guided by prior knowledge and experiences Students come into a learning environment with some beliefs and attitudes about their learning situation and the context of the investigation that have been developed through an experience (NRC, 2000; Richardson, 1996) Learners then expand their knowledge based on the new experiences they encounter in their learning environment (Bringuier, 1980) Doolittle and Camp (1999) stated that constructivism has both social an d independent le arner aspects. Brooks and Brooks (1993) and Fosnot (1996) stated that constructivism is not a theory about teaching but a theory about knowledge, thinking, and learning. Brooks and Brooks developed a list of characteristics for use in an educational teachi ng and learning context In a constructivist approach teachers should encourage students to make informed decisions, skillfully use variables in teaching, use cognitive terms during teaching, engage in a dialog between students and between the teacher and students, ask open-ended and follow up questions, encourage student use of metaphors, and utilize the learning cycle Brooks and Brooks described constructivist inquiry as an approach where the teacher poses a question or a problem situation to students an d allows the students to gather data and test their conclusions Doolittle and Camp (1999) stated that the role of the teacher is to create experiences in which students will be lead to

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44 appropriate knowledge acquisition Brandt (1992) added that constructi vism engages students in authentic tasks to produce knowledge that promotes application of information and builds learning communities that encourage learning through critical thinking and problem solving. Glaserfeld (1995) argued that constructivism is no t a stimulus response phenomenon, and learners do not regurgitate content Concepts, models, and theories are viable contexts in the constructivist approach to teaching and learning (Glaserfeld, 1996) The role of the teacher is not to dispense knowledge b ut to facilitate learning as students build their investigations (Glaserfeld), guide the learners, and help them make sense of manipulatives (Mayer, 1996) This role of the teacher creates a paradigm of process and not product (Fosnot, 1996) Zahorik (1995) stated the constructivist model is best suited for higher order thinking skills, understanding cause and effect, and fully engagin g students in their learning. The constructivist view assumes that students are active reorganizers of their experiences (Wo od, Cobb, & Yackel, 1991) Constructivist views also assume that members of a group establish ideas cooperatively (Blumer, 1969) These views are in conflict with traditional approaches that regard learning as following explicit rules or fixed objectives ( Harrison, 1992; Harrison, & Treagust 2001) Harrison argued that constructivists recognize that students must be given opportunities to construct knowledge and assimilate ac curate understanding. Phipps et al. (2008) stated constructivism has long been prac ticed in agricultural education and noted that recent studies found constructivist approaches to be effective in creating higher student motivation throughout the learning process More research is called for on constructivist approaches (Muijs, 2005; Phipps et al., 2008; Schunk, 2000) due to changing student interactions and preferred methods of learning.

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45 Phipps et al. (2008, p. 224225) stated the following principles apply to constructivist theory: Students are active learners. Learning is in search of meaning. Learning is social (student to student; teacher to student; student to teacher). Teachers need a foundation in learning theory to guide the learners cognitive processes. Learning is promoted through a context. Learning requires a holistic understanding of the lesson or unit. Learners are empowered to discover, create, and reflect for understanding to create a deeper understanding. Constructivism is a philosophy with deep roots in the understanding of humans and their teaching and learning process Constructivism in the context of teaching promotes students to think, create, and be engaged in the learning process Inquiry Inquiry -based learning is a combination of behaviorism, constructivism, and contextual learning Using these educational theori es creates a method in which to solve problems and create a unique way of learning Behaviorism provides guiding objectives/learning outcomes first developed through Blooms taxonomy (1956) Constructivist teaching utilizes objectives to guide discussion through the use of a learning context However, the constructivist portion of inquiry -based learnings goal is cognitive development and deeper understanding of the contextual learning process through a structural change in understanding (Fosnot, 2005). Fou ndations of Inquiry Because their knowledge has been achieved in connection with the needs of specific situations, men of little book learning are often able to put to effective use every ounce of knowledge they possess; while men of vast erudition are often swamped by the mere bulk

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46 of their learning, because memory, rather than thinking, has been operative in obtaining it. John Dewey, p. 53 (1910). John Dewey, a former science teacher, well known philosopher, and highly regarded individual by the agri cultural education profession, thought the emphasis on simple knowledge level learning was a serious shortfall of education at the turn of the twentieth century. Dewey raised major concerns with simple book learning and called for education to focus on l earner outcomes that are based upon inquiry (Dewey, 1910) Dewey became the first to question the role of the scientific methods use in schools (Barrow, 2006) Barrow (2006) stated Dewey believed learners needed the ability to encompass their personal knowledge and the scientific method prevented learners to develop epistemology Dewey (1916) called for learners to address questions to which they sought answers and apply them to perceptible experiences Dewey introduced a democratic model for learning that outlined the role of the learner and the teacher (Dewey, 1938) In Deweys publication, Science in Secondary Education, he argued that the learners should take a leading role in their own learning process, and teachers should facilitate learning (Dewey, 1 938) Dewey later modified his approach for utilizing the scientific method in teaching (Barrow, 2006) In his publication Democracy in Education, Dewey (1916) outlined the steps in the scientific method, or reflective thinking as he called it, as present ation of the problem (or inquiry), formation of a hypothesis, collection of data during the experiment, a nd formulation of a conclusion. Dewey criticized the subject -matter approach to education as being an approach that only transfers current knowledge and skills to the next generation (Dewey, 1938) He argued that simply transferring knowledge level recall items in the educational system does not allow for application of learning in situations that learners will encounter in later life If learners are on ly asked to recall facts and details about specific learning events in their schooling, they will be

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47 unable to investigate and solve problems in the future Dewey (1938) believed that without inquiry in education the educational system would create learner s who could follow a developed conformity Without inquiry and investigation through learning experiences Dewey felt that teachers simply become communicators of rules and develop ways to enforce conduct Furthermore, he believed that learning is dependent on the acquisition of new knowledge, expansion of skills, and development of responsibilities for success in life Dewey (1938, p. 20) stated, there is an intimate and necessary relation between the process of actual experience and education. Jean Piag ets theory of cognitive development supplements inquiry because the theory states that learners develop over time (Otto, 1979) Piaget and Dewey both identified that learning is initiated from within the learner Piagets theory of cognitive development e xplained the cognitive proces s from infancy to young adult. Each of Piagets stages of cognitive development addresses the mental development of children and assigns ages to each stage If the stages of cognitive development are placed in the context of in quiry -based learning they explain the processes students use to develop inquiry skills Removal of age associations with stages, in Piagets theory, and transferring the principles to an inquiry context allows for the foundation of inquiry -based instructio n The stages of the inquiry process were formally developed years later, but they are related to Piagets th eory of cognitive development. Piaget stated that learning does not develop in a smooth continuum yet there are points that move thinking into new areas and capacity of the learner (Satterly, 1987) When inquiry is introduced for the first time in a classroom, learners will begin to utilize the scientific method During the preoperational stage of inquiry, learners practice their new method of learni ng and

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48 become proficient in scientific process utilization Learners then develop relationships between their investigations and those of their classmates Finally, inquiry reaches Piagets formal operational stage when learners critique their peers inqui ries, draw conclusions on their learning, and transfer the knowledge gained to further develop their original inquiry or transfer their knowledge to other learning situations. Rogoff (1993) stated Dewey and Vygotsky have a similar body of work, but there i s little research that merges their ideas Glassman (2001) stated that Dewey and Vygotsky believed in connecting everyday activities into the classroom in a social context and that learners understood through activity and guided learning. Vygotsky and Dewe y differ on the role of the teacher and learners Vygotsky believed the teacher should establish the role of a mentor and guide learners through active mentoring When teachers become active mentors they direct students thoughts and help them develop thei r process to obtain the answers to their inquiry Dewey believed the teacher should facilitate learning, allowing the activity to develop its own structure When a teacher assumes the facilitating role they are placed as a learner and also the role of prov iding learners with the ability to obtain materials necessary to answer their inquiry (National Research Council [NRC], 2000) Both Vygotsky and Dewey represent constructivist views Vygotsky identified cognitive constructivism views, where Dewey believed in social constructivism. Another difference between Dewey and Vygotsky was their beliefs about the initiation of inquiry Vygotsky believed that human inquiry is embedded within culture, which is embedded within social history (Glassman, 2001, p. 3) He also believed that culture presents problems to be solved, leading to inquiry which produces results for the societal influence Dewey believed inquiry is developed within the learner, and the process used to draw a conclusion is more

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49 important than the problem solution itself Dewey also emphasized inquiry developed culture (Glassman, 2001). If blended, Vygotsky and Deweys views would begin to build the foundation for the levels of inquiry-based instruction. It is possible that society drives inquiry and creates a reaction to a problem An example is the search to find a cure for cancer On the other hand, inquiry can be developed within the learner An example is the creation of the computer Society functioned without the computer but an inquiry into the development of a machine that could add numbers was developed, leading to computer technology. Another key issue separating these two theorists is the models each developed (Glassman, 2001) Deweys project model and Vygotskys zone of proximal developme nt are at the heart of their differences Vygotsky stated adults mentor children in an activity (Berk & Winsler, 1995) and the role of the process is to prepare children for more complex activity (Glassman, 2001 p. 4) Dewey stated that learners are inun dated with inquiry topics, and learners will develop a social interest in a topic of their choosing (Glassman, 2001) Dewey (1916) stated they should determine their own goals and ways to meet their goals, adding this process plays out every day in life D ewey did not intend that the teacher provide no starting direction, thus creating a free for all in the classroom (Dewey, 1916) Dewey believed that learners would bring an experience into the educational environment, further their experience through inves tigation, reflect, and build a new schema based on new knowledge created fr om their combined experiences. Vygotsky also valued a similar approach but believed that the role of the teacher is to mentor learners. Through his work a four stage model develope d by Tharp and Gallimore (1988) During stage I, the teacher is more capable than the learners and acts as a coach (See Figure 2 -2). In stage I the teacher encourages students and acts as a guide for their learning The

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50 teacher may ask questions including, What can I help you with? Stage II learners look to peers for further understanding and begin to develop their own structure to understand phenomena After stage II learners have developed a capacity to solve problems on their own During stage III lea rners are able to internalize and reflect on their learning, leading them to stage IV and the development of a acceptable conclusion or a new inquiry Tharp and Gallimore (1988) pointed out that once learners have reached stage IV, they may revert to stage II with a new or more fully developed inquiry. Each theorist believed in social interactions Dewey believed the inquiry process would lead to new knowledge. Vygotsky believed that society would drive inquiry and result in new knowledge Dewey argued, i t is not that the means justify the ends, but that the means are the ends (Glassman, 2001 p. 6) Dewey believed the role of the teacher is to facilitate, not to say that teachers should not have an awareness of possible goals, but rather that they should regard these goals as possibilities (Glassman, 2001 p. 6) Furthermore, Vygotsky (1987) stated that free inquiry is not the goal because culture will develop inquiry that is appropriate Glassman (2001) found the two are very similar, but Dewey took a bottom up approach (starting with learners and their experience), and Vygotsky chose a top-down approach (starting with society affecting inquiry modeled in a mentoring process). Combining Deweys and Vygotskys approaches led to current inquiry -based in structional practices Inquiry-based instruction should not be contingent on the belief that either society affects inquiry or inquiry affects society Inquiry-based instruction is reliant on learner experience and relationships with peers and their teache rs The goal of inquiry -based instruction is to develop thinkers who can transfer knowledge to situations in their lives (NRC, 2000)

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51 Figure 22. Tharp and R. Gallimore (1989). Rousing schools to life (p.35). Dewey (1916) stated that thinking needs t o be continually reconstructed to meet the needs of a different situation Vygotsky (1987,1994, 1997) stated that experience comes from an individuals understanding and is found in associations developed through direct experiences Concepts, learning obje ctives, and standardized education are key elements in the current United States educational system Educational objectives and standardized tests are both thought of as behavioral concepts in education. Development of inquirybased instruction must, there fore, acknowledge behavior in the thinking process This can be accomplished through the levels of inquiry Developing the need for the teacher to act as a mentor, and at times as a facilitator, in the learning environment will provide learners with the kn owledge level connections needed for success on standardized testing (NRC, 2000) This role of the teacher and learners in a constructivist educational context incorporates both Dewey and Vygotskys principles (Anderson, 2002).

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52 Developing learners to think about their experience, develop an experience with mentorship or without mentorship, and reflect on their new experience will lead the mind to inquiry Interest is vital to inquiry -based instruction, inquiry leads to student motivation (Vygotsky, 1997), and learners will seek to discover answers (Dewey, 1916) Motivation can be developed through the learner recognizing what is of interest (Deweys belief) or may be brought on by society or the teacher creating learning situations and interactions (Vygotsk ys belief) Both approaches lead to inquiry -based instruction built around levels of inquiry Testing and the Impact on Inquiry Spady (1994) noted that during the late 1940s America found itself moving away from Deweys progressive movement and toward a focus on standardized testing This return to a content focus supported a focus on standardized testing The federal government provided funding for the development for the Educational Testing Service (ETS) (Spady, 1994), and ETS set the foundation for sta ndardized testing as the basis of measuring student success and admission to higher edu cation. During the late 1950s through the 1970s, Sputnik and the nuclear arms race caused the United States to question the delivery of science education (Barrow, 2006) Sputnik and the nuclear arms race placed science at the forefront of the United States success in the world and led to the passage of the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) of 1958. The NDEA provided federal aid to produce more teachers and reassert a focus on academic fundamentals (Sufrin, 1963) in the areas of science, math, and core academics (Foster 1997). In addition, the NDEA provided funding for vocational education (Gordon, 2008) However, the act called for separate funding for vocational educ ation and core academics NDEAs slight change in funding lead to vocational education being left out of strategies to reinvent secondary education (Foster, 1997) Vocational education was separated from providing

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53 contextual content and process skills tha t supported core academics These shifts in attention and perception, away from the hands -on approach, led to enrollment decline in vocational education (Foster, 1997). The NDEA provided science education with two arguments the inquiry focus and the cont ent focus Hurd (1961) argued for two major aims of science teaching: knowledge and enterprise Hurd stated that the focus of science courses should develop learners with a command of the concepts and principles through demonstrating the ability to utilize their knowledge Earlier, Schwab (1945) identified the nature of science as important in science education. Schwab (1945) stated that science knowledge has empirical and irrevocable truths Schwabs movement began the shift away from what scientists know to how scientists know (McComas, 1998 p. 8) Schwab (1958) argued science should illustrate both process and products of science, and inquiry learning should be used to accumulate learner knowledge. Portions of the NDEA caused a collision of inquiry and content knowledge Barrow (2006, p 266) stated Schwab (1960) described two types of inquiry: stable (growing body of knowledge) and fluid (invention of new conceptual structures that revolutionize science), clearly stating both forms can and should exi st Schwab (1966) stated that scientists change conceptual structures when new evidence is presented Therefore, learners should continually revise new information in their cognitive development in science through inquiry investigations Schwab also believ ed that learners could utilize scholarly pieces of work to further develop their own inquiry Furthermore, Rutherford (1964) believed that learners in science education must comprehend process and content and then apply their discoveries to future inquires Continued interest in inquiry -based instruction led the development of project 2061 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) AAAS led a reform in K 12

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54 science education by building benchmarks for learner proficiency in secondary education AAAS established inquiry as a topic to be considered by educators to aid learners in the classroom (Rutherford & Ahlgren, 1989) The NRC (1996) publication titled the National Science Education Standards identified inquiry as a goal toward crea ting scientifically literate learners The NRC document stopped short of providing an operationalized definition of inquiry (AbdEl Kalick, 2002), with the intended purpose of providing a framework for standards based education and allowing for interoperat ions at the communit y level (Atkin & Black, 2003). Through late 1980s and into the mid 1990s support for inquiry-based instruction was still growing Bybee (1997) stated that content and process are not separate issues, just as Dewey, Schwab, and Rutherfor d had stated in previous decades Bybee (1997) proposed that students will develop a more sophisticated understanding when process is united with knowledge, reasoning, and critical thinking In 2000, the NRC published Inquiry and the National Science Educ ation Standards to serve as a guide for teachers when utilizing inquiry-based instruction in their classrooms The NRC publication brought inquiry into the forefront of practice by identifying five features of classroom inquiry (NRC, 2000, p. 25): 1. learners are engaged by questions oriented in science; 2. learners address questions through evidence and evaluation of explanations; 3. learners indicate new explanations that utilize evidence that they create to answer the question; 4. learners consider alternative ex planations and evaluate peer learners rationalizations; 5. learners justify and communicate their selected explanation. Anderson (2002) stated inquiry is now accepted as good teaching and learning. The creation of the NRC document brought inquirybased instru ction into practice for teachers and administrators. Anderson stated that teachers indicated pessimistic views in the long -term

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55 duration of inquiry Tenured teachers still have little systematic understanding of inquiry-based instruction, teacher educators do not have an understanding of the standards, little experimental research exists in inquiry, administrators are focused on standardized results, pre -service teachers are given little practice, and there is little funding to sustain long term professiona l development (Anderson, 2002; Barrow, 2006; Lederman, 2004) Defining Inquiry -B ased Instruction One difficulty in transferring inquiry into practice in education is the lack of a coherent definition and understanding involving the term inquiry Accordin g to Merriam Websters Collegiate Dictionary (2004, p. 646), inquiry is an e xamination into facts or principles, a request for information, and a systematic investigation often of a matter of public interest. Inquiry is also stated as a state of mind that of inquisitiveness by the NRC Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards [NSES] (NRC, 2000, p. xii) Hebrank (2000) stated that inquiry is the art and science of asking questions about the natural world and finding the answers to those que stions. It involves careful observation and measurement, hypothesizing, interpreting, and theorizing. It requires experimentation, reflection, and recognition of the strengths and weaknesses of its own methods. Earlier the NRC (1996) recognized inquiry in an educational context and defined it as: a multifaceted activity that involved making observations; posing questions; examining books and other sources of information to see what is already known; planning investigations; reviewing what is already known in light of experimental evidence; using tools to gather, analyze, and interpret data; proposing answers, explanations, and predictions; and communicating the results (p. 23). This was the defi nition adopted for this study. Throughout the NSES, inquiry was referred to as active student engagement during the learning process (Anderson, 2002) The NSES stated that inquiry is something that students do, not something that is done to them (NSES, 2000, p.2) The NSES (2000) stated that inquiry is a

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56 range o f activities with several stages of active learner participation Inquiry has oral and written components intertwined in constructivism to build learner knowledge The NSES stated that inquiry is not the single type of instruction to take place in a classroom but that inquiry is at the heart of all learning. There are multiple understandings of inquiry, and no scholarly publication has defined it in a precise manner (Llewellyn, 2002) The NSES (2000) argued that the true meaning and definition is left up to the interpretation of the learners and teachers This has left many in the educational community seeking input The NSES (2000) and the Llewellyn (2002) publication each stopped short of an operational definition (Anderson, 2002), but offered examples of inquiry in the classroom. Brooks and Brooks (1993) listed the following traits of constructivist teachers: Encourage and accept autonomy and initiative. Use raw data and primary sources, along with manipulative, interactive and physical models. When fra ming tasks, use cognitive terminology such as classify, analyze, predict, and create. Allow students responses to drive lessons, shift instructional strategies and alter content. Inquire about students understandings of concepts before sharing their own understandings of those concepts. Encourage student inquiry by asking thoughtful, open-ended questions and encouraging students to ask questions of each other. Seek elaboration of students initial responses. Engage students in experiences tha t might engender contradictions to their initial hypotheses and then encourage discussion. Allow wait time after posing questions. Provide time for students to construct relationships and create metaphors.

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57 Nurture students natural curiosity through fre quent use of the learning cycle model. Contextual learning is the ability of teachers to relate context to real-world examples or situations Contextual learning usually has more applications in the laboratory setting The key factors in contextual learning are problem solving and focusing teaching in a variety of contexts (such as home, school, community, job site) Also, many times contextual learning incorporates a team aspect (Schunk, 2004) Behaviorism fits into the use of inquiry-based instruction th rough the guided effects that the teacher offers and the outcomes the teacher leads learners to investigate (or through defined steps of right and wrong answers during a prescriptive laboratory) for standardized achievement tests (Schunk). As noted by rese archers Kolb (1984) and Gardner (2006b ), most students learn best when able to conceptualize an abstract method and experiment and experience in a context Contextualized informal learning partnerships are advantageous to many learning styles (Gardner, 2006b). As noted in Science for All Americans (Project 2061 American Association for the Advancement of Science [AAAS]) teachers should: Begin with questions about nature; Actively engage students; Concentrate on the collection and use of evidence; Provide historical perspective; Insist on clear expression; Use a team approach; Allow knowledge to be integrated into finding solutions; and De -emphasize the memorization of technical vocabulary.

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58 The National Science Standar ds (NRC, 1996) also outlined methods f or teachers to use for student inquiry. The standards called teachers to ask questions, describe objects and events, test learners ideas with what is known, and have students communicate what they are learning to their peers The NRC promotes learning by doing through students constructing new knowledge from their experiences. When individuals assimilate knowledge, they incorporate their new experience into an already existing knowledge framework without changing that framework (Piaget, 1950) According to Dewey (1910) experience is the process of reframing one's mental representation of the external world to fit new experiences Inquiry can be understood as the mechanism by which building ones own knowledge leads to learning. When we act on the expectatio n that the world operates in one way and it violates our expectations, we often fail, but by accommodating this new experience and reframing our model of the way the world works we learn from the experience (Dewey) Teachers must adapt to the role of facil itators and not offer too much information or give the students the answer or simply tell the learners the method to find the answer (Cobb & Bauersfeld, 1995) Cobb and Bauersfeld stated that the facilitating piece does not mean that the teacher cannot pro vide scaffolding for the students to develop a method to achieve an acceptable outcome A teacher may teach subject matter during lecture, but a facilitator helps learners develop their own understanding of the content Learning through inquiry is an active process where learners should discover principles, concepts, and facts f or themselves (Bruner, 1983). The role of the facilitating teacher is being equally involved in the learning process However, the facilitating teacher does not have all the right an swers, or at times, may be the one who is learning This leads to the learning experience being subjective and objective. The

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59 facilitating role during instruction requires the instructors culture, values, and background to become an essential part of the interplay between learners and tasks in the s haping of meaning (NRC, 2000). When students are being taught through the use of a problem utilizing inquirybased instruction, they compare their new knowledge with their peers understanding and base their kno wledge against what information they already know, taking into account what the tea cher is providing for input on the topic Students should be challenged with differing task levels, incorporate their ideas and ideals, and use previous knowledge to develop an acceptable method in solving the problem. Inquiry -based instruction is a student -centered and teacher -guided instructional approach that engages students in investigating real world questions Inquiry-based instruction complements traditional methods of instruction through the extension and application of students learning in a way that connects student interests within a broader framework. Students should attain and analyze information, develop and support propositions, and provide plausible solutions (Hebrank, 2000). Research has indicated that the amount of student learning that occurs in a classroom is directly proportional to the quality and quantity of student involvement in the educational program (Cooper & Prescott 1989) Chiasson and Burnett (2001) reported that agricultural education helps connect student involvement in content, citing a greater gain in science scores H owever, high school teachers dominate classroom conversation, consuming nearly 70% of classroom time (Cooper & Prescott, 1989). Inquiry -based instructional approaches reverse this trend, placing students at the helm of the learning process and teachers in the role of learning facilitator The facilitating teacher manages interactions and keeps teams focused on progress

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60 The faci litating teacher must encourage students to work toward answering the overall learning outcomes and stress a plan of action (Cooper & Prescott). There are four ways to view inquiry -based instruction. The National Science Standards (1996) stated using conte nt -based curricula to teach inquiry -based instruction creates a body of knowledge and is very factual However, a heavy focus on only content is found to limit learning to lower level thinking skills on Blooms (1956) taxonomy Another option of inquiry-ba sed instruction is content with process, also referred to as teaching as inquiry, an approach supported by the National Research Council standards Content knowledge is the primary focus, but content process provides ways and means to understand the knowle dge provided. The third method of inquiry instruction is process with content Process with content is also referred to as teaching through inquiry This method allows for inquiry and then shows the connection to content knowledge The final method is proc ess (teaching by inquiry), which is true, open investigation with no content structure (National Science Standards, 1996). Scientific i nquiry The NRC (1996) defined scientific inquiry as the study of the natural world and explanations that are based on evi dence Anderson (2002) argued that the NSES understands active involvement by scientists as independent of educational inquiry but believed that NSES connected the work of scientists and the educational community. The NSES treated scientific inquiry as being grounded in certain abilities and understanding (Anderson, 2002, p. 2). Inquiry teaching The NSES (2000) established goals for teaching inquiry The NSES published document identified five essential features of inquiry. The NRC (2000) stated that the se essential features introduce students to many important aspects of science while helping them develop a clearer and deeper knowledge of science concepts and processes (p. 27) The NSES described

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61 components of inquiry teaching as shown in table 2-1 The NRC (2000) described inquiry as the first science content that involved teacher pedagogy and learner construction of knowledge The learner should understand inquiry, content knowledge, and their cognition based on experiences in the context of scientific inquiry The teacher should associate teaching approaches with inquiry -based science activities (NRC, 2000) Table 2-1 A Comparison of Traditional and Inquiry -based instruction. Traditional Inquiry based Teacher Role: As distributor of knowledge Dis seminate information in the classroom Dictate student actions Give details of relationships Use textbooks or formal manuals Keeper of all information and right and wrong answers Communicates to the entire group or one student As a coach and facilitator Ask questions to aid learners in processing information Coach learner actions and interactions Facilitate learning Open use of text or materials Part of the learning process Facilitate group thinking Student Role: Inactive learner Active learner Take notes and material distributed by the teacher Memorize concepts Follow teacher directions Regard teacher and text as the authority Process information and synthesize into context Interpret, explain, hypothesize, evaluate Develop investigative approach S hare authority and seek other research for answers through justification and communication of results Student Work: Teacher prescribed activities Complete worksheets All complete the same learning activity Teacher directed task Emphasis placed on summat ive standardized assessments Student centered learner Develop learning with context provided Learners develop different tasks Direct task Exhibit deeper understanding through interpretation, explanation, reasoning, argumentation, justification, solving pr oblems, building and transferring knowledge to new situations Adopted from Anderson (2002 p. 5)

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62 Inquiry teaching was defined differently by researchers, administrators, teachers, and teacher educators, but all agree there is less focus on the step by-st ep approach and more focus on student centered interactions (Anderson, 2002) Lott (1983) recognized that inquiry teaching is focused on inductive approaches. Research conducted at the local level was found to illuminate the interactions among teachers, st udents, and the curriculum (Ball & Cohen, 1996; Brown & Edelson, 2003; Cohen & Ball, 1999; Remillard, 1999; Remillard, 2000) Studies conducted that closely examine teaching methods have been sought by the educational community to build the body of knowledge and develop an understanding of the factors that contribute to student learning (Puntambekar, Stylianou, & Golstein, 2007). White and Frederiksen (1998) reported research on instructional trials of inquirybased curriculum by teachers in a seventh throu ghninth grade physics curriculum that lasted tenand a-half weeks White and Frederiksen noted that low achieving students performance gap closed significantly when compared to high achieving students in their study of low achieving students verse high -a chieving students in urban settings White and Frederiksen argued that low achieving students did not know scientific phenomena and were unable to construct their thinking but through the use of scaffolding during inquiry -based instruction students were able to attain higher gain scores on assessments This pretest and posttest experimental design used the high achieving students as a control for group differences and measured assessments during their study that consisted of three teachers in 12 classrooms and yielded an end sample of 60 full data sets The beginning sample size was 343 students; however the researchers noted that forms not being completed, final projects remaining incomplete, and missing assessment data yielded the lower sample size.

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63 The NR C (2000) called for more experimental studies and criticized current science teaching and learning as superficially based on definitions and labels with a weak attempt to allow students to grasp the process of discovery and build scientific knowledge in a context The NRC challenged science education to develop students that can master the big ideas and build a conceptual understanding in the context of science A study conducted by Weiss, Banilower, Heck, McMahon, Pasley, and Smith assessed the quality of math and science instruction in an 18 month review of 350 lessons (Weiss & Pasley, 2004; Weiss, Pasley, Smith, Banilower, & Heck, 2003) The researchers found that 59 percent of the lessons were low quality and only encouraged memorizing facts and definiti ons, while only 15 percent were high in quality Fewer than 20 percent of the lessons were rigorous and included teaching questioning or scaffolding of students to build knowledge of the content (Weiss & Pasley, 2004) In a national survey, Weiss, Banilowe r, McMahon, and Smith (2001) reported that 37 percent of elementary teachers indicated that they emphasized inquiry skills at least once a week This same study reported that only 8% of the teachers emphasized argumentation skills based on the scientific c ontext being taught. The national survey data by Weiss et al. (2004) indicated a lack of focus even after numerous calls were made by the National Research Council to utilize inquiry in the science classroom Empirical evidence suggested that the reason fo r the lack of inquiry focus in the classroom is that inquiry based instruction requires school resources, teachers being engaged in the curriculum, a high knowledge of the curriculum, teacher ability to supply a context, teacher ability to act in a facilitation role and ask guiding questions, and ability to spend adequate time on topics during instruction (Cohen, 1 989).

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64 Ball and Cohen (1996) stated that teachers must be prepared in how to implement curricula, be comfortable in understanding their roles as t he teacher and role of their learners, and believe in the teaching method Therefore, curriculum writers must maintain knowledge of the processes of enacting the curriculum and provide professional practice for teachers Ball and Cohen (1996) noted a gap e xisted between what curriculum is intended to do and what is enacted by the teacher Brown and Edelson (2003) conducted a study of three urban middle school science teachers interaction with provided curriculum materials on global warming Brown and Edelso n found that teachers evaluated the constraints of their classroom, devised strategies to utilize the curriculum and meet their instructional goals, and planned to utilize the curricula based on their experience and ability. Based on the teachers evaluatio n the teacher then adapted or used the curricular materials in pieces during instruction (Brown & Edelson, 2003) Brown and Edelson described a continuum of full adaption to no adaption of the curriculum The authors noted with no formal preparation on cur riculum utilization the study provided opportunity for the curriculum to be underutilized or not utilized for the intended purpose. Remillard (2005) built on the work of Brown and Edelson (2003) and noted that teachers develop their own curriculum and called for curriculum writers to conceptualize the lessons being taught when they create curricular plans while working with science teachers Remillard also noted that teachers should always adapt curriculum for their learners, but proper preparation in the teaching method would create effective use of the curriculum (Brown & Edelson) Remillard found curriculum where teachers are asked to facilitate students is complex and can foster unanticipated student ideas the teacher must work through utilizing a good u nderstanding of the curriculum, the teaching method, and the context Remillard called for the teacher to plant some ideas (guide students) that will help aid better student responses and interactions during

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65 inquiry -based instruction Brown and Edelson (2003) and Remillard (2005) indicated the need to consider the role that the teacher plays during inquirybased instruction and that will have an effect on the quality of inquiry-based lesson Saunders (1992) conducted a study in science education and stat ed that steps are needed to organize hands -on, investigative labs According to Saunders, science education should utilize fewer prescribed methods or procedures to solving problems and exploring phenomena Saunders described the inquiry approach as an opp ortunity for students to utilize their own schema and formulate their own expectations that lead to active cognitive involvement Saunders described inquiry as meaningful learning situations of thinking out loud, developing alternative explanations to problems, interpreting data, presenting and constructively arguing data and the phenomena under investigation, and developing alternative hypothesis and plausible competing explanations Kuhn (2001) explained that argumentation skills include developing altern ative explanations to a problem, interpreting data critically, constructively arguing data and the phenomena under investigation, and identifying alternative hypotheses and plausible competing explanations. Examples of inquiry based instruction Inquiry -bas ed instruction can be used with many agriscience topics Energy and food are staples to any living organism that cut across science and agricultural education. The following is an example of how to accomplish inquiry methods through the context of energy through the rational the NRC (2000) provided Energy may be a simple concept for secondary agriscience students However, researcher experience has found the term energy poses a difficulty for students to understand in a context Energy in photosynthesis an d trophic levels become formulas and definitions easy to memorize but difficult for learners to explain and evaluate the importance Learners may synthesize the fact that everyday muscle movement and if they feel

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66 tired or out of energy is the explanation o f the importance of energy Learners may identify energy for plants as photosynthesis and may even have the photosynthesis formula memorized. Some learners may state that plants are different because energy is extracted from oxidation of food and temporari ly stored as ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) All are correct answers, but this researcher is not confident the learner has indicated a full understanding The NRC (2000) pointed out the most basic thoughts include student memorization, and in this specific example, that plants get their energy from the sun and animals get their energy from a food source (plant or animal) Learners have been directed to describe this as an energy cycle rather than a one-way flow When learners are prompted to reason why ther e is an energy cycle rather than a one-way flow they identify because something can always eat something else Learners rarely fully internalize the energy cycle Learners are usually unable to describe what we mean when we refer to energy stored in food Appendix A provides a multi -part lesson that examines this issue in an inquiry -based approach The inquirybased approach utilizes food webs, plant nutritional requirements, the fate of food in animals, and the origin of mass in plants http://www.indiana.e du/~oso/lessons/Food&Energy/Food&Energy.pdf This lesson provides an inquiry -based structure to be used by the teacher to help the learner develop their knowledge regarding energy and food. Levels of Inquiry Strategies and techniques for inquiry based inst ruction have revolved around the teacher asking questions to guide learning (facilitation), involving science process skills which ask the "how questions Finally, using previous student experiences are important to develop buy in with the students Devel oped activities which allow for exploration, invention, and applicatio n of the skills are important (Herron, 1971) Herron (1971) identifies four levels of inquiry (See Table 2-2):

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67 1. Confirmation/Verification students confirm a principle through a prescribed activity when the results are known in advance. 2. Structured Inquiry students investigate a teacher presented question through a prescribed procedure. 3. Guided Inquiry students investigate teacher -presented question using student designed/selected pro cedures. 4. Open Inquiry students investigate topic -related questions that are student formulated through student designed/selected procedures. When an activity is evaluated for its level of inquiry, a simple table developed by Herron (1971) can be used by establishing what is given to the learner, determine at which level of inquiry the given activity resides the less given to the learner the higher the level of inquiry. Table 2 -2 Levels of inquiry: What is given to the learner? Level of Inquiry Problem ? Procedure? Solution? 1 2 3 4 Herron, M. D. (1971). The nature of scientific enquiry. School Review, 79(2), 171212. Inquiry in Agriscience Inqu iry has a long history in agricultural education in the form of problem -solving (Phipps, et al., 2008) Agricultural education began using inquiry learning through the project method and problem -based learning with a focus on the project method and real situations encountered by students in their daily farm practices Students would work with their instructor in adapting better methods to improve their farming practices (Moore, 1988) Problem -solving and problem based learning are each a form of inquiry. F lowers (1986) examined the effectiveness of the problem solving and subject matter approaches to teaching The researcher had 126 students from eight different schools participating in the counter -balanced design where the teacher taught two classes, one w ith each

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68 approach. The study concluded no significant difference in student content knowledge achievement, cognitive achievement, attitude, or time required to complete instruction Flowers did find a significant difference in retention in favor of the problem solving approach. Boone (1988) conducted a similar study with similar results However, Boone reported that teachers in the study did not effectively deliver the treatment (problem solving approach). Boone and Newcomb (1990) examined the effects of pr oblem solving and subject matter teaching on student content knowledge achievement in Ohio schools in the late 1980s This study included a quasi experimental design with freshmen students Teachers were selected based upon criteria involving their ability to deliver the problem solving teaching method. Boone and Newcomb reported no significant difference in student content knowledge achievement or retention when using diverse teaching methods. Dyer and Osborne (1996) also compared the effects of problem so lving and subject matter teaching on student content knowledge This larger study, with similar approach to Flowers (1996) and Boone (1988), utilized different content than that of Flowers and Boone but still utilized agricultural education and the problem solving approach. Dyer and Osborne (1999) found field -neutral learners showed significant content knowledge gains, while fielddependent and field independent learners showed no significant difference in achievement based on the teaching methods utilized for instruction. Blakey, Larvenz, McKee, and Thomas (2000) were involved in a similar study as Dyer and Osborne (1999) and Boone and Newcomb (1990) and reported no change in student content knowledge in seventhand eighth -grade music. However, they did report that student attitude was improved through active learning strategies in the classroom instruction.

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69 Roegge and Russell (1990) investigated biological content in the agriscience classroom Their quasi -experimental design investigated what the researcher s called integrated teaching approach verse the traditional approach. One -hundred -four students at nine different schools were part of the pretest -posttest control group design Roegge and Russell measured student achievement, achievement in biology and st udent attitude Researchers reported a significant difference in content knowledge and applied learning in their corn and soybean lessons in the state of Illinois for the use of an integrated approach. Johnson, Wardlow, and Franklin (1997) studied 132 nin th grade students at seven schools and examined their cognitive scores on worksheets or hands on activities The researchers reported a significant difference on cognitive score based on gender, noting that females scored higher on the posttest (Johnson, Wardlow, & Franklin, 1998) They also reported no interaction between factors of teaching method during their experimental counter -balanced design Myers (2004) examined laboratory investigations and the level of laboratory directions provided to the stu dents Myers investigation had a similar research design as the problem solving studies and considered learning styles and controlling for teacher approach through teacher training to deliver the content This quasi -experiment design also found no signifi cant difference in the achievement of students enrolled in the beginning (ninth grade) agriscience course. Many studies brought about the change in the problem solving approach in agricultural education, and much discussion and research was invested in this style of learning Many researchers and practitioners are confused by the terms inquiry and problem solving according to the definition and description described by the NRC (1996) Inquiry, like the problem -solving approach, has differing levels Agri cultural education identifies problem -based learning (Phipps,

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70 et al., 2008); however, once grasping the method and finding acceptance of science integration, new methods should be sought to deliver content effectively. Moving teachers and students to the i nquiry-based learning domain is a natural transition for the agriscience profession and fits well with the hands -onlearning approach (Phipps, et al., 2008) A limited number of studies have been conducted in the content area of agriscience on effective t eaching methods in a quasi -experimental design since the late 1980s Looking at the body of research in this area one should have a better understanding of the effects of teaching methods in the agriscience classroom Studies reviewed provide a few conflic ting results and slightly different foci Argumentation Skills At first glance, the term argumentation may lead one to believe individuals will verbally argue their point -of -view in a heated exchange While an argument between individuals can exist, argum entation skill is the development of logical explanations and reorganization of opposing assertions, weights of evidence, and determination of merit for each assertion with regards to evidence (Kuhn, 1992, 1993) Driver, Newton, and Osborne (2000) stated t hat argument is the study of logic, and producing correct inferences based on a given context and determined argumentation skills can be developed individually through writing or socially through discussion. Argument and argumentative practices are foun dational practices of scientists and are essential to enhance the public understanding of science... (Driver, Newton, & Osborne, 2000 p. 287) Fuller (1997) and Taylor (1996) each identified argument as the central factor to resolving scientific differen ces Additionally, each author noted there was little research that put argumentation skills into practice Rogers (1948) stated that student contact alone with science does not develop the ability to think critically In pointing out the need for argument ation skills,

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71 Schwab (1962) argued that science education is nearly a presentation of conclusions that are taught as empirical and absolute truths Claxton (1991) stated that teachers are taught to present science as unquestioned and uncontested truth that oftentimes does not reward critical thinking and scientific reasoning. Adding to the argument, Geddis (1991) found that science is too often taught in schools as an unproblematic collection of facts While facts are important to know, and some unquestione d scientific concepts exist, scientists assess alternatives, weigh evidence, interoperate text, evaluate the appropriateness of design, and discriminate conclusions when constructing their final analysis and arguments (Latour, & Woolgar, 1986) Norris and Phillips (1994) noted that science education failed to empower students to critically examine scientific claims and experiments Norris and Phillips also pointed out students are not encouraged to argue their strengths and weaknesses and called for the sci ence education community to focus on argumentation skills. Kuhn and Udell (2003) stated that psychology has contributed an argumentation structure, but has examined little in understanding the use of the skills with students Driver et al. (2000) called fo r science classrooms to offer opportunities for student practice and reasoning in argumentation through the use of investigations Siegal (1995) found that argumentation can provide a structure for reasoning and student developed ability to articulate thoughts about science. Driver et al. argued that the importance in argumentation is the students ability to recognize that claims scientists make are influenced by the scientific culture and beliefs and to develop the ability to evaluate the amount of truth of claims or develop the ability to identify and explain contradicting claims in a rational process Argumentative Measures The seminal work of Toulmin (1958) set a precedent and structure for argumentation skills Toulmin based analysis of arguments through a model referred to as Toulmins

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72 Argumentation Pattern (TAP) that specifies components in reasoning from the students conclusion or knowledge claim based on four components Data: presented to support the claim the student believes to be true or the best solution Claim: established merit t hrough explaining why the data are important, correct, or supportive Warrants: reasons presented to justify and connections between data and the claim Backing: assumptions and commonly agreed justifications for the warrants Driver et al. (2000, p 293) described a basic structure of an argument represented in sentences as: because (data)since (warrant)on account of (backing)therefore (claim). Blair and Johnson (1987) described argumentation skills using three cr iteria First the argument must be relevant and describe relationships between the premise and conclusion. Second, the argument must be sufficient through provided proof Finally, the premise must be acceptable through evidence of reliability Toulmin (19 58) described that qualifiers and rebuttals are two additional factors that complex arguments contain Toulmin explained that qualifiers are conditions which must exist for the claim to be true, and rebuttals are conditions when the claim will be false (limitations) Driver et al. (2000) described Toulmins work as a foundational piece but argued that TAP does not lead to judgments about correctness when used in a context. Kuhn and Udell (2003) developed a contextual rubric for their study of argumentation. Their rubric included three levels of arguments from two categories The categories are pro (for the claim) arguments and con (against the claim) arguments Each category contained three levels Functional, Non-functional, and Nonjustificatory. Level I ( Functional) arguments contained alternatives to the claim and described why alternatives are ineffective or less effective Non-functional arguments focus only on the conditions that justify the claim

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73 Nonjustificatory arguments only take into account pers onal belief and contain little or no argumentative force. Cerbin (1988) emphasized Toulmins work and stated that a provided contextualized evaluation must be judged on clarity of the claim, relevance of the description of the problem, relevance of the war rant, counterarguments provided, and exceptions of proposed solution Giere (1991) added to the body of knowledge through a model of a quality argument and reasoning of the student through observations (See Figure 2-3). Figure 2 3. Quality argument and reasoning. Adapted from Giere (1991) representation of interaction between reasoning, theory, and argument. Dewey (1916) identified arguments as critical to education and applications of science and the importance of knowing not only what the phenomenon under investigation is, but how it relates to other phenomen a why the phenomenon is important, and how the belie f became accepted Driver et al. (2000) pointed out the role of the teacher is to present alternative interpretations and require students to provide evidence for their claim, lead reflective discussion, and scaffold students through the process

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74 Argument ation Studies Kuhn (1992) conducted a study on argumentation of 160 individuals ranging from ninth grade students through adult Kuhn determined that individuals of all ages use false claims and weak arguments to present their beliefs Kuhn determined that individuals simply dismiss factors as irrelevant if findings do not support their point of view Additionally, Kuhn found if the individuals were educated beyond the junior high school level the topics and data presented did not change their reasoning or practice. Jimenez -Aleixandre, Bullgallo Rodriguez, and Duschl (1997) in a study of high school discussion groups that utilized genetics problems as the context and Toulmins Argumentation Pattern ( TAP ) found that students had difficulty incorporating clai ms and scientific evidence Jimenez -Aleixandre et al. determined that the traditional science classroom does not regularly provide context for the construction of students ability to develop argumentation skills Furthermore, the researchers argued that T AP did not provide the ability to evaluate causal relations, explanation of procedures, analogies, and predictions. Richmond and Shirley (1996) conducted a descriptive study of 24 tenth-grade students in six groups Richmond and Shirley studied students during experiments and noted their planning, execution, and interpretation of their experiments over a three -month period Students were placed in either a conceptual dimension or a social dimension The researchers found that beginning students were unable to construct quality arguments Students also exhibited difficulty comparing and contrasting their hypotheses and the problem and interpreting their observations Richmond and Shirley also reported that students conducted experiments with little concern for procedural issues and had low engagement Once argumentation skills were introduced and understood, procedural focus, concentration, and engagement increased Both groups

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75 demonstrated progress with higher quality arguments, and the social groups argumen tation skill was affected gr eater by the instructors teach ing and personality style. Herrenkohl and Guerra (1995) examined argumentation skills in an experimental design of two classes of fourth grade students over 12 days of instruction. The researchers developed inquiry -based hands -on lessons in a science class Both groups were taught the rules and performance goals of argumentation skills Students were informed that they were evaluated on three concepts: comprehension of the material, utilizing theori es when presenting evidence, and challenging peers claims The first group was reminded each day of the three concepts on which they were evaluated The second group was also reminded each day of the three concepts but was additionally assigned sociocogni tive roles to help them monitor peer research reports Each student practiced differing roles each day during the oral reports Herrienkohl and Guerra found that the second group developed a significantly higher ability to effectively communicate argumenta tive skills Students exhibited better reports and more thoughtful explanations of their conclusions Herrienkohl and Guerra concluded that communication of expectations is important in the development of argumentation skills The researchers also concluded that establishing roles increases engagement and argumentation skills. Zeidler (1997) identified five errors students often make during argumentation skill studies. 1. Validity students want to affirm a claim they believe to be true, even if it is contra ry to their belief 2. Present a one sided argument students focus on confirmation of the claim, and no attention is given to disconfirming data. 3. Core belief students believe and are easily convinced by data that supports their core belief.

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76 4. Inadequate data and evidence students do not analyze the quality of data or make determinations if there is enough evidence to support a claim. 5. Jump to conclusions students make assumptions and read into the conclusions rather than interoperate the evidence of a study. Chinn and Brewer (1998) conducted a study of student use of argumentation skills through the presentation of contradicting information of the students belief Chinn and Brewer found that only 8 of 168 high school students changed their view when presented with the opposing evidence Chinn and Brewer observed that students will ignore the data, reject the data, determine that the data are irrelevant for the specific situation, determine that the data are not valid, argue the data are not interpret ed correctly, indicate the opposing claim is only minutely different from their belief, and identify the data as not robust Even though student perceptions were not changed, argumentation skills were still utilized The authors concluded that students should be pressed to demonstrate counter arguments with facts that support their claim Chinn and Brewer noted that scientific thinking and reasoning by scientists exhibit the same set of responses on controversial issues. Felton and Kuhn (2001) conducted a c ross -sectional comparison of teens and community college students and found similar results as Chinn and Brewer (1998) and Zeidler (1997) Felton and Kuhn focused on the use of capital punishment in their study The researchers found that teens focused their argument on supporting their claim or own position and failed to address counterclaims or opposing evidence In contrast, the adult participants in the study were more likely to address the opposing evidence and provided a counterclaim that undermined t he opposing argument, then concluded by advancing their argument based on the weakness of the counterclaim.

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77 Kuhn and Udell (2003) conducted an experimental study of inner -city, academically at risk, minority, 13 and 14-year -olds Students participated in 1 6 sessions of sociallybased goal oriented activities focused on argumentation skills One group utilized peer dialogues, and one group did not All groups demonstrated an increased competence of argumentation skills However, Kuhn and Udell found the group that utilized peer dialogues was more effective. Yerrick (2000) conducted a 12-month quantitative study of lower track science students (on the verge of dropping out of school) argumentation during open inquiry instruction Yerrick conducted pre intervi ews and post interviews and aligned the data with a rubric based on tentativeness of the knowledge claim, student use of evidence, and student view of scientific authority Yerrick found that students were reluctant at first to learn through inquiry becaus e of lack of trust of the educational system Once students developed trust that the classroom structure was supportive of their success and the teacher was interested in their arguments, student engagement increased A comparison of entrance and exit inte rviews determined a significant increase in argumentation skills and scientific reasoning through the use of factual claims, ability to formulate experiments, command of the topics, and confidence in expressing their conclusions. Zohar and Nemet (2002) examined the outcomes of argumentations skills of ninth grade students in Israel on the topic of human genetics Zohar and Nemet conducted an experimental study with one group utilizing traditional methods (control) and the other an interactive genetic revol ution curriculum developed by the second author Zohar and Nemet found significant differences in content knowledge and argumentation skills of the 9th grade students The researchers found that the treatment group was able to transfer reasoning abilities through the context of genetics to everyday life applications Additionally, the treatment group referred to

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78 correct, biological evidence through argumentation at an increased frequency when compared to the control group. In summary, argumentation skills have a theory base that extends decades, and research findings have brought argumentation into practice in the classroom Previous studies focused on the development of argumentation skills, but few examine differing teaching methods and their effect on st udent argumentation skills. Scientific Reasoning Scientific reasoning (SR) is the connection of the process of producing scientific knowledge through evidence -based reasoning (Schen, 2007) Scientific reasoning is generally recognized as inductive or deductive Deductive reasoning has roots back to Aristotle with the creation of prediction and outcome basis Inductive reasoning was developed by Sir Fances Bacon Inductive reasoning utilizes evidence to create theories The best form of SR has been studied i n science education research (Schen, 2007), and few studies utilize both inductive and deductive reasoning in the same study (Kuhn & Pearsall, 2000). Deductive Reasoning in Science Education In deductive reasoning a scientist observes the real world and cr eates a hypothetical model Once the model is created data are generated through an experiment and compared against the model Sir Karl Popper was a philosopher who determined deductive SR was the viewpoint of choice (Popper, 1965) Popper believed theorie s were developed from confirming evidence and were true and could not be refuted. To test the theories Popper stated that they must be tested and provide evidence of being false Once a theory was found to be false, the theory was useless and not useful A fter more thought and discussion in the profession Popper changed his perception and stated that a theory could be modified to account for a rationale that it may not be refuted (Kuhn, 1993) Popper stated that the inference based on observations does not create fact or

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79 scientific procedure. Therefore, inductive reasoning is not part of science Lawson (1978) has created his scientific reasoning test based on Piagetian reasoning levels (discussed earlier in the chapter), which he views as deductive reasonin g Lawson argued that scientific reasoning is linked to science achievement, teaching methodology, and learning styles (Lawson, 1992). Inductive Reasoning in Science Education Inductive reasoning skills are generally accepted as everyday thinking skills (Schen, 2007 p. 22) D. Kuhn (1993) presented scientific reasoning and argumentation as two ways to present evidence and determined both (inductive and deductive reasoning) have merit Thomas Kuhn (1993) argued that scientific knowledge utilizes both induc tive and deductive reasoning T. Kuhn stated that the method should be influenced by the type of evaluation needed Lakatos (1993) and D. Kuhn (1993) stated that all data should be considered. Indication of a theory being false does not indicate the theory is useless, but instead in need of modification. Utilizing Reasoning Science for All Americans (AAAS, 1990) stated scientific reasoning is a blend of inductive and deductive reasoning to hypothesize, test, and create logic to create general principles Ku hn and Pearsall (2000) merged the two ideals and stated that scientists and students must use investigative and inferential skills Investigative skills are deductive through the design of experiments, and inferential skills are utilized during the construction and interpretation of theory from the evidence Driver et al. (2000) agreed with Kuhn and Pearsall and stated that Students need to appreciate that scientific theories are human constructs and that they will not generate a theory, or reach a conclu sion, by deduction alone (p. 299). This study utilizes both deductive and inductive reasoning through the use of Lawsons Classroom T est of S cientific R easoning (L CTSR). Lawson (1982) identified five factors involved in advancing Piagets formal reasoning during his scientific reasoning test Lawson

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80 stated that students must generate expectations, control variables, generate causes, determine probabilistic reasoning, and determine proportional reasoning when the goal is advancing scientific reasoning. Reas oning Studies Lawsons first scientific reasoning test was completed through a short answer essay type exam, but because of the emphasis on high-stakes testing, he created a multiple -choice test Schen (2007) utilized this exam with inquiry-based instructi on Schen determined reasoning ability was determined and not prior knowledge In an earlier study Lawson and Johnson (2002) found the LCTSR determined reasoning ability but that expository instruction produced better results than inquiry -based instruction. Both studies indicated a positive correlation between achievement scores and reasoning. Lawson (1993) studied learning styles and paired students in a college level biology class for non -majors Lawson paired students into homogeneous and heterogeneous pairs for laboratory partners Lawson found a significant increase in reasoning of the concrete and transitional students when paired together but that increased reasoning did not significantly affect student achievement, though gains were noted The studen ts were given a survey instrument and Lawson found students who were concrete and formal learners perceived benefits from the study, while transitional students disagreed. Lawson determined that reasoning ability may be critical if partnering students. Law son and Weser (1990) investigated the stability of nonscientific beliefs of evolution throughout the semester and its relationship to student levels of reasoning ability Lawson and Weser hypothesized students with a higher reasoning ability would change t heir nonscientific beliefs based on the scientific evidence presented The researchers found that students nonscientific beliefs had a positive correlation with the evidence presented The researchers also

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81 found that students who had a higher scientific reasoning score changed their nonscientific beliefs the most, which led Lawson and Weser to conclude that skilled reasoners were better able to adapt their nonscientific beliefs to scientific beliefs. Lawson, Clark, Cramer -Meldrum, Falconer, Sequist, and Ko wn (2000) studied college students using the LCTSR by changing the difficulty of the hypothesis presented during quizzes Lawson et al. found higher level reasoners were better able to transfer problems on an exam Lawson, Alkhoury, Benford, Clark, and Falconer (2000) conducted a similar study and found the same results. The authors concluded that t he greater proficiency in the L CT SR, the greater proficiency in answering questions on achievement exams. Davis (1990), in a mathematical study, videotaped two f ifth -grade boys solving a problem with pizza slices After they discussed the problem, sketched the solution, and used pattern blocks they were able to determine the correct answer Earlier, one boy tried to simply use a paper and pencil method and arrived at an incorrect answer At the completion of the boys problem -solving of the pizza slices their teacher was not satisfied with the way they solved the problem She then directed the students to solve the pizza problem through an easier solution. One year later Davis gave the same boys the same problem and again videotaped the boys creating their solution independently Each boy indicated he remembered solving the problem and recalled the teacher directing him to an easier method to find the correct answer However, they could not remember how the teacher solved the problem or how they solved the problem Each boy then solved the pizza problem with his own method based on prior experience Davis stated that the teachers solution had no bearing over time D avis research study illustrates that constructivist theory and inquiry -based instruction seek a deeper understanding and incorporate

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82 learning and knowing to develop students who can revisit a similar problem years later and have the ability to use previou s experience to obtain successful results (NRC, 2000). In summary, the LCTSR has shown a connection to student learning styles and high achievement scores However, there are few studies that examine the development of scientific reasoning through teaching methods Student Achievement, Content Knowledge, Science Process Skills, Attitudes, and Values Stohr Hunt (1996) investigated the relationship between allotted amount of time of instruction spent on hands -on science and science achievement Stohr Hunts study was part of a national longitudinal study conducted in 1988 The participants were a nationally representative sample of 24,599 eighth-grade students The achievement tests were 25 multiple-choice cognitive exams developed by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and carried a reliability of .75. Stohr Hunt found that eighth -grade students that experienced hands on activities daily or at least weekly scored significantly higher than peers who received hands -on experience biweekly, less, or never Stoh rHunt recommended that science education consider hands on learning as an important methodology with teaching students for achievement and understanding Stohr Hunt also called for further investigation of hands -on programs to determine analytical skills, attitudes, and process skills. Wayne and Youngs (2003) conducted a synthesis of literature that outlined studies of teacher characteristics related to student achievement gains This extensive review drew conclusions on ratings of the teachers undergraduate training program, teachers scores on test of verbal and other skills, teacher degree and coursework, certification status, and other characteristics Wayne and Youngs found relationships between college ratings and student achievement gains Wayne and Youngs reported that further examination of teacher institutions

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83 should be investigated. These researchers concluded that the quality of institution has positive relationship with student achievement. Wayne and Youngs (2003) also determined that teacher verbal skill scores and student achievement scores are related Wayne and Youngs reported that seven studies, two of which did not find a positive relationship between teacher verbal skill scores and student achievement scores, and four that reported a posi tive relationship between the two variables The researchers noted the potential of random error but stated that the studies included in their synthesis were extensive and strong Wayne and Youngs noted the differing tests in the states could lead to diffe rent results and indicated that further research is needed in the area of teacher skill scores and their relation to student achievement scores. Wayne and Youngs (2003) reported on undergraduate coursework and degree areas of teachers in relation to studen t achievement scores The authors postulated that mathematics studies indicated a strong need for teachers to maintain a degree in the subject they teach at the middle school and secondary level The authors stated that data are unclear if teachers prepare d to teach mathematics or teachers with a mathematics degree had a more positive effect on student achievement scores Wayne and Youngs stated their findings represent a clear roadmap for future research (p. 104). Wayne and Youngs (2003) reviewed the cer tification status studies of teachers The authors noted that only two studies met their standards, and both were by the same authors Wayne and Youngs indicated that certification followed along the same course as degrees and coursework, stating that subject -specific measures matter (p. 106) Wayne and Youngs concluded that research efforts are needed to examine certification types and retention rates Wayne and Youngs addressed other studies in math education as their final section The authors

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84 examined teacher experience and reported positive relationships with teacher experience and student achievement scores However, the authors argued that the results of the 21 studies were too difficult to interpret (p. 106). Hill, Rowan, and LoewenbergBall (20 05) conducted a study examining the effects of mathematical knowledge on student achievement The authors controlled for other variables through the use of covariate measures Hill, Rowan, and LoewenbergBall found a positive relationship between third-gra de classroom teachers level of teacher knowledge and its affect on student mathematics achievement. Haukoos and Penick (1983) examined the effects of two teaching methods on content achievement of community college students in science instruction. The aut hors compared discovery learning and nondiscovery methodology during a five -week period Haukoos and Penick found that the teaching method did not affect student content knowledge achievement, but students in the discovery learning section scored significa ntly higher on process skills The authors also noted that discovery learning provided more content acquisition, noting that the nondiscovery methods took ten weeks to reach the same level of content acquisition. Chang (2001) examined problem -based, comput er assisted instruction (PBCAI) and direct interactive teaching methods (DITM) with 159 tenthgrade students enrolled in an earth science course in Taiwan Chang utilized a pretest -posttest experimental design where the pretest and student IQ scores served as covariates Chang found that students receiving the PBCAI scored significantly higher than the comparison group at the knowledge and comprehension level, but no significant difference was found for the application level. Nuthall and Alton Lee (1995) co nducted observational studies in elementary middle school classrooms in New Zealand over a 12-month period Students were asked to describe how

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85 they answered items on knowledge level exams immediately after the assessments The authors found that nearly 50 % of the students indicated deducing answers from experiences, and nearly 25% indicated utilizing knowledge gained from classroom instruction. Nuthall and AltonLee found that students apply complex retrieval and deductive skills on items that were learned (taught) earlier in the year, thus reverting to an experience associated with the concept or personal experience involved in remembering the concept The authors concluded that providing students with an experience/investigation may lead to better retenti on and retrieval of knowledge on achievement tests. Caprio (1994) studied the constructivist approach to the traditional lecture format in a twosemester anatomy and physiology course at a community college Caprio controlled variables and threats during t he night classes of students majoring in health career programs Caprio compared the midterm exam scores of students The results indicated that the students taught by the constructivist methods obtained better exam scores [constructivist 69.7% (n=44); tra ditional 60.8% (n=40)] Caprio reported a significant difference between the two groups Also, in a science -based course Lord (1997) reported similar results in a two -section introductory biology course. One section was taught utilizing a method informed by constructivism (treatment), and the other was taught through a traditional teacher centered (control), lecture/laboratory. The treatment group performed significantly better on the same exams, sustained a better attitude, and indicated they enjoyed the c ourse more than the control group. Boone and Newcomb (1990) compared the effects of problem solving and subject matter teaching methodology on student content knowledge level achievement The authors quasi experimental design was of 121 freshmen secondary school students enrolled in agriculture courses in Ohio. Teachers were purposively selected to participate based on their ability to utilize

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86 the problem solving approach. Boone and Newcomb found no significant difference in student achievement based on st udent content knowledge or retention between student groups. Dyer and Osborne (1996) compared two groups in a study conducted in Illinois similar to Boone and Newcomb (1990) This study included six purposively selected teachers based on their ability and demonstration of teaching both problem solving and subject matter content Dyer and Osborne randomly assigned treatments and comparisons to 16 intact classes yielding 258 student participants Dyer and Osborne investigated student learning styles effect on content knowledge achievement and found that field -neutral learners responded better to the problem solving approach. However, overall the authors found no significant difference between field dependent or field -independent learners with either teaching m ethod. Flowers (1986) examined the effectiveness of the problem solving and subject matter approaches to teaching The researcher had 126 students from eight different schools participating in the counter -balanced design where the teacher taught two classe s, one with each approach. The study concluded no significant difference in student content knowledge achievement, cognitive achievement, attitude, or time required to complete instruction Flowers did find a significant difference in retention in favor of the problem solving approach. Johnson, Wardlow, and Franklin (1998) reported no significant differences in cognitive scores between the use of worksheets or hands -on activities in their introductory agriscience study of 132 ninth-grade students involving five different schools with a randomized posttest only counterbalance experimental design Furthermore, the authors noted that there was no significant interaction between methods and gender The authors did report significant differences in immediate cogn itive scores based on gender, noting that females scored higher than males on the posttest.

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87 Roegge and Russell (1990) postulated that an integrated approach to learning agriscience is effective The researchers conducted a study of 104 ninth grade students that incorporated biological principles in the agriculture classroom This pretest posttest quasi -experimental study reported a significant difference in overall content knowledge achievement and applied biology achievement for the group receiving an inte grated method of science through agriculture. Connors and Elliot (1995) conducted a random experimental research design using schools offering agriscience and natural resources in Michigan The study yielded 156 twelfth-grade students at four schools. Conn ors and Elliot reported no significant difference in standardized science test scores between students receiving agriscience course credit and their peers not enrolled in agriscience. Myers (2004) conducted a study of three teaching approach treatments wit h 352 high school agriscience students in Florida from seven schools Myers used a pretest and posttest quasi -experimental design that utilized a subject matter approach, investigative laboratory, and prescriptive laboratory approach. Myers found a signifi cant difference in content knowledge and scientific process scores in favor of the subject matter and investigative laboratory approach over the prescriptive approach. Chapter Summary The objective of this chapter was to describe the theoretical and concep tual frameworks that guided this study. Furthermore, this chapter presented the salient research relevant to this study The review of literature focused on empirical research in the areas of foundations of inquiry, inquiry-based instruction, levels of inquiry, inquiry in agriculture, argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and content knowledge achievement. Inquiry -based instruction has deep roots in educational history. Inquiry still has no universally accepted concise definition However, inquiry is based on Deweys constructive

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88 views brought forward through other researchers each decade The United States has a foundational belief that constructivism in the form of inquiry learning is acceptable, and research and publications determine there are levels of use and do not identify it as the sole teaching method for agriscience or science education. Inquiry -based instruction in agricultural education is a term that remains new but is generally thought of as problem -based learning and the problem solving approach to teaching Several studies have been conducted providing mixed results of these two approached in the profession Many studies have less than nine weeks of instruction in common, and many investigate content knowledge achievement Myers (2004) i nvestigated a portion of inquirybased instruction in agricultural education through his investigation of the level of instruction on laboratory components in the agriscience classroom. However, agriscience education and science education lack a deep liter ature base of experimental studies that investigate inquiry methods in the classroom. Argumentation skills are investigated through educational psychology and several theories, and research studies indicate the connection of higher order thinking skills and student achievement is linked to the development of these skills However, there is a gap in the literature that investigates the effect of teaching methodology on argumentation skills Furthermore, literature supports the link between scientific reasoni ng and argumentation skills and indicates a positive effect on student achievement test scores In general, the findings regarding the effect of teaching methodology on student argumentation skills, achievement, and scientific reasoning are, at best, mixed

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89 CHAPTER 3 METHODS Chapter one described the justification for measuring the effect of inquiry-based instruction in school -based agricultural education The principal focus of this study was to determine the effects of inquiry -based instruction on student argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and content knowledge achievement Chapter two described the theoretical and conceptual frameworks that guided the study Chapter two also presented the salient research relevant to this study The review of literature focused on empirical research in the following areas: foundations of inquiry, inquirybased instruction, levels of inquiry, inquiry in agriculture, argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and content knowledge achievement In this chapter, methods used to address the research questions are discussed This chapter reports the research design, procedures, population and sample, instrumentation and data collection procedure, and data analysis techniques The independent variable in this study was the teaching method used in the agricultural education classes Treatment groups utilized a subject matter approach or inquiry approach to learning The dependent variables in this study were argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and student content knowledge achievement Characteristics that were treated as static attributes (antecedent variables) were teacher characteristics, student characteristics, and social cultural context Teacher characteristics o academic background o teaching experience o k nowledge of inquiry -based instruction Student characteristics o Socio -economic status o race

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90 o gender o age o ability Social cultural context o home o community Covariates were used to adjust group means in order to compensate for previous knowledge in the subject matt er These covariate measures included pretests for the unit of instruction. Research Design This study utilized a quasi -experimental design Random assignment of subjects to treatment groups was not possible; therefore a quasi -experimental design was selec ted Additionally, intact groups were used The study followed a nonequivalent control group design (Campbell & Stanley, 1963) The treatment group received the inquiry -based instruction The control group received the subject matter approach According to Campbell and Stanley, when there is no true control the study should follow the variation of the nonequivalent control group design. Furthermore, Gall, Borg, and Gall (1996) stated that all groups may receive a treatment in the nonequivalent control group design Gall, Borg, and Gall stated that the only essential features of this type of design are nonrandom assignment of subjects to groups and administration of a pretest and posttest to all groups An overall achievement assessment compared the two group s on knowledge competence An argumentation assessment measured learners thought processes used to develop a conclusion based on a scenario A scientific reasoning instrument measured scientific reasoning and was used to compare the two groups The variation of the nonequivalent control group design appears as follows: O1 X1 O2 ---------------O1 X2 O2

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91 The first observation (O1) consisted of a pretest given to each participant in the treatment and control groups to determine prior knowledge of the subject matter The second observation (O2) consisted of a posttest and occurred following the treatment The design for the study was as follows: T Ockpre1 X1 Ockpost1 Ockpre2 X2 Ockpost2 Ockpre3 X3 Ockpost3 Ockpre4 X4 Ockpost4 Ockpre7 X7 Ockpost7 OSR OArg ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------C Ockpre1 X1 Ockpost1 Ockpre2 X2 Ockpost2 Ockpre3 X3 Ockpost3 Ockpre4 X4 Ockpost4 Ockpre7 X7 Ockpost7 OSR OArg Treatment levels were randomly assigned to intact classes within each school Inquiry based instruction (T) acted as the treatment The subject -matter approach (C) was utilized as the comparison (control) The first observation (Ockpre1) consisted of a content knowledge pretest given to each participant to determine prior knowledge of the subject matter The second observation (Ockpost1) occurred directly following the treatment (teaching method) and consisted of a cont ent knowledge achievement posttest for the unit of instruction Pretest and posttest questions were randomized, and the tests were administered approximately two weeks apart The third observation (Ockpre2) followed the posttest and the instruction cycle r epeated throughout the length of the 12 week study The above cycle continued between observations and treatments with each treatment lasting two weeks. The subject -matter group and the inquiry-based instruction group received the Key: Ck Content Knowledge Pre Pre test (CSAT Tracker) Post Post test (CSAT Tracker) SR Scientific Reasoning (LCTSR) Arg Argumentation (Rubric) X Treatment T Inquiry -based instruction C Subject matter approach

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92 same content knowledge a ssessments. Following the seventh treatment and administration of the final posttest, a scientific reasoning instrument (observation OSR) and an argumentation skills instrument (observation OArg) were administered. Both groups received the same scientific reasoning and argumentation skills instruments. The basic threats to internal validity identified by Campbell and Stanley (1963) include history, interaction effects, maturation, mortality, regression, subject selection, and testing The research design (n onequivalent control group) controls all of the threats except for interaction effects and regression Campbell and Stanley noted regression as a concern but explained the risk of regression during a pretest posttest procedure can be minimized if subjects are not selected on extreme scores, and they were not in this study. The greatest threat of interaction in this design type is that the differences found in the posttest are due to preexisting group differences, rather than due to the treatment (Gall, Bor g, & Gall 1996) The use of multiple classroom settings in this study reduced the risk of interaction of subjects, and the use of covariates of content knowledge achievement pretest scores to statistically adjust the means on the posttest and randomization of pretest and posttest questions addressed the interaction concern Other concerns exist when conducting a study of teaching methodology in addition to the internal validity threats One factor addressed in the study involved the teaching ability of t he teachers interpretations and implementation of inquiry based teaching This concern was addressed through the use of multiple teachers delivering both teaching methods under investigation to different classes Boone (1988) recommended professional devel opment to prepare teachers to properly deliver the treatment This study addressed Boones recommendation by selecting from among teachers who were involved in the National

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93 Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy (NATAA) professional development program Th e NATAA is a five day intensive professional development training on the inquirybased instructional method In addition to the five -day professional development in-service training, each teacher participating in the study received a researcher developed a udio tutorial that further explained the teaching methods and general information for participation in the study Content selection is also a concern with conducting a study utilizing specific teaching methods (Myers, 2004) The content and context of the lessons for both the subject -matter and inquiry -based lessons were deemed appropriate by a panel of experts The units of instruction on soil science and plant science were selected by the researcher from the Animal, Plant, and Soil Science curriculum pu blished by the Center for Agricultural and Environmental Research and Training, Inc. (CAERT). The two treatments were randomly assigned to the classes To ensure utilization and adherence to the assigned treatment, each teacher presentation was audio taped and analyzed by the researcher Selection of participants posed an additional threat to this study. Selection included teachers, classes, and students Teachers were selected based upon their successful participation in the NATAA professional development and their ability to effectively deliver both teaching methods Classes were randomly assigned a treatment, and data were collected on individual students Students were not randomly assigned a treatment since random assignment of the treatment is not fea sible in secondary school settings Procedures Boone (1988) suggested that when conducting teaching methodological studies and teachers are delivering the treatments, precautions need to be taken to ensure conformity to teaching the approach under inves tigation Teachers attended the NATAA professional development training prior to beginning the study. Lesson plans, handouts, assessment

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94 instruments, worksheets, and other supplemental items were provided by the researcher so that the teacher could deliver the assigned treatments effectively Teachers audio recorded each lesson At the conclusion of the treatment the researcher analyzed the audio recordings to determine fidelity of the treatment The Science Teaching Inquiry Rubric (STIR) (Bodzin & Cat es, 2002) was used (Appendix B) to determine the level at which inquiry was utilized. Following Dyer (1995) and Myers (2004) procedures, the first class period and two other randomly selected classes were evaluated Audio recordings were scored using the STIR rubric to determine the level of inquiry investigation by students in the inquirybased treatment group. The STIR was also utilized to verify that inquiry was not being delivered in the traditional treatment group. Digital audio recordings were evalua ted based on Bodzin and Beerer (2003) STIR. The level of STIR was determined a priori that a mean greater than 2.5 on a 5 point scale would be essential to ensure that the treatment was delivered using an inquiry-based approach. The level of the STIR was d etermined a priori that a mean of 2.5 and lower on a 5 point scale would be essential to ensure that the subject -matter approached (comparison) was delivered Students attending classes in which the teaching method was not appropriately delivered, as determined by the STIR, were removed from the sample. Approximately one week prior to instruction, students completed the first observation of the research design Students completed the pretest assessment for the upcoming content that followed over the next tw o weeks Each student then took a posttest immediately following the instruction, followed by the pretest for the next segment of the content taught Following complete instruction of the study, students were administered the argumentation instrument and L awsons Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning (LCTSR).

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95 Population and Sample The population for this study was United States secondary school agriscience students The accessible population was students of NATAA participants A purposive sample was selec ted according to the ability of the teacher to effectively deliver both teaching methodologies under investigation and familiarity with the content of the units of instruction All teachers were identified as highly qualified teachers prior to being select ed to participate in the NATAA Each teacher was selected to participate in the NATAA professional development by their states FFA executive secretary and/or their states agricultural education specialist (L. Gossen, personal communication, October, 26, 2008) Teacher participants were then chosen from NATAA participants based on their ability to teach inquiry -based instruction at national in -service workshops to their peer teachers in their home state, at the National FFA Convention, and at the National Association for Agricultural Education (NAAE) convention Teachers did not receive a monetary incentive to participate in the study Teacher incentives to participate in the study included a subscription to the MYCAERT curriculum throughout the study to u se in other classes they taught outside of the study and the use of inquiry -based lessons for personal use at the completion of the study. Sample size was determined to ensure the ability to properly measure the variables of the study, while avoiding significance due to inflated sample size Hays (1973) suggested a formula to determine sample size that would provide practical and statistical significance The following formula was used to determine sample size to limit the probability of committing Type I error to .05, detect variance greater than .10 in the dependent variables due to the independent variable, and achieve a desired power of .90. n = 2[Z(1 Z]2 2

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96 The following is an explanation of the formula: Z(1 lpha in standard deviation units w2) / w2) where w2 represents the amount of variance of the dependent variab le accounted for by the independent variable The calculations for this study, using the above formulas are .10)] = .66 n = 2[1.96-(1.64)]2 / .662 = 59.5. After calculating the formula suggested by Hays (1973), the calculation determined tha t the minimum number of students in each treatment required to achieve an appropriate sample size is 60. Based on the findings of Flowers (1986), Boone (1988), Dyer (1995), and Myers (2004), this type of study may experience a mortality rate up to 50% Jur s and G lass (1971) reported mortality in education research may range from 30 to 50 percent when even controlled properly by the researcher Therefore, this number was doubled for each treatment in order to offset the effects of mortality and other internal validity concerns It was then estimated, due to the nature of student classroom numbers in some rural schools, a conservative estimate of 12 students per section at each school site and taking into account of potential mortality ten teachers need to be selected to participate in the study. Instrumentation and Data Collection The researcher developed the instruments used to collect data for the dependent variable of knowledge level achievement The LCTSR (Lawson, 2000) was used to measure scientific reaso ning. The researcher developed the instrument used to collect data on argumentation skills Data concerning the static attributes of ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, and other student characteristics were reported to the researcher by the teacher using the schools student

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97 records Lesson plans for the units of instruction were created by CAERT and adapted into an inquiry format by the researcher. Unit of Instruction Plans The instructional plans for the study were derived from the CAERT curriculum Animal, Plant, and Soil Science lesson plan cluster (CAERT, 2008) Two sets of instructional plans were developed, one for the treatment and one for the control For the subject -matter approach (control) the CAERT lesson plans were utilized For the inqui ry based approach (treatment) the CAERT lesson plans were adapted by the researcher The CAERT lessons acted as a content template with an additional inquiry -based supplement provided by the researcher to provide adaptation for inquiry based instructional methods. The content of the seven units was designed to address the soil and plant science portion of the National Agriscience Content Standards for an agriscience course in the United States (CAERT, 2008) The lessons within the units were designed to req uire a total of 1 2 weeks to complete All students in the agriscience class included in the study were taught all lessons within the units of instruction Approximately one -half of the students received instruction with subject-matter approach teaching met hods, and one -half received instruction through inquiry-based instruction during the entire length of the study. The instructional plans (Appendix C) were evaluated for content validity by a panel of experts from the Agricultural Education and Communicatio n Department and the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida The panel determined that the inquiry-based and subject matter lessons were appropriate for the grade levels and deemed the lessons appropriate for inquiry and subject matte r approaches. Content Knowledge Achievement Assessment Instruments In order to measure student prior content knowledge and establish base line knowledge for each group, the researcher designed a content knowledge pretest and posttest for each unit of

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98 instr uction (Appendix D). All tests were similar in design and difficulty Pretests and posttests for each achievement measurement remained the same, and questions were randomly ordered for each student each time the assessment was proctored Teaching objective s were used as the basis for constructing the instruments Lesson matrices were developed (Appendix E ) to verify that each objective included in the lesson plans was properly assessed in the instruments A panel of experts from the Agricultural Education and Communication Department and the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida was used to determine face and content validity of the instruments The instruments were determined to be valid Data were collected electronically through stu dent -completed assessments using the MYCAERT electronic testing system The assessments were immediately scored by the computer system. Correct and incorrect answers and scores on the pretests were withheld from the students. Lawsons Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning Lawsons Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning (LCTSR) (Lawson, 2000) was used to assess scientific reasoning The LCTSR is considered a reliable and valid instrument that measures levels of formal -operational scientific reasoning in sec ondary and college age students LCTSR is designed to assess scientific reasoning; therefore the instrument requires as little reading and writing as possible Students are asked questions at Blooms (1956) cognitive behavior levels of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation Lawson (1978) stated that the LCTSR measures the learners ..analysis of possible causal factors (combinatorial reasoning), the weighing of confirming and disconfirming cases (correlational reasoning), the recognition of the probabilistic nature of phenomena (probabilistic reasoning), and the eventual establishment of functional relationships between variables (proportional reasoning) (p. 12). T he validity of the LCTSR was established by six experts in the area of Piagetian research who unanimously agreed that the test requires concrete and formal reasoning. In addition, a

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99 Cronbach Alpha reliability coefficient of .86 was reported by the developer of the instrument The Kuder -Richardson 20 reliability estimate for grade levels 8, 9, and 10 was reported as .78 (Lawson, 1978) Data were collected though paper and pencil student completion of the LCTSR. Argumentation Skills A researcher -developed scoring rubric by Schen (2007) (Appendix F ) was utilized in the assessment of student argumentatio n skills The researcher scored each student response, assigning a score based on the quality of the response in the categories of claim made, grounds used, warrants given, counterargument generated, and rebuttal offered A panel of experts consisting of f aculty from the Agricultural Education and Communication Department and the Educational Psychology Department at the University of Florida evaluated the rubric for face and content validity. The panel determined that the researcher developed rubric was val id After completion of the researcher -scored response, an expert selected a random sample (subject matter and inquiry -based teaching) for a double blind review to obtain inter -rater reliability Researcher scores were determined to be consistent Data wer e collected through electronic submissions of Word documents that contained student responses to the argumentation assessment Fidelity of Treatment Delivery To ensure that teachers involved in this study were exhibiting the correct teaching methodolog y, teachers were asked to audiotape each class period during the duration of the study The Science Teaching Inquiry Rubric (STIR) (Bodzin & Cates, 2002) (Appendix B ) was used to analyze the level of inquiry -based instruction The STIR has been reported to have an overall correlation of r =.58 with a perfect correlation between two raters of r =1.00, establishing the STIR as an effective analysis tool (Bodzin & Beerer, 2003) The researcher determined a

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100 priori, based on a study conducted by Thoron and Myers (2009b), that students missing more than 25% of the instructional time during the study would be removed from the sample. Analysis of Data Data were analyzed using the SPSS version 17.0 for Windows XP software Analysis of the first objective involved descriptive statistics and included frequencies, means, and standard deviations Objective two was examined using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) Objective three investigated relationships, and correlations were used. Shavelson (1996) and Agresti and Finla y (1997) stated these procedures are acceptable when analyzing two or more dependent variables (content knowledge achievement, scientific reasoning, and argumentation skill) while statistically controlling one or more variables (static attributes) The sta ted procedures also allow for control of overall alpha level and lower the risk of committing a Type I error Chapter Summary In this chapter, methods used to address the research questions were discussed This chapter reported the procedures, research de sign, population and sample, instrumentation, data collection procedure, and analysis of data Additionally, this chapter outlined methods used to overcome and minimize threats to validity and fidelity. The independent variable in this study was the teachi ng method used in the agricultural education classes The treatments under investigation were subject matter approach and the inquiry approach to teaching and learning The dependent variables in this study were argumentation skill, scientific reasoning, a nd student content knowledge achievement Characteristics that were treated as static attributes (antecedent variables) were teacher characteristics, student characteristics, and socio cultural context.

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101 This study utilized a quasi -experimental research des ign of intact groups randomly assigned to a teaching methodology Inquiry-based instruction acted as the treatment and the subject -matter approach was utilized as the comparison Pretest scores were used to determine group differences, and posttest scores were used to compare student content knowledge gained due to the teaching method. This chapter reported the statistical procedures used to account for previous knowledge in subject matter and the individual learning ability of the students Covariate measu res included pretests for the units of instruction This study also measured scientific reasoning through the use of Lawsons Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning (LCTSR) and a researcher developed argumentation instrument to measure student argumentatio n skills. National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy (NATAA) participants were selected to deliver the teaching methodologies The population for this study was United States secondary school agriscience students The accessible population was student s of NATAA participants A purposive sample was selected according to the ability of the teacher to effectively deliver both teaching methodologies under investigation and familiarity with the content units The study consisted of 12 weeks of lessons with 7 units of instruction in a soil and plant science context based on the National Agriscience Content Standards. Finally, this chapter reported the analysis of data through SPSS version 17.0 for Windows XP software Analysis of the first objective involve d descriptive statistics and included frequencies, means, and standard deviations O bjective two was examined using mean scores and standard deviations and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) Objective three investigated relationships, and correlations were u sed The following chapter presents the results of this study

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102 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Chapter one described the justification for measuring the effect of inquiry-based instruction in school -based agricultural education The principal focus of this study was to determine the effects of inquiry -based instruction on student argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and content knowledge achievement across static attributes Chapter two described the theoretical and conceptual frameworks that guided the stu dy Chapter two also presented the salient research relevant to this study The review of literature focused on empirical research in the following areas: foundations of inquiry, inquirybased instruction, levels of inquiry, inquiry in agriculture, argumen tation skills, scientific reasoning, and content knowledge achievement. In Chapter three, methods used to address the research questions were discussed This chapter reported the research design, procedures, population and sample, instrumentation and data collection procedure, and data analysis techniques. The independent variable in this study was the teaching method used in the agricultural education classes Treatment groups utilized a subject matter approach or inquiry approach to learning The depende nt variables in this study were argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and student content knowledge achievement Characteristics that were treated as static attributes (antecedent variables) were teacher characteristics, student characteristics, and socio cultural context. Teacher characteristics o academic background o teaching experience o knowledge of inquiry-based instruction Student characteristics o Socio -economic status o race

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103 o gender o age o ability Social cultural context o home o community Covariates were used to adjust group means in order to compensate for previous knowledge in the subject matter These covariate measures included pretests for the unit of instruction. Chapter three reported that this study utilized a quasi -experimental design Random assignm ent of subjects to treatment groups was not possible; therefore a quasi -experimental design was selected Additionally, intact groups were used The study followed a nonequivalent control group design (Campbell & Stanley, 1963) The treatment group received the inquiry based instruction The control group received the subject matter approach Data collected were pretest scores, content knowledge achievement scores (posttest scores), argumentation skill scores, scientific reasoning scores (as measured by LCT SR instrument), student attendance records, student demographics (gender, ethnicity, year in school, socio -economic status), and audio tapes of instruction Data were analyzed using a multivariate analysis of covariance, univariate analysis of covariance, means, standard deviations, correlations, frequencies, perce ntages, and post hoc analyses. This chapter presents the findings obtained by this study The results address the objectives and hypothesis of the study in determining the influence of teaching me thod, gender, ethnicity, social economic status, and year in school on student argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and student achievement. The population used in this study consisted of students enrolled in agriscience courses across the nation The accessible population was students of National Agriscience Teacher

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104 Ambassador Academy (NATAA) participants A purposive sample was selected according to the ability of the teacher to effectively deliver both teaching methodologies under investigation a nd familiarity with the content of the units of instruction A total of ten different schools across the United States were selected to participate A total of 437 students were enrolled in classes in the selected schools from which data were to be collect ed (see Table 4 1) Intact student groups (classrooms) were randomly assigned a treatment. Table 4 -1 Treatment Group Membership Totals Treatment Group # of Schools for Each Section # of Students Subject Matter Sections 10 233 Inquiry based Sections 10 204 Total 10 437 No data were received from one participating school in the study Repeated contacts were made with the participating teacher After the study had concluded the teacher contacted the researcher and explained his inability to participate due to personal health issues Since no data were obtained, the students in this school were removed from the study Likewise, one of the participating teachers in the study incurred family health issues and was unable to complete the study in a timely ma nner and asked to withdrawal from the study. Therefore, students in this school were removed from the study Finally, a third teacher was reassigned a teaching role at her school and had to withdraw after the first week of the study This schools students were also removed from the study. A total of 109 students were removed from the study due to nonparticipation or inability to complete the study. As outlined in chapter three the researcher determined a priori, based on a study conducted by Thoron and My ers (2009b), that the treatment was not adequately administered to students missing more than 25% of the instructional time Thus the twenty three students meeting this criterion were removed from the study This mortality resulted in the sample size being reduced

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105 to 305 students (see Table 4 2) This equates to a 30.21% mortality rate for this study Previous experimental studies in agricultural education using intact classes reported similar or higher mortality rates (Boone, 1988; Dyer, 1995; Flowers, 1986; Myers, 2004) and Jurs and Glass (1971) describe mortality rates may be as high as 50%. As outlined in chapter three, to ensure that teachers involved in this study were exhibiting the correct teaching methodology, teachers were asked to audiotape each c lass period during the duration of the study The Science Teaching Inquiry Rubric (STIR) was used to analyze the level of inquiry-based instruction to determine the level of teaching for both inquiry-based sections and subject matter sections at each schoo l It was determined that seven teachers effectively delivered inquiry based and subject matter instruction Table 4 2 Treatment Group Participant Totals Treatment Group # of Schools # of Students Subject Matter Sections 7 135 Inquiry based Sections 7 170 Total 7 305 Chapter three outlined the research design and data collection points throughout the study. Content knowledge was assessed prior to and following the inquiry -based and subject matter instruction The response rate for each collection w as 100% (see Table 4 3) Likewise, the student argumentation skill ability of the participants was measured post -treatment using a rubric developed by Schen (2007) The response rate for the argumentation instrument was 86.2%. Further, Lawsons Classroom T est of Scientific Reasoning [LCTSR] (Lawson, 1978) was administered post treatment The response rate for the LCTSR was 93.4%. The LCTSR and argumentation instruments did not achieve a 100% response rate due to the end of the study and students being abse nt during the time the tests were administered.

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106 Table 4 3 Response Rates for Data Collection Components (n = 305) Data Collection Component N Response Rate Content Knowledge Pretest 305 100.0% Content Knowledge Posttest 305 100.0% Argumentation Skill s 263 86.2% Scientific Reasoning 285 93.4% Prior to the study a coefficient alpha for the dichotomous data of the content knowledge achievement exams was calculated through a pilot test to assess reliability of the instruments The posttest questions we re asked in a randomly selected order to reduce testing effect (Campbell & Stanley, 1963) Test retest reliability was calculated with a summated test score mean of 49.4 percent for content knowledge achievement (CKA) one, 50.0 percent for CKA two, 47.8 pe rcent for CKA three, 48.2 percent for CKA four, 56.9 percent for CKA five, 45.3 for CKA six, and 57.5 for CKA seven (see Table 4 4) Reliability coefficients for the content knowledge achievement instruments were calculated using Kuder -Richardson 20 (KR20) for dichotomous data (Gall, Borg, & Gall, 1996) The instruments were determined to have a coefficient alpha of: .94, .93, .91, .86, .87, .89, and .91 respectively. Table 4 4 Pilot Test Mean Content Knowledge Assessment Scores and Instrument Reliability CKA Instrument Mean Score KR 20 Alpha 1 49.4 .94 2 50.0 .93 3 47.8 .91 4 48.2 .86 5 56.9 .87 6 45.3 .89 7 57.5 .91 Note: CKA = Content Knowledge Achievement; CKA max score 100 As reported in Chapter three the argumentation skills instrument scor ing rubric by Schen (2007) was utilized in the assessment of student argumentation skills The researcher scored each student response, assigning a score based on the quality of the response in the categories of claim

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107 made, grounds used, warrants given, counterargument generated, and rebuttal offered After completion of the researcher -scored response, a random sample was selected (subject -matter and inquiry -based teaching) for a double blind review to obtain inter rater reliability The inter -rater reliability for the argumentation skills instrument was reported a Cronbachs Alpha reliability coefficient of .81 In addition, Chapter three reported a Cronbachs Alpha reliability coefficient of .86 for the LCTSR The Kuder Richardson 20 reliability estimate f or grade levels 8, 9, and 10 was reported as .78 (Lawson, 1978) No changes were made in the LCTSR for this study. Objective One: D escribe the Ethnicity, G ender, Year in School, and Socio -Economic S tatus of High School A griscience S tudents Ethnicity Parti cipant ethnicity was categorized into the groups of White (non Hispanic), Black, Hispanic, and Other The majority of students participating in this study were categorized as White (81.6%) The second largest group was Hispanic (10.2%), followed by Black (4.3%) and Other (3.9%). The ethnicity of each of the treatments was similar to the ethnicity of the entire sample (see Table 4 -5). Table 4 5 Participant Ethnicity (n = 305) Treatment Group IBI SM Total Ethnicity n % n % n % White, non Hispanic 13 9 81.8 110 81.5 249 81.6 Black 8 4.7 5 3.7 13 4.3 Hispanic 16 9.4 15 11.1 31 10.2 Other 7 4.1 5 3.7 12 3.9 Note. IBI = Inquiry based instruction; SM = Subject Matter Gender The majority of the participants in this study (58.0%) were male The treatment groups were similar to each other (see Table 4 -6).

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108 Table 4 6 Participant Gender Distribution (n = 305) Treatment Group IBI SM Total Gender n % n % n % Male 98 57.6 79 58.5 177 58.0 Female 72 42.4 56 41.5 128 42.0 Note. IBI = Inquiry based instruction; SM = Subject Matter Grade Level Of the 305 participants who reported grade level data, 48.5% (n = 148) were in the ninth grade (see Table 4 7) The remainder of the participants were either in tenth grade (n = 134, 44.0%), or eleventh grade (n = 23, 7.5%) There were no twelfth -grade students in the study Grade level distribution by treatment groups varied from that of the overall sample Slightly more than 50% of the students in the inquiry-based group were in the ninth grade as compared to approximately 45% in the subject matter group Treatment groups were similar in terms of grade level. Table 4 7 Participant Grade Level (n = 305) Treatment Group IBI SM Total Grade Level n % n % n % Ninth 87 51.2 61 45.2 148 48.5 Tenth 69 40.6 65 48.1 134 44.0 Eleventh 14 8.2 9 6.7 23 7.5 Note. IBI = Inquiry based instruction; SM = Subject Matter Socio -Economic Status Socio -economic status (SES) was determined by ability to participate in the national free and reduced school lunch program (S tone & Lane, 2003) Therefore, SES was categorized in the groups of non ability to participate, ability to receive reduced lunch, and ability to receive free lunch. The majority of the students participating in this study (72.5%) were not able to

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109 participa te in the national school lunch program with 16.7% able to receive a reduced price in the school lunch program (see Table 4.8) Treatment groups were similar in terms of SES Table 4 8 Participant Socio Economic Status (n = 305) Treatment Group IBI SM Total SES n % n % n % Not a participant 122 71.8 99 73.3 221 72.5 Reduced Lunch 26 15.3 25 18.5 51 16.7 Free Lunch 22 12.9 11 8.1 33 10.8 Note. IBI = Inquiry based instruction; SM = Subject Matter Objective T wo: Ascertain the Effects of I nquiry -B ased I nstruction on S tudent Argumentation Skills, S cientific Reasoning, and C ontent K nowledge A chievement of H igh S chool A griscience S tudents Content Knowledge Achievement Each students content knowledge achievement was determined using the researcher developed content knowledge achievement instruments The maximum possible score on these instruments was 100 Pretest data were collected from 305 participants with an overall mean of 36.04 (SD = 12.18) for instrument one; 35.88 (SD = 13.41) for instrument two; 31.46 (SD = 11.66) for instrument three; 35.74 (SD = 13.47) for instrument four; 35.89 (SD = 12.27) for instrument five; 34.30 (SD = 13.79) for instrument six; 29.63 (SD = 12.18) for instrument seven (see Table 4 9) Although inquiry -based instructio n treatment group achieved similar mean content knowledge scores and similar standard deviations as the subject matter treatment group, the subject matter group achieved higher pretest mean scores and standard deviations on all instruments with the exception of instrument four

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110 Table 4 9 Participate Mean Pretest Scores (n = 305) Treatment Group IBI SM Total Content Knowledge Instrument M SD M SD M SD 1 35.57 11.68 36.64 12.80 36.04 12.18 2 35.72 12.78 36.09 14.20 35.88 13.41 3 31.20 11.06 3 1.79 12.40 31.46 11.66 4 36.19 13.88 35.17 12.96 35.74 13.47 5 35.82 11.89 35.97 12.77 35.89 12.27 6 33.72 13.78 35.02 13.83 34.30 13.79 7 29.27 11.74 30.07 12.75 29.63 12.18 Note. IBI = Inquiry based instruction; SM = Subject Matter Posttest data w ere collected from 305 students The overall mean of content knowledge achievement posttest was 62.13 (SD = 17.71) for instrument one; 63.15 (SD = 16.94) for instrument two; 64.77 (SD = 16.86) for instrument three; 70.66 (SD = 15.70) for instrument four; 7 0.66 (SD = 17.28) for instrument five; 72.07 (SD = 17.11) for instrument six; 72.63 (SD = 16.59) for instrument seven. Inquiry -based instruction recorded consistently higher mean scores on all content knowledge achievement instruments and lower standard de viations on six of the seven content knowledge achievement instruments than subject matter instruction (see Table 4 10). Table 4 10 Participant Mean Posttest Scores Treatment Group IBI ( n = 170) SM ( n = 135) Total ( n = 305) Content Knowledge Inst rument M SD M SD M SD 1 63.49 17.86 60.43 17.44 62.13 17.71 2 66.24 14.86 59.26 18.57 63.15 16.94 3 68.26 15.86 60.39 17.11 64.77 16.86 4 76.82 13.67 62.90 14.66 70.66 15.70 5 79.04 12.74 60.10 16.48 70.66 17.28 6 81.64 10.32 60.00 16.35 72.07 17.11 7 80.68 10.61 62.49 17.23 72.63 16.59 Note. IBI = Inquiry based instruction; SM = Subject Matter

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111 Student Argumentation Skills The student argumentation skills instrument was used to determine the argumentation skills of students following the treatment s (subject matter and inquiry based instruction) The overall mean score of the argumentation skill instrument was 5.97 (SD = 1.79) of a possible 10 (see Table 4 11) Each students argumentation skill was determined using Schens (2007) scoring rubric to measure argumentation skills The mean argumentation score was higher for the inquiry -based instruction (M = 6.44, SD = 1.74) than for subject matter instruction. Table 4 11 Participant Mean Student Argumentation Skill Scores Treatment Group IBI ( n = 147) SM ( n = 116) Total ( n = 263) Instrument M SD M SD M SD Student Argumentation Skills 6.44 1.74 5.39 1.68 5.97 1.79 Note. IBI = Inquiry based instruction; SM = Subject Matter Scientific Reasoning Lawsons Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning (LCTSR) was used to determine the scientific reasoning of student participants following the treatments (subject matter and inquirybased instruction). The overall mean of the LCTSR was 36.77 (SD = 14.36) of a possible 100 (see Table 4 12) The mean LCTSR score differed between subject matter (M = 30.90, SD = 12.31) and the inquiry-based instruction (M = 41.44, SD = 14.18) groups. Table 4 12 Participate Mean Scientific Reasoning Scores Treatment Group IBI ( n = 159) SM ( n = 126) Total ( n = 285) Ins trument M SD M SD M SD LCTSR 41.44 14.18 30.90 12.31 36.77 14.36 Note. IBI = Inquiry based instruction; SM = Subject Matter; LCTSR = Lawsons Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning

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112 Objective Three: Examine the R elationship Between C ontent K nowledge A ch ievement, A rgumentation S kills, S cientific Reasoning, E thnicity, G ender, Y ear in S chool, and S ocio Economic S tatus of H igh S chool A griscience S tudents Prior to any inferential analysis of the data, all variables were examined for correlations For the purpose of discussion, the terminology proposed by Davis (19 71) was used to indicate the magnitude of the correlations Davis defined correlations between .01 and .09 as considered negligible, .10 to .29 as low, .30 to .49 as moderate, .5 to 69 as substantial, .70 to .99 as very high, and 1.00 as perfect Pearson Product Moment correlations were used to determine the relationships between the variables (see Table 4 13) Content knowledge posttest scores were found to have moderate relationships with other pos ttests ranging from r = .34 to r = .49. Content knowledge two reported moderate correlations with posttest three, five, six, and seven, recording scores of r = .34, r = .35, r = .37, r = .30, respectively Posttest three reported moderate correlations with posttest four (r = .41), posttest five (r = .42), posttest six (r = .37), and posttest seven (r = .43) Posttest four reported a substantial correlation with posttest five (r = .59) and moderate correlations with posttests six and seven (r = .45, r = .35 respectively) A substantial correlation was reported between posttest five and posttest six (r = .54), and posttest five reported a moderate correlation with posttest seven (r = .49) Posttest six and seven also reported a moderate correlation (r = .46) Posttest one had negligible to low correlations with all variables The treatment variable was found to have moderate or substantial correlation with four of the seven content knowledge posttest Moderate correlations were also reported between treatment and argumentation skill scores and treatment and LCTSR (r = -.30 and r = -.37 respectively) Demographic variables of year in school (grade), gender, ethnicity, and SES contained negligible relationships with posttests, argumentation skill score, LCTSR score, and type of treatment (inquiry-based instruction and subject -matter approach) One relationship was determined to be low between Posttest two and year in school.

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113 Table 4 13 Correlations Between Variables Variable 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 1. Posttest 1 -.05 .18 .07 .17 .16 .10 .07 .01 .11 .02 .05 .01 .09 2. Posttest 2 -.34 .28 .35 .37 .30 .01 .14 .26 .00 .08 .02 .21 3. Posttest 3 -.41 .42 .37 .43 .03 .04 .03 .01 .10 .00 .23 4. Posttest 4 -.59 .45 .35 .10 .23 .08 .05 .12 .01 .44 5. Posttest 5 -.54 .49 .08 .15 .08 .01 .07 .05 .55 6. Posttest 6 -.46 .08 .21 .03 .00 .08 .07 .63 7. Posttest 7 -.07 .22 .17 .05 .03 .03 .55 8. Argumentation Skills Score -.19 .03 .16 .05 .14 .30 9. LCTSR Score -.03 .02 .01 .02 .37 10. Grade -.03 .04 .06 .04 11. Gender -.03 .11 .01 12. Ethnicity -.05 .01 13. SES -.05 14. Treatment -Note. Posttest = Content Kno wledge Achievement Exams; Treatment = Teaching method utilized

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114 Tests of Hypotheses The dependent variables in this study were content knowledge, argumentation skills, and scientific reasoning All of these data were interval data. The independent vari ables in this study were ethnicity, gender, year in school, social economic status, and treatment group All independent variables were categorical data. Covariates in this study were content knowledge pretest scores Covariates were interval. To determine if significant differences existed in the content knowledge achievement assessments, argumentation skills, and scientific reasoning scores of students taught in classes under the instruction of inquirybased instruction or subject matter, hypotheses were formulated to guide this study The decisions to retain or reject the null hypotheses (at the .05 level) were based upon the findings of the analysis of covariance procedures used to analyze data Results of the tests of hypotheses are presented as they pertain to student content knowledge achievement, argumentation skill score, and scientific reasoning score. Hypotheses Related to Content Knowledge Achievement Ho1 There is no significant difference in student content knowledge achievement based upon the teaching method. Student content mean scores were analyzed between groups through analysis of covariance technique Student pretest score was utilized as a covariate to adjust for achievement prior to the treatment Following the first instructional period, students who were taught through inquirybased instruction (IBI) reported a mean posttest score of 63.49 (SD=17.86) and those taught through the subject matter (SM) had a mean score of 60.43 (SD=17.44) (see Table 4 14) This difference in posttest scor es was found to not be statistically significant, F(4,334) = 2.82, p = .09 (see Table 4 15)

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115 For the second instruction period, students in the group that was taught through IBI achieved a mean posttest score of 66.24 (SD = 14.86) with the SM group having a mean of 59.26 (SD = 18.57). This difference in posttest scores was found to be statistically significant, F(19,550) = 17.30, p For the third instruction period, students in the IBI group recorded a mean score of 68.26 (SD= 15.86) and the SM group recorded a mean score of 63.39 (SD = 17.11). This difference in post test scores was also found to be a statistically significant, F(17,256) = 22.08, p During the fourth lesson students in the IBI group had a mean score of 76.82 (SD = 13.67) and the SM group scored a mean score of 62.90 (SD = 14.66) This difference in mean posttest scores was statistically significant, F(16,849) = 73.43, p During the fifth portion of the study, IBI students reported a mean score of 79.04 (SD = 12.74) while students learning under SM reported a mean score of 60.10 (SD = 16.35). The difference in posttest scores for the fifth assessment were found to be statistically significant, F(27,956) = 129.94, p For the sixth instructional unit, students in the group that was taught through IBI had a mean posttest score of 81.64 (SD = 10.32) and the SM group having a mean of 60.00 (SD = 16.35). This difference in posttest scores was found to be statistically significant, F(41,219) = 230.72, p Finally, the seventh instructional unit, students in the IBI group recorded a mean score of 80.68 (SD= 10.61) and the SM group recorded a mean score of 62.49 (SD = 17.23). This difference in posttest scores was also found to be a statistically significant, F(26,626) = 133.96, p Based upon these findings, the null hypothesis of no difference in content knowledge achievement due to teaching method was rejected

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116 Table 4 14 Content Knowledge Posttest Scores by Treatment (n = 305) Treatment Group IBI SM Content Knowledge Instrument M SD M SD 1 63.49 17.86 60.43 17.44 2 66 .24 14.86 59.26 18.57 3 68.26 15.86 60.39 17.11 4 76.82 13.67 62.90 14.66 5 79.04 12.74 60.10 16.48 6 81.64 10.32 60.00 16.35 7 80.68 10.61 62.49 17.23 Note. IBI = Inquiry based instruction; SM = Subject Matter Table 4 15 Univariate Analysis of Tr eatment Effects for Content Knowledge Source df F p CKP 1 2 2.82 .09 CKP 2 2 17.30 CKP 3 2 22.08 CKP 4 2 73.43 CKP 5 2 129.94 CKP 6 2 230.72 CKP 7 2 133.96 Note. CKP = Content Knowledge Posttest Hypotheses Rel ated to Argumentation Skills Ho2 There is no significant difference in student argumentation skills based upon the teaching method. Students argumentation skill score was calculated by the use of Schens (2007) rubric. Students taught using inquirybas ed instruction achieved higher mean argumentation skills score (M = 6.44) than students taught using subject matter The univariate analysis of covariance [F(127) = 30.23, p level of .05 between students taught by the two teaching methods (see Table 416) Based upon these findings, the null hypothesis of no significant difference in student argume ntation skills between the two groups was rejected

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117 Table 4 16 Univariate Analysis of Treatment Effects for Argumentation Skills Source df F p AS 2 30.23 Note. AS = Argumentation Skills Hypotheses Related to Scientific Reasoning Ho3 There is no significant difference in student scientific reasoning based upon the teaching method. Students scientific reasoning ability was determined through the LCTSR Students taught using inquiry-based instruction achieved the higher mean LCTSR score (M = 41.44) than student taught using subject matter The univariate analysis of covariance [F(8,496) = 46.34, p revealed significant differences in scientific reasoning ability at the alpha level of .05 between student taught by the inquiry-based instruction and subject matter approach (see Table 4 17) Based upon these findings, the null hypothesis of no si gnificant difference in student scientific reasoning between the two groups was rejected. Table 4 17 Univariate Analysis of Treatment Effects for Scientific Reasoning Source df F p LCTSR 2 46.34 Note. LCTSR = Lawsons Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning Summary This chapter presented the findings of the study. The findings were tailored to the objectives and hypotheses that guided this research. The objectives were: (1) describe the ethnicity, gender, year in school, and social economic status of high school agriscience students; (2) ascertain the effects of inquiry based instruction on student argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and content knowledge achievement of high school agriscience students; (3) examine the relationship between content knowledge achievement, argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, ethnicity, gender, year in school, and social economic status of high school

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118 agriscience students The null hypotheses tested in this study were: (1) there is no significant differ ence in student content knowledge achievement based upon the teaching method; (2) there is no significant difference in student argumentation skills based upon the teaching method; (3) there is no significant difference in student scientific reasoning based upon the teaching method. The findings presented in this chapter will be discussed in greater detail in the subsequent chapter Chapter 5 will provide conclusions, recommendations, and implications regarding the findings as presented Chapter 5 will al so provide a discussion based on the overall findings of the study.

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119 CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of inquirybased instruction on student content knowledge achievement, student a rgumentation skills, and scientific reasoning across ethnicity, gender, year in school, and socio-economic status of high school agriscience students The independent variable in this study was the teaching method used in selected agricultural education cl asses The treatment groups utilized either inquiry -based instruction or the subject matter approach Characteristics that were treated as static attributes were student ethnicity, gender, year in school, and socio-economic status Covariates were used to adjust group means in order to compensate for previous knowledge of the lessons taught during the study Covariate measures were content knowledge pretests for each unit of instruction. As discussed earlier, Chapter one described the justification for meas uring the effect of inquiry -based instruction in school -based agricultural education. Additionally, Chapter one described the national trends in student achievement, presented educational responses to the hands -on science movement, and traced the increased interest in an inquiry -based teaching approach in science and agriscience. Furthermore the chapter recognized the call for agriculture as a contributing factor in science curricula, agricultural educations potential for enhancing student science achievem ent through enrollment in agriscience classes, and the historical approach to teaching agriculture in secondary classrooms that demonstrated contributions to student achievement in science Finally, Chapter one examined the need for an agriscience curricul um that creates learners with a working knowledge of science concepts and principles that are engaging and challenging. Chapter two described the theoretical and conceptual frameworks that guided the study Chapter two also presented the salient research r elevant to this study The review of literature

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120 focused on empirical research in the following areas: foundations of inquiry, inquirybased instruction, levels of inquiry, inquiry in agriculture, argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and content know ledge achievement. In Chapter three, methods used to address the research questions were discussed This chapter reported the research design, procedures, population and sample, instrumentation and data collection procedure, and data analysis techniques. Chapter four presented the findings obtained by this study. The results address the objectives and hypothes e s of the study in determining the influence of teaching method, gender, ethnicity, socio -economic status, and year in school on student argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and student achievement. This chapter will present a su mmary and conclusions based on the findings, and provide recommendations for future research, teacher preparation and curriculum development, and practitioners The follo wing research objectives and hypotheses guided this study. Objectives 1. Describe the ethnicity, gender, year in school, and socio -economic status of high school agriscience students. 2. Ascertain the effects of inquiry based instruction on student argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and content knowledge achievement of high school agriscience students. 3. Examine the relationship between content knowledge achievement, argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, ethnicity, gender, year in school, and soci o-economic status of high school agriscience students Null Hypotheses Ho1 There is no significant difference in student content knowledge achievement based upon the teaching method. HA1 Students taught using inquiry -based methods will achieve higher scores on content knowledge assessments than students taught by prescriptive methods

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121 Ho2 There is no significant difference in student argumentation skills based upon the teaching method. HA2 Students taught using inquiry -based methods will achieve superior argumentation skills than students taught using prescriptive methods Ho3 There is no significant difference in student scientific reasoning based upon the teaching method. HA3 Students taught using inquiry -based methods will achieve high er scientific reasoning scores than students taught using prescriptive methods Methods This study was conducted using a quasi -experimental design referred to by Campbell and Stanley (1963) as a nonequivalent control group design The independent variable in this study was the teaching method used in an agriscience course The dependent variables were student content knowledge achievement, student argumentation skills, and scientific reasoning Static attributes were student ethnicity, gender, year in sc hool, and socio-economic status Student content knowledge pretest scores were used as covariate measures. Following the suggestion made by Boone (1988) for conducting teaching method studies using teachers to deliver treatments, precautions were taken to ensure teacher conformity This led to the selection of the National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy (NATAA) participants NATAA participants were provided professional development through a week long NATAA program Teacher participants were then ch osen from NATAA participants based on their ability to teach inquiry -based instruction at in -service workshops to their peer teachers in their home state, at the National FFA Convention, and at the National Association of Agricultural Educato rs (NAAE) conv ention. All materials needed by the teachers to deliver the treatment (lesson plans, handouts, assessment instruments) were provided by the researcher Furthermore, the teachers audio recorded each lesson for both inquiry -based instruction and the subject -matter approach These audio tapes were then analyzed to determine the level to which

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122 the treatments were delivered using the Science Teaching Inquiry Rubric (STIR) S tudents in classes in which the assigned teaching approach had not been properly delivere d were removed from the study It was determined that the teachers remaining in the study, through the use of the STIR, effectively delivered the treatments. The population for this study was United States secondary school agriscience students The accessi ble population was students of NATAA participants A purposive sample was selected according to the ability of the teacher to effectively deliver both teaching methodologies under investigation, their familiarity with the content of the units of instructio n, and that they taught two sections of the same class After being selected for the study, each teacher was randomly assigned the teaching method they would teach to each section. The researcher developed instructional plans appropriate to the teaching methods used in each level of the treatment The subject -matter approach utilized intact lessons developed by the Center for Agricultural and Environmental Research and Training (CAERT) Inquiry-based lessons were adapted by the researcher from the CAERT lessons to reflect inquiry -based instruction of the same lesson content and objectives This method was consistent among all fifteen lessons The instructional plans were evaluated for content validity by a panel of experts from the Agricultural Education an d Communication Department and the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida The panel determined that the inquiry based and subject matter lessons were appropriate for the grade levels and deemed the lessons appropriate for inquiry and subject matter approaches Instruments to collect data for the variable of content knowledge achievement were developed by the researcher These instruments were determined to be valid and reliable through a review by an expert panel from the Agricultural Education and Communication Department

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123 and the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida Prior to the study a coefficient alpha for the dichotomous data of the content knowledge achievement exams was calculated through a pilot test to assess reliability of the instruments The posttest questions we re asked in a random order to reduce testing effect (Campbell & Stanley, 1963) Reliability coefficients for the content knowledge achievement instruments were calculated using Kuder Richards on 20 (KR20) for dichotomous data (Gall, Borg, & Gall, 1996) The seven instruments were determined to have a coefficient alpha of: .94, .93, .91, .86, .87, .89, and .91, respectively. As reported in chapter three and chapter four, the argumentation skills instrument scoring rubric by Schen (2007) was utilized in the assessment of student argumentation skills The researcher scored each student response, assigning a score based on the quality of the response in the categories of claim made, grounds used, wa rrants given, counterargument generated, and rebuttal offered After completion of the researcher -scored response, an expert selected a random sample (subject -matter and inquiry based teaching) for a double blind review to obtain inter -rater reliability T he inter -rater reliability for the argumentation skills instrument was reported a Cronbachs Alpha reliability coefficient of .81 In addition, Chapter three reported a Cronbachs Alpha reliability coefficient of .86 for the LCTSR The Kuder Richardson 20 reliability estimate for grade levels 8, 9, and 10 was reported as .78 (Lawson, 1978) The LCTSR was not edited for use in this study. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 17.0 for Windows XP software package. Analysis of the first objective involved des criptive statistics and included means and standard deviations The next objective was tested using univariate analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) The third objective utilized correlations to examine relationships between variables.

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124 Summary of Findings The fi ndings of this study are summarized according to the objectives and hypotheses presented in earlier chapters This studys sample size was 305 agriscience students across the United States To achieve the studys goals, seven teachers taught two sections each (one inquiry -based instruction, the other using the subject matter approach) A total of 135 students were taught using the subject matter approach and 170 students taught through inquiry-based instruction. Objective One The first objective sought to d escribe the sample of this study A majority (81.6%) of the students involved in this study were White, nonHispanic The next largest group of participants was Hispanic (10.2%), followed by Black (4.3%), and Other (3.9%) The majority (58%) of the student s in the study were male Nearly half (48.5%) of the students were in the ninth grade The second largest grade level represented was the tenth grade (44%) followed by the remainder of the sample in the eleventh grade (7.5%) A majority of the students participating in the study did not qualify for free or reduced lunch programs (72.5%), while 27.5% of the students did qualify for some form of meal support This indicates that more than one -quarter of the students were in a lower socioeconomic group. There were negligible variations across all the demographics for inquiry -based and subject matter sections. Objective Two The second objective sought to ascertain the effect of inquiry-based instruction on student argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and content knowledge achievement Student content knowledge achievement was determined using the researcher -developed content knowledge pretest and posttest instruments, each with the maximum possible score of 100. The pretest overall mean for assessment one was 36.04 (SD = 12.18); 35.88 (SD = 13.41) for instrument

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125 two; 31.46 (SD = 11.66) for instrument three; 35.74 (SD = 13.47) for instrument four; 35.89 (SD = 1 2.2 7) for instrument f ive ; 34.30 (SD = 13. 79) for instrument six ; and 29.63 (SD = 12.18) for instru ment seven Although the subject matter group reported the higher pretest mean scores and higher standard deviations on all instruments with the exception of instrument four, the differences were negligible. Content knowledge achievement posttest means we re established from the researcher developed content knowledge achievement posttest instruments with questions given randomly The maximum possible score was 100 The overall mean of content knowledge achievement posttest was 62.13 (SD = 17.71) for instrument one; 63.15 (SD = 16.94) for instrument two; 64.77 (SD = 16.86) for instrument three; 70.66 (SD = 15.70) for instrument four; 70.66 (SD = 17.28) for instrument five; 72.07 (SD = 17.11) for instrument six; and 72.63 (SD = 16.59) for instrument seven Stu dent s taught by inquiry -based instruction recorded consistently higher mean scores on all content knowledge achievement instruments and lower standard deviations on six of the seven content knowledge achievement instruments Mean differences between inquir ybased instruction and subject matter approach ranged from 1.36 to 21.64 points. A student argumentation skills instrument was also utilize to determine student argumentation skills following the treatments The overall mean score on the argumentation ski ll instrument was 5.97 (SD = 1.79) of a possible 10. Each students argumentation skill ability was determined using Schens (2007) scoring rubric to measure argumentation skills The mean argumentation score was higher for the inquirybased instruction (M = 6.44, SD = 1.74) than for subject matter instruction (M = 5.97, SD = 1.68) Finally, Lawsons Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning (LCTSR) was used to determine the scientific reasoning of student participants following the treatments (subject matter and

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126 inquiry -based instruction). The overall mean of the LCTSR was 36.77 (SD = 14.36) of a possible 100. The mean LCTSR score differed between subject matter (M = 30.90, SD = 12.31) and inquiry -based instruction (M = 41.44, SD = 14.18) groups. Objective Thr ee This objective sought to examine the relationship between content knowledge achievement, argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, ethnicity, gender, year in school, and socio -economic status of high school agriscience students Each content knowledge posttest score was found to have a moderate relationship with other posttests, ranging from r = .34 to r = .49. Content knowledge posttest t wo reported moderate correlations with posttest three, five, six, and seven, with r = .34, r = .35, r = .37, r = .30, respectively Posttest three reported moderate correlations with posttest four (r = .41), posttest five (r = .42), posttest six (r = .37), and posttest seven (r = .43) Posttest four reported a substantial correlation with posttest five (r = .59) and mo derate correlations with posttests six and seven (r = .45, r = .35 respectively) A substantial correlation was reported between posttest five and posttest six (r = .54), and posttest five reported a moderate correlation with posttest seven (r = .49) Posttest s six and seven were also moderately correlated (r = .46) Posttest one had negligible to low correlations with all variables The treatment variable was found to have moderate or substantial correlation with four of the seven content knowledge posttes ts Moderate correlations were also reported between treatment and argumentation skill scores and treatment and LCTSR (r = -.30 and r = .37, respectively) Demographic variables of year in school (grade), gender, ethnicity, and SES contained negligible re lationships with posttests, argumentation skill score, LCTSR score, and type of treatment (inquiry -based instruction and subject -matter approach) One relationship was determin ed to be low (r = .26) between posttest two and year in school.

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127 Null Hypothesis One The first null hypothesis for this study was that there is no difference in student content knowledge based on teaching method Student content mean scores were analyzed between groups through analysis of covariance technique Following the first instr uctional period, students who were taught through inquiry -based instruction (IBI) reported a mean posttest score of 63.49 (SD=17.86) and those taught through the subject matter (SM) had a mean score of 60.43 (SD=17.44) This difference in posttest scores was found to not be statistically significant, F(4,334) = 2.82, p = .094. For the second instruction period, students in the group that was taught through IBI achieved a mean posttest score of 66.24 (SD = 14.86) with the SM group having a mean of 59.26 (SD = 18.57) This difference in posttest scores was found to be significantly different, F(19,550) = 17.30, p For third instruction period, students in the IBI group recorded a mean score of 68.26 (SD= 15.86) and the SM group recorded a mean score of 63.39 (SD = 17.11). This difference in posttest scores was also found to be a statistically significant, F(17,256) = 22.08, p At the conclusion of the fourth lesson, students in the IBI group had a mean score of 76.82 (SD = 13.67) and the SM group scored a mean score of 62.90 (SD = 14.66) This difference in mean posttest scores was statistically significant, F(16,849) = 73.43, p During the fifth portion of the study, IBI students reported a mean score of 79.04 (SD = 12.74) while student s learning under SM reported a mean score of 60.10 (SD = 16.35) The difference in posttest scores for the fifth assessment were found to be statistically significant, F(27,956) = 129.94, p .001. For the sixth instructional unit, students in the group t hat was taught through IBI had a mean posttest score of 81.64 (SD = 10.32) and the SM group had a mean of 60.00 (SD = 16.35).

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128 This difference in posttest scores was found to be statistically significant, F(41,219) = 230.72, p Finally, for the seven th instructional unit, students in the IBI group recorded a mean score of 80.68 (SD= 10.61) and the SM group recorded a mean score of 62.49 (SD = 17.23). This difference in posttest scores was also found to be a statistically significant, F(26,626) = 133.96, p Based upon these findings, the null hypothesis of no difference in content knowledge achievement due to teaching method was rejected Null Hypothesis Two Students argumentation skill scores were calculated by the use of Schens (2007) rubric Students taught using inquirybased instruction achieved a mean score of 6.44 while students taught through the subject matter approach achieved a mean score of 5.97 Therefore, students in the inquiry-based instruction scored higher than students in the subject matter group A univariate analysis of covariance reve aled significant differences in argumentation skills at the alpha level of .05 between students taught by the two teaching methods [F(127) = 30.23, p .001] Based upon these findings, the null hypothesis of no significant difference in student argumentat ion skills between the two groups was rejected. Null Hypothesis Three Students scientific reasoning ability was determined through the LCTSR Students taught using inquiry-based instruction achieved a higher mean LCTSR score (M = 41.44) than students taug ht through the subject matter approach (M = 30.90) The univariate analysis of covariance revealed significant differences in scientific reasoning ability at the alpha level of .05 between student s taught by the inquiry-based instruction and subject matter approach, F(8,496) = 46.34, p Based upon these findings, the null hypothesis of no significant difference in student scientific reasoning between the two groups was rejected.

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129 Conclusions The following conclusions of this quasi -experimental study a re presented below. 1. Participants in this study were primarily White (81.6%), male (58%), enrolled in the ninth grade (48.5%), and did not qualify for free or reduced lunch programs (72.5%) Minorities comprised 18.4%, tenth graders encompassed 44%, and 27.5% of the participants qualified for some form of meal support 2. The inquiry -based instruction group and subject matter groups ethnicity, gender, grade level, and socio -economic status were similar 3. When taught using either inquirybased instruction o r subject matter approaches, students showed gains in content knowledge on assessments Inquirybased instruction reported increased scores over students taught through the subject matter approach. 4. Student demographic variables reported low to negligible relationships with argumentation skill, scientific reasoning (LCTSR), and content knowledge scores. 5. S tudents taught using inquirybased instruction score d higher on content knowledge assessments as compared to students taught using the subject matter app roach. 6. S tudents taught using inquirybased instruction had higher argumentation skill scores as compared to student s taught using the subject matter approach. 7. S tudents taught through inquiry -based instruction had higher scientific reasoning scores as com pared to students taught using the subject matter approach. Implications Objective One: Describe the Ethnicity, G ender, Y ear in S chool, and Socio -Economic S tatus of High School A griscience S tudents Conclusion: Participants in T his Study T ended to be White Ma les, E nrolled in the N inth or Tenth G rade, and H igher S ocio -Economic S tatus. The finding that most students in the study were categorized as White is not surprising The majority of students enrolled in public school agricultural education programs are also categorized as White (Pate, 2008) It was expected that a majority of the participants in this study would be secondary high school underclassmen Since the population for this study was students enrolled in an agriscience course that contained two s ections in the high school these courses tend to be more introductory thus

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130 yielding higher student numbers Due to attrition of student numbers in agricultural education programs it was anticipated that student participants in the study would be in the ni nth or tenth grade Conclusion: The I nquiry -B ased I nstruction G roup and Subject Matter G ro ups Ethnicity, G ender, G rade Level, and Socio -Economic Status W ere S imilar The finding that the treatment groups contained similar demographics allow s for groups t o be compared This finding is contradictory to the findings of Myers (2004) when using intact groups Having comparable groups allows for comparisons across demographic categories This finding suggests that public schools in this study randomly placed students into sections Objective T wo: Ascertain the Effects of I nquiry -B ased I nst ruction on Student A rgumentation Skills, S cientific R easoning, and C ontent K nowledge A chievement of H igh Sc hool A griscience S tudents Conclusion: When T aught U sing E ither Inquiry -Based I nstruction or S ubject M atter A pproaches, S tudents Showed Gains in C ontent K nowledge on A ssessments. Inquiry -Based Instruction R eported Increased Scores Over S tudents T aught T hrough the S ubject Matter A pproach. The finding that both treatment groups experienced content knowledge gain scores indicates that inquiry -based instruction and the subject matter approaches are both effective treatments This finding is consistent with Myer s (2004) study that reported content knowledge gain scores on treat ments. The finding that students receiving inquiry -based instruction (IBI) increasingly outscored students in the subject matter (SM) approach indicates inquiry -based instruction is more effective, but that to develop full potential of the effectiveness inquiry -based instruction takes more than two weeks as previously reported by Thoron, Myers, & Abrams (2010) to accustom students with this teaching style As stated in chapter three, this study was not started until each school had completed two weeks of in struction time at the beginning of the school year

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131 following the suggestions of Thoron, Myers, & Abrams Students taught through IBI did consistently outscore students taught through the SM approach, but the first assessment was given two weeks into the study and there was no significant difference found between the two groups on the first content knowledge assessment This leads to the conclusion that IBI effectiveness may take four weeks to take full effect Lessons and specific content in the study changed yet students learning through IBI continued to show a steady increase in content knowledge achievement The results are consistent with Caprio (1994), Chang (2001), Lord (1997), and Roegge and Russell (1990) However, few studies addressed the length of time comparable to this study In agriscience education Boone and Newcomb (1990) reported no significant difference between their treatments; however only a few weeks of instruction were under investigation Flowers (1986) conducted a longer study but utilized a counter balance design thus lowering the number of weeks under constant investigation that a particular treatment may have on the students learning Nonetheless, both studies (Flowers, 1986; Boone and Newcomb, 1990) discovered that teachers di d not always effectively deliver the treatment Objective Three: Examine the Relationship Between C ontent K nowledge Achievement, A rgumentation Skills, S cientific R easoning, Ethnicity, G ender, Year in S chool, and S ocio -Economic Status of High School A grisc ience S tudents Conclusion: Student D emo graphic Variables R eported Low to Negligible R elationships on the Effect of Argumentation Skill, S cientific Reasoning (LCTSR), and C ontent K nowledge S cores. The finding that demographic variables reported low or negli gible relationships on the effect of all assessments is encouraging Greenfield (1996) found ethnicity, gender, and attitudes toward science have effects on the students selection of science electives Greenfield stated that a need exists to infuse scienc e in other curricular areas to enable students to build science knowledge out of the core structure of identified science courses Statistical

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132 evidence supportive of little relationship given due to a demographic based on gender, ethnicity, year in school, and SES is encouraging and supports indication of the effectiveness of the treatments This studys findings are supportive of Lawsons (1993) study that found increased reasoning did not significantly affect student achievement. Hypothesis O ne: There is N o S ignificant Difference in S tudent Content K nowledge Achievement Based u pon the Teaching M ethod Conclusion: Students Taught Using Inquiry Based Instruction Scored Higher on Content Knowledge Assessments as Compared to Students Taught Using the Subject M atter Approach. The findings of this study indicate that IBI does not call for lack of focus on content knowledge This study is supportive of the work of Means and Voss (1996) that stated reasoning skills and content knowledge are related. This study is supportive of Perkins, Allen, and Hafner (1983) finding s which indicated learners that demonstrate advance d argumentation skills score d at a higher level on content knowledge exams Further, this finding indicates students were learning through this teachin g methodology This finding is supportive of the NRC (2000) that inquiry-based instruction allows students to perform at or better on standardized assessments and allows for more in -depth thinking This finding also support s the Nuthall and Alton Lee (1995) study that stated students who were able to recall concrete examples from classroom instruction during content knowledge assessments were more successful Students scoring higher on the content knowledge exams through the use of IBI indicates the teacher does not have to be the center of all knowledge Students can effectively learn through means other than direct instruction Nuthall and Alton -Lee (1995) stated the need for student ability to connect concrete hands -on learning during instructional tim e can lead to successful scores on content knowledge This study found similar results to Nuthall and Alton -

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133 Lee leading to the conclusion that hands -on learning is an effective form of instruction to gain content knowledge. Connors and Elliot (1995) condu cted a study that compared ninth -grade agriscience students achievement scores to non agriscience peers and found agriscience students scored higher on the states standardized tests Chiasson and Burnett (2001) conducted a similar study in Louisiana and found comparable results Both sets of researchers concluded that students enrolled in the agriscience curriculum contributed to the enhancement of student scores on the states standardized assessments Researchers also concluded that agriscience should b e recognized as a contributor to students level of achievement in science Thompson (1998) studied the results of agriscience in public schools and concluded that the integration of science will academically strengthen vocational courses and make academi c courses more relevant (p. 77) Utilizing IBI in agriscience setting s is a natural fit for hand -on investigations and can promote science achievement scores on standardized assessments. Hypothesis T wo: There is N o S ignificant Difference in S tudent Argume ntation Skills Based u pon the T eaching M ethod Conclusion: Students T aught U sing Inquiry -Based Instruction Had Higher Argumentation Skill Scores as Compared to S tudent s Taught Using the Subject Matter A pproach. The findings of this study support the work of Keil, Haney, and Zoffel (2009) that stated inquiry -based instruction contains multiple dimensions of teaching and learning and leads learners to think critically without being critical or concerned with arriving only at a correct answer It can be conclud ed that inquiry -based instruction continues to focus on the ability to explain the process examined in the development of learner answers (Keil, Haney, Zoffel, 2009) Furthermore inquiry based instruction seeks to capitalize on c urrent student experiences and transfer those experiences to new learning situations (NRC, 2000)

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134 Lawson (1992a) stated that students in collegiate biology courses do not use formal reasoning patterns, which include the ability to develop hypotheses, control variables, and design an experimental protocol skills crucial in the scientific process Seymour and Hewitt (1997) reported that students identified poor secondary education in the area of scientific reasoning as the reason for their difficulty in college classes utilizing re asoning skills Others have reported that learners have difficulty distinguishing evidence from bias/fairness (Baron, 1991; Perkins, Farady, & Bushey, 1991; Toplak & Stanovich, 2003) Using IBI can increase argumentation skills which are a direct link to reasoning patterns and the ability to support their conclusions based on scientific data The findings of this study support the findings of Baron (1991) and Cerbin (1988) that a pure traditional lecture based teaching strategy creates learners that lack the ability to develop arguments with adequate evidence While conclusions from this study cannot refute or support Borons and Cerbins claims, this study can provide evidence that IBI is more effective than the subject matter approach in the development of argumentation skills The findings of this study indicate that inquiry-based instruction increases the students ability to link evidence with claims Inquiry-based instruction may lead to learners being able to be prepared for post secondary education or workplace careers (Kuhn 1992) This study supports that inquiry -based instruction is more supportive of the students ability to satisfy the needs of individuals entering careers in agriculture, attending major universities, or pursuing other postsecon dary education endeavors The NRC (1996) reported employees in a highly competitive market must have the ability to reason and provide developed arguments for or against the conclusions they reached as they are solving problems; IBI can help strengthen those arguments

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135 Driver, Newton, and Osborne (2000) stated argumentation ability is central to foundational practices of science Inquirybased instruction may lead to better qualified scientists and an enhanced public understanding of science Development o f students with better argumentation skills will help supply agriculturists to formulate better arguments that are supported by fact and yet enable agriculturists to understand and assess counter claims to differing solutions to a problem as Toulmins Argu mentation Patter n (1958) is introduced into agriscience education. Hypothesis T hree: There is N o S ignificant D ifference in Student Scientific R easoning B ased u pon the Teaching M ethod Conclusion: S tudents T aught Through Inquiry -B ased Instruction Had Higher Scientific R easoning Scores as Compared to Students Taught Using the Subject M att er A pproach. The finding that IBI students achieved higher scientific reasoning scores than their counterparts learning through the SM approach is supportive of IBI containing multiple dimensions of teaching and learning and leading learners to think critically as they continue to focus on the ability to explain the process examined (Keil, Haney, & Zoffel, 2009) Scientific reasoning (SR) is the connection of the process of pr oducing scientific knowledge through evidence -based reasoning (Schen, 2007) Lawson (1993) indicated students with a higher SR score changed their nonscientific beliefs the most Develop ing students in agriculture and consumers with a higher scientific rea soning ability may lead to a society that considers factual evidence when making societal decisions A continued need exists for all elective subjects, including agriculture, to demonstrate value and contributions to student achievement in core subjects such as science (Odden, 1991) Studies have shown that agriscience students are more successful in science courses than students not enrolled in agriscience education (Conners & Elliot 1995; Chiasson & Burnett 2001) One could purport an expanded effort m ust be conducted by all elective subjects to

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136 document the contributions to student achievement in the areas of math, reading, and science Results that increase SR through effective teaching in the context of agriculture place the agriscience profession to become integral to the local school -based curriculum. Discussion This study presents findings which indicate this form of inquiry -based instruction is effective in the agriscience classroom in the areas of student achievement, scientific reasoning, and ar gumentation skills Previous s tudies conducted that compared teaching methodologies in the agricultural education profession have reported mixed results. Boone (1990), Dyer (1995), Enderlin and Osborne (1999), Flowers (1986), Myers (2004), and Roegge and R ussell (1990) all reported either low student achievement scores or inconsistent treatment effects from their studies, leading to mixed findings. This study differs from the previously mentioned studies based on the following: 1) the preparation the teache rs received prior to implementation of the study, 2) the length of the study, 3) the method of data collection, and 4) how the study was managed. This section will address those differences and provide future directions for IBI in agriscience education. T he preparation the teachers in the study received was an intense w eek of professional development through the NATAA T eachers were taught the basics of inquirybased instruction, were able to apply their skills through hands -on application of the method, a nd reflected and related the content to the curriculum they currently teach. NATAA teachers spent a week of professional development focused on the topic of inquirybased instruction while living on -site at the facility where the professional development w as delivered. Following the preparation NATAA teachers presented workshops at the National FFA Convention and NAAE conference. This form of professional development is ideal to focus the teachers attention on the topic, allow them to utilize and experimen t with the curriculum, and provide reflection with peers on

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137 effective utilization in their local curriculum. The NATAA teachers then taught at least one school year utilizing inquirybased instruction before this study was conducted. Previous studies addre ssed professional development in a variety of ways from asking teachers if they could teach the method to conducting a one -day workshop on the specific teaching strategy. T he amount of time spent in professional development and allowing teachers to exper iment and become comfor table with the teaching method likely impacted the results of this study. The length of th is study is another factor that differ ed from previous studies that investigated teaching methods in a quasi experimental design. Previous s tud ies ran ged from four to eight weeks of treatment Had the treatment included only the two weeks of instruction prior to the beginning of this study and the first posttest result (four weeks total) this study would probably not found a treatment effect. By expanding the study to eight weeks the researcher would have had to conclude mixed results at best perhaps reporting four weeks of no significant differen ce in student achievement and four weeks (2 assessments each) of significant difference in student achievement scores. The delay in starting the study for two weeks to allow for students to adjust to inquiry based instruction is an important consideration for future research that investigates teaching methodology. Finally, over the course of the twelve -week investigation scores for the inquiry -based instruction increased at a faster pace than scores for students in the subject matter group. Examination of ways to expedite the transition for the students will lead to strong er studies in the future. Data collection was conducted electronically. Electronic forms of assessments and instant data delivered to the researcher allowed for the researcher to gauge the progress of the teach er s as lessons were taught Instant feedback to the researcher was important in keeping teachers on

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138 task and troubleshooting any problems that may have occurred. T eachers found the grading system effective and the electronic format provided students with instant feedback on scores. The continuous contact with the teachers w as al so vital to achieving highquality results. Communication with teachers through a weekly message and supplying contact information for around the clock communication allowed for mentoring the teachers throughout t he study, kept them apprised o f the steps involved in the process, and provided encouragement and feedback on their teaching. A few teachers required motivation to spend twelve weeks of instruction on soil and plant science lessons, while others asked for feedback from their submitted audio recordi ngs Strong professional development coupled with encouragement and mentorship provided for clear results of this study. Inquiry -based instruction aids students in develop ing scientific reasoning and argumentation skills in addition to achieving higher sc ores on content knowledge. A goal of developing the next generation of scientists for agriculture begins in school -based agricultural educat ion. S tudents have the ability to achieve well on content assessments, but in order to de termine a further skill set this study investigated scientific reasoning and argumentation skills. Aiding students to think critically, examine, investigate, experiment, and defend their data coupled with the understanding of alternative answers devel ops the mindset of a scientist. T hinking like a scientist is important but reasoning in a scientific manner is vital. Examination of argumentation and scientific reasoning augments skill development and the understanding of the science of agriculture. Assessment of knowledge achievement is important, but measuring students ability to think like a scientist and make decisions based on scientific evidence is better measured through argumentation and scientific reasoning.

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139 The likelihood of this form of IBI being streamlined into the classr oom is important to consider. Providing professional development and mentorship through the first year of teaching via IBI and encoura gement during a utilization of inquiry-based instruction are important factors The profession should consider the structure of the NATAA professional development approach and the bond that exists between teacher participants after completion of th e NATAA program. Peer mentoring, utilizing NATAA teachers, coupled with guidance from teacher educators who have a strong knowledge in the specific teaching methodology are vital when promoting a new teaching method. Teachers who have adapted and who are experiencing success with a particular teaching strategy should heed the call to provide mentorship to those teachers who are learn ing the new method. The focus of the mentorship (between teacher educators, mentors, and protgs) should promote sharing ideas walking through a daily lesson plan, providing clarity of content, and thinking through potential questions and pitfalls This healthy exercise is important to inservice teacher s and preservice teacher s alike. Inquiry -based instruction is a teaching method that advances student achievement, scientific reasoning, and argumentation skills and supplies the profession with a sound template for future investigations. In summary students learn more when teachers are well prepared to teach the lessons, use a variety of instructional strategies, are given guidance and feedback on their teaching, and promote opportunity for students to spend time -on -task. Recommendations for Teacher Education and Curriculum Development This study provides evidence of the effectiveness of inquiry-based instruction for school based agriscience education across the United States Teacher educators wil l find the study useful in the selection of teaching methods The results of this study could assist agricultural educators by identifying the key components to adapting curricula to inquiry -based instruction and the role that quality professional developm ent has on student achievement in agriscience

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140 This dissertation study addresse d a critical gap in the literature and found that few studies have investigated successful integration of inquiry-based instruction in agricultural education This study contri butes to the design of curricula that target inquiry in education and helps provide a model of inquiry-based instruction in school -based agriscience education Using the format of preparation, professional development and supportive structure during imple mentation of inquiry-based instruction can provide insight into curricular integration. Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations were made for teacher educators and curriculum developers in secondary school education: 1. Based on the finding that inquiry based instruction is an effective method to deliver agriscience at the secondary school level t eacher educators should model inquiry-based instruction and provide practice similar to that of the NATAA. 2. To help develop argumentation skills and scientific reasoning teacher educators should p repare pre -service teachers to introduce inquiry-based instruction to students who have never experienced learning through this method of teaching. 3. Teacher educators should p rovide in-service education opportunities for current teachers on inquiry -based instruction. 4. Based on the findings of this study inquiry -based curricul a and lesson plans that utilize this form of instruction should be developed to further the use of this teaching method 5. Ba sed on the findings of this study teacher educators should provide mentorship to teachers through guidance and feedback on their inquiry based teaching, using a variety of instructional strategies, developing and teaching well -prepared lessons, and helping promote time ontask for students. 6. Teacher educators should provide direct instruction for the development of higher scientific reasoning and argumentation skills in their preservice program and provide professional development for in-service teachers. Recommendations for Practitioners Based on the finding of this study, the following recommendations were made for practitioners in secondary school agriscience education: 1. Strong consideration should be given to attend the NATAA professional development wo rkshops and learn inquiry-based instruction. Efforts to expand NATAA program

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141 opportunitie s nationally for more agriscience teachers are needed utilizing NATAA teachers as state -wide leaders who can provide professional development at the state level. 2. Bas ed on the findings of this study inquiry -based instruction should be utilized in the agriscience classroom At least four weeks of instruction or four unique lesson plans should be utilized to allow students to adjust to the new method of instruction. 3. Ag riscience courses should include direct instruction on argumentation skills and scientific reasoning This instruction should include a focus on the development of the argumentation instrument in combination of agricultural contextual problems that student s support with research data they collect or review from basic agriculture and science journals. 4. Agriscience teachers with experience and sound knowledge of IBI should mentor teachers who are learning to teach inquiry -based instruction by providing feedba ck, clarity of content, thinking through potential questions and pitfalls, and sharing ideas. Recommendations for Further Research While this study provides conclusions regarding its objectives and hypotheses, the study also developed recommendations for further research, including: 1. More experimental studies are needed in agricultural education investigating the best methods to teach agriscience education Replication of this study involving a different group of teachers and different content focus will a dd to the body of knowledge for the profession. 2. A model for inquiry based instruction integration is worthy of development due to the identified effectiveness of this teaching method. 3. Replication of this study comparing inquiry -based instruction with oth er teaching methods may provide insight into how to best teach agriscience 4. Continued evaluation is needed to assess the effectiveness of the National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy as a model for inquiry -based instruction and professional develo pment for teach ers. 5. This study was conducted over approximately twelve weeks O ther studies that investigate teaching methods should utilize at least ten weeks of instruction to fully investigate the effectiveness of the treatments 6. Future investigation is warranted to determine a timeline and needed support for successful accommodation by students to a new teaching method.

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142 7. This study reported correlations of demographic factors and the relationship across the dependent variables However, f u rther resea rch should investigate additional independent variables 8. This study examined the effect of the teaching methods on content knowledge achievement, argumentation skills, and scientific reasoning directly following instruction T his study should be replicat ed to investigate the effects of these treatments on long term retention of content knowledge achievement, argumentation skills, and scientific reasoning 9. The social cultural context (home and community) and its effects on student content knowledge, argu mentation skills, and scientific reasoning is warrant ed. 10. This study did not assess student attitude toward the methods of instruction or the change in attitude toward science when learning under inquiry-based instruction. Further research should be condu cted to determine how these teaching methods affect student attitude, motivation, and self -efficacy. 11. This study did not gather data on teacher perceptions of the two teaching methods under investigation Further research should be conducted to determine t he teachers perceptions and experiences of utilizing the teaching methods under investigation. Summary This chapter presented a summary of the objectives and hypotheses that guided this study. This chapter also provided conclusions based on the findings and provided recommendations for future research, teacher preparation and curriculum development, and practitioners This study presented the findings tailored to the objectives and hypotheses that guided this research The objectives were: (1) describe th e ethnicity, gender, year in school, and social economic status of high school agriscience students; (2) ascertain the effects of inquiry-based instruction on student argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, and content knowledge achievement of high school agriscience students; (3) examine the relationship between content knowledge achievement, argumentation skills, scientific reasoning, ethnicity, gender, year in school, and social economic status of high school agriscience students The null hypotheses tested in this study were: (1) there is no significant difference in student content knowledge achievement based upon the teaching method; (2) there is no significant difference in student argumentation skills based upon the

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143 teaching method; (3) there is no significant difference in student scientific reasoning based upon the teaching method The findings of this study indicated inquiry based instruction is a more effective when compared to teaching through the subject matter approach on student content k nowledge achievement The findings of this study also indicated inquirybased instruction is more effective when compared to teaching thought the subject matter approach in the development of student argumentation skills and scientific reasoning skills Th is chapter then presents recommendations for teacher education and curriculum development, practitioners, and outlines recommendations for future research.

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144 APPENDIX A EXAMPLE LESSON OF INQUIRY BASED INSTRUCTION

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145 APPENDIX B SCIENCE TEACHING INQUIRY RUBRIC (STIR)

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147 APPENDIX C INSTRUCTIONAL PLANS Subject Matter Instructional Plans

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371 Inquiry Based Instructional Plans Nature of Soil Inquiry -based Lesson Outline Students should maintain notes, reasoning, and observations in a notebook. Objective 1: Explain how the resources soil provides help in supporting life. Ask the entire class: What do humans need to survive? o Expected answers: (write answers on the chalk board) Food Water Shelter Others Take student answers and ask students what food provides. o Expected they will answer with the providing of nutrition Ask students how plants differ from humans in this regard. o Expected answers: They are plants, they need sunlight, they need soil (although this is not 100% true b/c of hydroponics) plants need water, plants need nutrients. o If students cannot develop the answer nutrient s, ask them what plants use for food. o Ask student: In regard for shelter, how can soil provide this to plants ? Possible answers: foundation for germination and roots Lead students into the need for the correct temperature of the soil for germination of p lants Soil provides temperature through absorbing heat from the sun (This can be demonstrated by turning light on and facing it close to the soil before the lesson begins.) Turn off the light and pass the soil around to show students the soil is holding the heat from the light bulb After students have felt the heat in the soil ask them to place their hand under the light bulb (the heat will be gone) This will demonstrate that soil holds heat after the sun has gone down for the day or in the case that the sun is not out for a couple days o To have students develop the answer carbon ask them what the building block of life is If they do not know have a student look the answer up on the internet. Once students have developed this set of answers they h ave achieved the answers for objective one o Review: What are the resources that soil helps provide in supporting life. Oxygen Temperature Water Carbon Nutrients Ask students to develop their own list of why the above 5 are important Allow for up to (5 mi nutes for students to develop their answers) Have students explain their answers to the class; asking others to expand on or share their thoughts Allow students to discuss answers and their reasoning out loud.

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372 o Guide students and indicate: Oxygen for roo t growth Temperature seed germination and plant growth Water for growth Carbon for growth Nutrients minerals that is provided from other decaying plants that provides for plant growth Objective 2: Examine the components of soil. Place students i nto groups suitable for your classroom. Provide a flat of potting soil or a flat of soil from your area for each group of students. (Provide at least one of each example. Groups do not need both examples.) Ask students to investigate the soil making note a nd pulling out examples of different contents in the soil Ask students to estimate the percentage of each component contained in the soil Allow students to look through the soil for 5 minutes. o Students should provide examples of sand, silt, and clay in t he soil They may not call the soil particles sand, silt, and clay at this time. o Students also pull out samples of decaying plant material or animal matter They may not identify this material as organic matter, but they will know it is different than the other soil particles of sand, silt, and clay Ask them to estimate the percentage of these particles on the soil. Once students have completed the above steps have them examine other groups soil, findings, and estimations After students have examined ot her groups findings allow time for students to make adjustments to their findings In their groups have students reason what the components they have identified in the soil You may allow a group member to consult other groups or a computer Allow up to 10minutes for students to develop their list o At this time you can expect students to develop a list consisting of: Sand, silt, clay, other dead plants (or organic matter). o As the teacher guide the students to organize sand, silt, and clay into a category called mineral matter because they derived from rocks. o As the teacher guide student to organize decaying plant material into organic matter. Ask students to note the color of the sand, silt and clay What color are those particles ? Are they lighter or dar ker than the soil as a whole ? (this answer should be: they are lighter) Lead students into the explanation that the organic matter is what gives the soil a darker color In the examination of pore space (50% of the soil volume). o Provide students with a wide mouth jar or glass. o Ask students to fill up the jar with their soil, but not to compact the soil. o Ask them if there is any moisture in the soil (there will always be some moisture in the soil how much depends on the conditions of the soil) o To determi ne the amount of air in the soil provide the students with water. o Ask the students to determine the percentage of air in the soil and to document their hypothesis, steps of their experiment, results, and conclusions.

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373 Students should compact their soil and not use the water at the beginning (but do not tell them that from the start). Once students have compacted their soil they will want to place water on the soil and the soil will further compact. (Students should not empty too much water on the soil; if th ey do they will need to pour out the access). o Have students document their results and present to other peer groups to determine a final answer they wish to share with you. o You will then guide the students to determine air and water make up about 50% of th e soils volume while mineral matter and organic matter make up the other 50% (the results may vary somewhat depending on where you live) o Review: Soil consists of mineral matter: sand, silt, clay (45%); Organic matter: dead plant and animal matter (5%); Pore Space Air (25%) & Water (25%). Objective 3 : Identify the organisms found in soil and recognize their benefits to the soil. After objective 2 ask students if there is anything else in the soil (perhaps students found living organisms in the soil a lready). o Have students identify types of life in the soil. Guide students to think about what breaks down plant and animal matter (to have students determine bacteria and fungi). o What purpose does each provide ? Guide students into a discussion of symbiosis o Have students use the remaining soil in the flat to demonstrate advantages earthworms and other organisms can provide for plant growth. (students should connect holes in the soil provide easier air and water movement You can explain the term tilth during this process. Objective 4: Describe four ways plants use soil. From the above objectives have students explain 4 basic needs plants require of soil Ask students to draw off of their prior experience to develop their own list and reasons why Allow at l east 5 minutes for students to look over notes and gather their own thoughts. Ask students to present their rational of their thoughts. Guide students to develop the list provided in objective four. Objective 5: Describe some agricultural uses of soil. & Objective 6: Describe some nonagricultural uses of soil. Appoint students into a production agriculturists and non production agricultural. o Have students develop a list of how they would use soil. o Have each group(s) present their answer and reasoning. o Lis ts will probably be larger than provided and that is fine as long as they are accurate. Make sure students take note of each use and explanation

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374 Soil Formation Inquiry -based Lesson Outline Students should maintain notes, reasoning, and observations in a notebook. Prior to this lesson identify different places on or near the school grounds that has different topography and ground cover You will want to prepare these areas to contain a few different factors You may place rocks in the soil or on a soil s urface (which will slow movement and lead to less runoff You may place several holes in one area to represent holes from earthworms and other insects You may wet down one area of investigation. If there is a place on the school ground that has a wash or other unique features use them also Each of these areas may only need to be 2 feet long by 1 foot wide Preparing 3 samples for each group to investigate will be sufficient Supply students with a timer, water, paper towels, weigh scale, and a liquid measuring device to design an experiment that leads to the explanation factors effecting soil formation. Hint: Student will want to pour the water down a slope, time the runoff, collect the runoff in the paper towels, and weight the paper towels Groups ma y develop a different process to investigate At the end you should discuss the processes each group chose Students will need to report on observations that would affect soil formation. Explain to students that their observations and experiment would ha ppen over many years so they will need to observe and predict what may happen with each sample area Each group should look for factors that affect soil formation In the discussion after their investigation guide students through the objectives (students will identify rocks, slope, and worm holes as factors but you will need to discuss and indentify terms parent material for them or guide them to use those terms through questions)

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375 Soil Color Inquiry -based Lesson Outline Students should maintain note s, reasoning, and observations in a notebook. Display several different samples of soil (one sample should be potting soil) Allow students to investigate each sample making notes on what they find as differences in the soil Provide soil samples and water Have students document their findings. Students will identify key terms in objective one From the students observations guide them to focus on color Ask why the potting soil is so much darker, and have students develop reasons why potting soil is used rather than regular soil and the reason it is darker Question students about the differences in color and what color might mean for drainage If possible take students to a few soil pits Have soil pits dug in different locations One location being in a well drained area (perhaps on the side of a hill or incline; another in a low area that holds water from time to time; and finally a moderately drained flat area) Ask students to identify differences in color and guide students to make connections wit h soil color and drainage You may wish to show students two pieces of similar unpainted metal. For a period of a few days, allow one of the pieces to become wet or damp. Place the other piece in the bottom of a pail of water for the same period of time. Students should see that the metal allowed to be wet and dry will oxidize or rust, whereas the metal that is kept under water will not. Explain that the iron will only oxidize if both moisture and air are present. Relate these findings with the iron compou nds found in the soil. The status of the iron compounds in the soil indicates the type of natural drainage found in the soil.

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376 S oil Texture and Structure Inquiry -based Lesson Outline Students should maintain notes, reasoning, and observations in a notebook. Objective 1: Describe the concept of soil texture and its importance. Provide students with sand, silt, and clay samples of soil Place students in groups that work best for your class. Provide students with water, measuring cups, cups and coffee filte rs. Ask students to make observations and design a soil that has the best Water -holding capacity, Permeability, and soil workability (documenting proof of each). Give students the definitions of each term before they begin. Students should examine each sa mple then create a mix of all three to achieve the best soil Each group should prepare a soil sample and document the percentage of each used to present to the class. Allow students to share ideas and present why their mix is the best and allow other to c hallenge their reasons Have student groups answer why soil texture is important They should also note the structures of the sand, silt and clayy size, water holding, and what happens when the soils become saturated with water. This objective may take one class period. Objective 2: Determine the texture of a soil sample. In consideration of Objective 2: After completion of the above activity (which may take an entire class period) present the soil texture triangle (VM C) to students and demonstrate the ribbon method to the students Students should conduct the ribbon method on their created soil to determine their created soils texture. Objective 3&4: Explain soil structure, its formation, and importance Differentiate various soil structures. Use soil samples, draw or use (VM D) to teach objectives 3&4 Ask students to note differences in the soil structures and develop positives and negatives for each structure Guide them to think about water, plant roots, and nutrients.

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377 Soil Profile Inquiry -based L esson Outline Students should maintain notes, reasoning, and observations in a notebook. Objective 1: Explain the soil profile. Ask the entire class: To identify different aspect of a soil profile from their past experiences. o Expected answers: (write answ ers on the chalk board) Surface is contained of decaying plant matter Top soil Horizon A Has a darker color due to organic matter; contains roots and organisms Subsoil Horizon B Lighter soil with more fine soil particles, fewer roots Subsoil Horizon C Parent material, rocks, and some leached materials Horizon R Bedrock Objective 2 &3 : Use lesson plan outline to guide students Construct a soil profile to predict a changing soil profile over time Have student groups construct a soil profile using the internet or any objects they wish to express the profiles. o Potential ways to construct are pictures of differing soil types and weathering such as the soil in the badlands, black top soil in central Illinois, or sandy soil in Florida o Student groups ma y choose to construct an actual soil profile by gathering leaves, top soil, sand, clay, rocks o Have groups explain their soil profile using the correct terms o Allow groups to critique each others construction of the soil profile and also the selection of materials used. o Direct groups to reason through and explain why they chose the materials and also why they constructed their soil profile the way they did

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378 Moisture Holding Capacity Inquiry -based Lesson Outline Students should maintain notes, reasoning, and observations in a notebook. Objective 1 and 2 : Describe moisture holding capacity. Explain what determines soil moisture holding capacity. Provide students with two or three dry soil samples (each group may have different soil samples) If possible heat soil in an oven or enclave to remove existing moisture. Have s tudents to make observations and d esign a soil that has the best w ater -holding capacity Give students the definitions of each term before they begin. After they read objective one and tw o have students design an experiment to determine what the main components in their soil are. Students should document their experiment and results and report back to the group. Supply student groups with stopwatch, coffee filters, measuring cups, soil sa mples, water, a balance, paper towels, a balance (electronic scale), and collection bowl Facilitate if groups believe they need more materials The groups goal should be to demonstrate the terms in objective one to the rest of the class It is anticipa ted groups will place soil samples in coffee filters and pour water over the sample Measure the water (in weight) before and after pouring it over the soil, also measuring the weight of the soil before and after This will determine the soil water holding capacity It is anticipated each group will determine gravitational water by timing the flow of the water through the soil The paper towels can be used to extract water from the soil, after drained, to explain the water available to plants The final wei ght is water unavailable to plants (hygroscopic moisture). Objective 3 : Determine the moisture -holding capacity in a soil profile. Use (VM B) to allow students to calculate their soils moisture -holding capacity. Students should determine what texture the ir soil is using previous knowledge and also knowledge gained from the previous experiment Tell students the soil sample they have is their top soil and in a soil profile it would be 9 inches thick The B horizon soil is a texture of clay loam and is 31 inches thick Finally, C horizon is clay texture and is 20 inches thick. Students should calculate the soil moisture holding capacity and present to the class and explain why they reached the results they did.

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379 Soil Erosion and Management Inquiry -based Le sson Outline Students should maintain notes, reasoning, and observations in a notebook. Objectives 1 6: Allow students to see the content in the original lesson plan. Organize students in groups suitable for your learning situation (groups of 3 or 4 s uggested) Student groups should organize and collaborate with each other and divide up the content in the lesson plan Each group should then make a model describing their portion of the lesson Models could be computer generated, using posters and other material, or actual soil. Upon completion students should then teach their peers This can be done as a class presentation or may be set up as a display and students present to small groups as in a science fair setting.

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380 Soil Chemistry Inquiry -based Less on Outline Students should maintain notes, reasoning, and observations in a notebook. Objective 1 2, 3, 4: Identify soil chemistry issues. Hold a round table discussion using students previous knowledge from subsequent lessons to answer the following pr oblem o Give the student the following scenario: A local gardener is trying to grow tomatoes in her garden She has been having all kinds of trouble getting the tomatoes to establish in the spring and by mid -summer the fruit they are producing is substantially less than the neighbors tomato plants She and her neighbor share fertilizer and have applied nearly the same amount as her neighbor they even bought the tomato plants at the same time and the same store from the FFA chapter Nonetheless, her plants simply do not produce the same amount of fruit People in the community have told her that she should talk to your agricultural class about this problem and that you will help her solve the problem She appears in your class with a soil sample asking for help today. What could the problem be? (TEACHER NOTES): USE the content from lesson one to guide student through their thinking of possible problems. Potential problems: Soil pH, Soil Fertility, Poor drainage, insects, drought, compaction, too much organic matter, not enough organic matter, insects.others. Potential answers: Soil pH You check the soil pH and it is 6.3 o Is this an acceptable soil pH for tomatoes ? Have a group of students find out Asked them to report to the group about soil pH and what s oil pH means (They can use the lesson plan for notes, but it would be better they research soil pH for themselves using resources or internet). Organic matter It student bring this issue up, the local gardener spreads manure from her rabbits on her garden year around and each fall puts all her leaves in the garden and during the spring she tills the soil to work in all the leaves. Soil Fertility you could give a group of students a soil test kit and a soil sample If not the soil is found to have corre ct soil fertility levels. Poor drainage After talking with her you find out that the soil contains a lot of clay at a depth of 8 inches She uses a tiller that only goes about 8inches Direct a group of students to investigate this issue and how to overc ome it they believe this is a problem One place to begin research is to identify how deep tomato plants roots go in the soil.

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381 Too wet or too dry she waters the same amount at the neighbor and the neighbors plants are just fine Does this mean it is no t a problem ? Possible explanations for why it is or isnt. Compaction soil is clay at a depth of 8in with a heavy layer of organic matter on top due to the leaves and rabbit manure She tills the garden 3 to four times a year and has had the garden in th e same place for 25 years Possible solutions with compaction ? If this is an issue Not noticeable insect damage on the plants leaves Not sure about soil insect though She knows nothing about potential soil insects What are some possible answers for inse cts? Direct students to trouble shoot the problem Students can naturally break into groups or work on potential problems individually (depending on the class size) If the student(s) choose to tackle a potential problem/solution they MUST present everyt hing they learn to the entire class and argue for or against WHY this is or isnt the problem the gardeners faces. o YOU AS THE TEACHER: Can choose the correct answer at the end, but allow the students to discuss possible answers. THE TEACHER MAY HAVE TO PROVIDE OTHER INFORMATION TO GUIDE STUDNETS to achieve an answer This content provided may not be direct enough to provide a single answer However, it MAY be several factors that are involved Direct students to formulate a plan of action the gardener sh ould take Once the group has found possible solutions have the group discuss what they will present to the gardener The students should not appear that they do not know how to solve the gardeners problem The class should prioritize action items in an order steps the gardener should take in order to reach a conclusion. Students must reason why the steps are in the correct order (It may be more feasible to have students develop a plan and explain individually then form the round table discussion to finalize a report to the gardener for the final presentation Use the content from the subject -matter lesson plan to guide students. Conduct labs attached in this lesson when needed for student understanding of the content

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382 Fertilizer Formulations Inquiry -based Lesson Outline Students should maintain notes, reasoning, and observations in a notebook. Objective 1 and 2 : Explain the development of a nutrient management plan. Describe organic and inorganic fertilizers Use the previous tomato garden lesson to expand on the need for a management plan. What are things the gardener could have done to prevent the problem in the first place Help her make a plan for her garden What about a nutrient management plan of action so she does not over utilize organic and inorganic fertilizers? Students should be able to answer the first portion of the plan from previous knowledge However, most students will have a felt need to understand organic and inorganic fertilizers Use lesson plans notes to guide the learners or al low students to seek information about organic and inorganic fertilizers This could be an individual activity and have student report back to the class. o When students report on the types of fertilizers be sure they understand and maintain notes on the spe cific pieces in the lesson plan and other important items you have determined. Objective 3, 4, 5 : Explain fertilizer analysis, grade, and ratio mixing fertilizer, correct selection Maintain the same gardener example with your students. In directing the gardener about fertilizer students will need to explain to the gardener mineral elements, fertilizer analysis, grade, and ratio. Split the class into six groups and have them research these components and create a report and presentation (that they present to the rest of the class on the topic they were given). o Mineral elements o Fertilizer analysis o Fertilizer grade o Fertilizer ratio o Mixing fertilizers o Selection of the correct fertilizer for a crop Student may use portions of the lesson plan if you want to provide copies or they can research in text books or internet. Finally utilize Lesson plan labs to work through calculation with the class.

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383 Applying Fertilizers Inquiry -based Lesson Outline Students should maintain notes, reasoning, and observations in a n otebook. Objective 1 : Explain the application of fertilizers to field crops and urban areas. Have students read the following article (either print or have students read online) o http://www.sptimes.com/2007/03/29/State/Florida_may_go_green_.shtml Use this article to discuss overuse of fertilizers and describe the levels presented in the lesson plan for objective one If there are shortages (typically a concern in agricultural commodity production) three methods can help determine: Visual, Tissue testing, and soil testing o Ask students distinguish between the 3 methods: noting which is easiest, which is most effective, most efficient. Objective 2 & 3: ID methods of fertilizer application, Explain rate of fertilizer application Present students objective two and three as suggested in the subject -matter lesson plan. Break students into groups or have them work individually (depending on class size) Assign different crops essential to your area Have student groups research and present fertilizing methods a s referred to as identified terms in objective 2

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384 Nutrient Deficiencies Inquiry -based Lesson Outline Students should maintain notes, reasoning, and observations in a notebook. Objective 1: Students should research nutrient deficiencies and create a dichot omous key (flow chart) that explains how they could narrow the nutrient deficiency problem s plants face You could supply them with as much knowledge as they need or they could use the internet or university documents to build their dichotomous key I ha ve attached an example of a dichotomous key Allowing students to create their dichotomous key will allow them to learn the deficiencies in plants Then they will apply their key to a situation that is attached as a PowerPoint you can work through with t he students After students complete their dichotomous key use the following lesson plan and attached PowerPoint (or create handouts from the PowerPoint). S ituation: Instructional Objectives: 1) Students will be able to propose logical solutions to th e problem based on the given information. 2) Students will be able to adapt their proposed answers based on changing information. 3) Students will be able to visually analyze plants specimens and determine nutrient deficiency. 4) Students will be able to define ba sic terms associated with the diagnosis of nutrient deficiencies in plants. Materials Needed: Student Handouts: Scenario, What We Know, Nutrient Deficiency Diagnosis Charts, Helpful Hints Plant specimens (pictures or real) Interest Approach: Explain to th e students that I urgently need their help all of our plants are dying and I dont know why. Transition directly in to the scenario and the students tasks. (determine the problem, recommend how to fix it) Lesson: Present students with the scenario Hav e them work in small groups to brainstorm a list of possible causes Write all of the possible causes on the board Distribute What We Know Have students modify their lists Determine the most likely cause (Nutrient Deficiency) Distribute Nutrient Deficie ncy Diagnosis Chart explanation may be required

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385 Distribute Helpful Hints if needed Show plant specimens encourage class to take notes Have students use the specimens and the chart to determine what nutrient is deficient. When each group has reached a conclusion have them present their findings and recommendations. Record each groups findings and recommendations on the board Reveal the final answer Review the process of how the correct answer was reached.

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390 Seed Germination Processes and Requirements Inquiry -based Lesson Outline Students should maintain notes, reasoning, and observations in a notebook. Objective 1 2 and 3: Design and conduct an experiment that explains the seed germination process. Lead a discussion about seed germination Students should have some level of prior knowledge about how seeds germinate Utilize student knowledge and guide them through the contents of the subject -matter lessons plan. Students should then utilize LS B but develop their own steps to conduct a wa rm germination test They should develop their methods and procedures of investigation You should push students to reason and defend their methods based on a scientific approach considering any flaws they might have in their experiment and how they are ad dressing them Do they have a control ? Do they have the same seeds ? What is different about their locations ? How many seeds to they need to test ? These are just a few questions suggested Allow students monitor their seeds on day 2, 5, and 7 and document results. Students should then present their hypothesis, research methods, results, and findings to the class in the form of a poster or PowerPoint presentation o Peer students should evaluation and ask questions based on data and the presentation o The g roups presenting should be able to acknowledge and defend their answers and ways to address anticipated questions

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391 Plant Life -Cycles Inquiry -based Lesson Outline Students should maintain notes, reasoning, and observations in a notebook. Objective 1 2, 3 and 4 : Identify differences between plant life cycles Ask students about their favorite flower Why is it their favorite flower? Ask them details about their favorite flower. Be prepared with pictures of flowers if they do not have a favorite flower or plant. What makes flowers different? When does their flower bloom? How often? How long? Why? This should lead into a discussion about plant life cycles Use these questioning strategies to lead and teach about plant life cycles Have students develop wa ys to determine ways they can determine one type from another Also, guide students to think about advantages and disadvantages of the different life cycles and applications for horticulture and agricultural production Example: how expensive would roses b e it they were simply annuals ? How profitable would raising corn be if it were a perennial ?

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392 Photosynthesis Inquiry -based Lesson Outline Students should maintain notes, reasoning, and observations in a notebook. Objective 1 2, and 3 : Evaluate research t hat focuses on improving photosynthesis in plants. Allow students to have a copy of the lesson plan or create guided notes Group students up according to what is best for your class. The group task is to find research that supports better production (hi gher yields) from crops due to more efficient plants Suggested to browse Google scholar and university agronomy web -sites o Groups have 2 options and should choose one of the following: Design a research study that investigates improved methods of photosynthesis. (They need to address the following) How will they develop this research? How will it be conducted? What results do they anticipate? How will they report the results? Who are the results important too? What impact does this have on the agricultura l industry? Design and describe the process of photosynthesis and how the study they researched improves the production of the crop/plant? They need to use technical terms as much as possible. Explain in detail the study and the terms and the meanings of t hose terms. Explain the products of photosynthesis and how the factors effecting the process have been altered or changed in the study they researched. Encourage this group to conduct lab A in the subject -matter lesson plan and include descriptions in thei r presentation to the class. (LS A) Both (types) of groups should turn in their results and present their findings to the entire class. Conduct lab (LS B) with the inquiry group. Do not tell the inquiry which coleus plant was in the dark room and whic h plant was in the light Have groups develop reasoning and defend their decisions based on what they have learned If you want an extension activity experiment with the amount of days without sunlight

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393 Respiration Inquiry -based Lesson Outline Students should maintain notes, reasoning, and observations in a notebook. Objective 1 2, and 3: Define d escribe and i dentify cellular respiration. Ask students to develop ideas as to why few deciduous trees grow at high altitudes o Ask students what they base their answer/beliefs on. o Ask students about oxygen levels and how that may affect plant type and growth. Use this to lead them into aerobic respiration and anaerobic respiration. o So do plants breathe ? It is called respiration Ask students to describe what they believe takes place during respiration. Expect confusion between photosynthesis and respiration. Use these questions and student misconceptions to teach objective 2 Use the do plants breathe during germination question to lead into students (entire class) designing a way to find out the answer You can use LS 1 as a guide to guide student thinking or provide hints as to how they many find this out BUT allow students to brainstorm as a class to seek the answer to their inquiry. If there are a couple different options provided by the group direct them to acknowledge faults and/or good aspects of the research question, and conduction of the experiment Remind them to determine and record observations or ways they will observe or tables/measurements the y will conduct. Allow students to conduct the experiment at the end of the following content. o Factors affecting cellular respiration (objective 3) Ask students what makes them breathe faster Use this to determine the content in objective 3 on the subject -matter lesson plan

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394 APPENDIX D PRETESTS/POSTTESTS All assessments were taken through the MYCAERT testing service and appeared in a different format and scores uploaded via the computerized testing system Questions were asked in a random order. Assessme nt 1 Nature and Formation of Soil Instructions: Circle the best answer to the following questions. 1. ____________ is/are utilized in the form of organic matter in the soil a. Nutrients b. Carbon c. Oxygen d. Zinc 2. The following are resources, provided by the soil, which allow for the growth of plants and animals a. carbon, nutrients, oxygen, water, and zinc b. oxygen, and water c. nutrients, oxygen, temperature, and water d. carbon, nutrients, oxygen, temperature, and water 3. The primary components that make up soil are: a. organic matter, air, and water b. organic matter, mineral matter, air and water c. organic matter and mineral matter d. organic matter and sand 4. What term is used to describe partially decayed plant and animal matter? a. organic matter b. mineral matter c. natural matter d. deca y matter 5. Pore space make up approximately _____% of soil. a. 5% b. 25% c. 45% d. 50%

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395 6. Organic matter makes up approximately _____% of soil. a. 5% b. 25% c. 45% d. 50% 7. What effects do soil organisms have on soil? a. They have almost no effect. b. The activities increase the availab le mineral matter. c. They enhance drainage and improvement of air exchange. d. They deplete the soil of essential elements for plant growth. 8. Bacteria and fungi in the soil __________________. a. will eventually cause plants to die b. break down organic matter and release nutrients c. beak down mineral and organic matter d. cause reduced root growth from plants 9. Symbiosis is the living of together unlike ___________. a. organisms b. plants c. fungi d. nutrients 10. Plants depend on soil for: a. anchorage, water, air, and nutrients b. anchorag e, water and nutrients c. water and air d. water and nutrients 11. Oxygen provides _________ for the soil. a. aeration b. dark color c. symbiosis d. tilth 12. An example of an agricultural use of soil is: a. forestry b. cropland c. water structures d. all of the above 13. An example of a non ag riculture use of soil is: a. grazing land b. vegetable production land c. waste disposal d. pond

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396 14. What are the five factors that affect soil formation? a. temperature, moisture, plant type, organic matter, organisms, and pore space b. climate, topography, organic material parent material, and time c. glaciers, lakes, wind, bedrock, and organic deposits d. alluvium, parent material, loess, glacial till, and chemical weathering 15. Soils formed by former shallow ponds with swamp vegetation are __________. a. glacial till b. alluvial c. loess d. organic 16. What type of water holding capacity does loess soils have? a. worst of any soil b. poor c. average d. excellent 17. Which living organisms have the greatest effect on soil formation? a. ants b. burrowing animals c. earthworms d. native plants 18. What gives soil its dark colo r and is found primarily in the surface layer of the soil? a. alluvium b. loess c. mineral matter d. organic matter 19. What is a large long -lasting river of ice that is formed on land and moves by gravity? a. alluvium b. glacier c. loess d. outwash 20. Timer soils tend to have _________________. a. a deep organic layer b. an average organic layer c. a thin organic layer d. no organic layer 21. Weathering by wind, water, and temperature is known as __________ weathering. a. alluvial weathering b. physical weathering c. climatic weathering d. chemical weathering

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397 22. Freezing, thawing, rainfall, wind, and sunlight are all examples of which soil forming factor? a. climate b. loess c. topography d. weathering 23. Soils that have a steep topography are _____________________. a. subject to ponding b. poorly drained c. moderately drained d. well dra ined 24. Soils formed from soil particles that have not been layered from the effects of wind and water are called ______________. a. alluvium b. bedrock c. glacial till d. outwash 25. Prairie soils are high in __________________. a. bedrock b. living matter c. mineral matter d. organi c matter 26. Soils in _________ regions are subject to leaching. a. arid b. glacial c. humid d. windy

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398 Assessment 2 Soil Color, Texture, & Structure 1What determines the colors found in the surface layer of soil? a. Drainage b. Organic matter c. Oxidation d. Reduction 2Subsoil colors are determined by the degree of _____________________ present when they are forming. a. Drainage b. Earthworms c. Sandiness d. Organic Matter 3Why are prairie soils dark in color? a. Partially decayed roots over a long period of time. b. Water drained rapidly from the soil surface trough the soil. c. High iron content d. Course soil texture 4Poor drainage creates subsoil that is ___________ in color. a. Brown b. Reddish Brown/Yellowish Brown c. Mottled d. Gray/Olive 5Which is not a physical feature used to differentiated soil? a. Texture b. St ructure c. Moisture d. Color 6What percentage of organic matter in soil will yield a very dark color? a. 0% b. 2% c. 3.5% d. 5% 7Organic matter on the surface (such as leaf litter) decays ___________ than organic matter in the soil (roots of plants) a. Slower b. Faster c. The same d. Non e of the above Leaf litter and roots do not decay 8Mottled refers to __________________. a. Bright and dull colored soil mixed together b. Soil with red and grey colors mixed c. Brightly colored soil d. Dull colored soil 9What causes a soil to form mottled coloration? a. Good Drainage

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399 b. Poor Drainage c. Somewhat poor drainage d. No drainage 10Soils on a hill tend to have color that is ___________________ than soils on flat ground. a. Darker b. Lighter c. Deeper d. Mottled 11Which is not one of the three particle sizes of soil. a. Sand b. Silt c. Clay d. Loam 12The largest soil particle is __________. a. Sand b. Silt c. Clay d. Loam 13The smallest soil particle is ___________. a. Sand b. Silt c. Clay d. Loam 14The 12 classes of soil can be identified using the ____________. a. Soil finder b. Textural triangle c. Soil map d. Topography map 15What t ype of soil produces the longest ribbon using the ribbon method? a. Course textured b. Fine -textured c. Medium textured d. Moderately -course textured 16What term refers to clumps of soil that are caused by tillage? a. Clods b. Crumbs c. Peds d. Prisms 17What textural class contains some of each size of soil particle? a. Loam b. Sandy clay c. Silt d. Silt clay 18What two types of soil structure appear structureless? a. Blocky and crumb b. Columnar and granular c. Massive and single grain d. Platy and primatic

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400 19Good soil structure does all of the following excep t _________________. a. Improves tilth b. Improves permeability c. Minimizes the formation of crusts d. Limits water infiltration 20Which soil structure has the poorest water permeability? a. Granular b. Crumb c. Prismatic d. Platy 21Blocky aggregates are three dimensional aggregates with at least how many sides? a. 3 b. 6 c. 9 d. 12 22Plant roots, freezing and thawing, soil tillage and ____________ clump soil together loosely. a. Fungal activity b. Acid rain c. Compaction d. Air 23All of following act as cementing agents for soil except ________________. a. Water b. Clay c. Iron oxides d. Organic matter 24What term is used to describe the ability of the soil to retain water for plants? a. Soil Workability b. Soil Structure c. Soil Texture d. Water Holding Capacity 25Using the soil textural triangle what type of soil has 30% clay 30% Silt and 40% Sand? a. Clay Loam b. Silt Loam c. Silty Clay Loam d. Silty Clay

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401 Assessment 3 Explaining Soil Profile & Moisture Holding Capacity 1. A vertical cross section of soil is known as ______________ a. A horizon b. A profile c. A substratum d. An illuvium 2. What term is used to define materials being altered in the soil? a. Additions b. Losses c. Translocations d. Transformations 3. What term is used for the A horizon? a. illuvium b. Subsoil c. Substratum d. Topsoil 4. What makes up the O horizon? a. Clay b. Iron c. Organic matter d. Silt 5. Which horizon consists of underlying bedrock? a. O b. B c. C d. R 6. Which horizon is best suited for growth of plant roots? a. A b. B c. C d. E 7. The standard depth of the soil profile is ____________. a. 12 feet b. 35 feet c. 810 feet d. 1 mile 8. Fallen leaves on the soil will eventually be ____________. a. Addition s b. Loss es c. Translocations d. Transformations 9. The correct order (from top to bottom) of soil horizons is _____. a. A B C E R O b. A E C R O B c. O A E B C R d. O A B C E R

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402 10. The substratum is also known as ___________ and usually consists of parent material a. The solum b. The C horizon c. The R horizon d. The subsoil 11. What is the solum? a. The A, E, and B horizons b. The C and R horizons c. The entire soil profile d. The substratum 12. Illuviation occurs when _________. a. Leached minerals form an E horizon between the A and B horizons b. Chemicals are leached from the A and E horizons c. Organic matter accumulates in the O horizon d. The C horizon weathers to make the B horizon 13. The E horizon is usually very light and occurs in forest soils high in ______. a. Sand b. Clay c. Organic matte r d. Silt 14. Organic matter is most likely to be found in which horizon? a. A b. B c. C d. R 15. Erosion is an example of (a/an) ____________. a. Addition b. Loess c. Translocation d. Transformation 16. What is the primary factor in determining how much moisture a soil can hold? a. Color b. Profile c. Texture d. Structure 17. Which soil holds the most plant available moisture? a. Clay b. Silt Loam c. Sand d. Sandy -Clay 18. What is the soil water that tightly clings to soil particles called? a. Available b. Capillary c. Gravitational d. Hygroscopic 19. Which soil type would hold the least amount of water? a. Fine textured b. Moderately fine textured

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403 c. Medium textured d. Course textured 20. What happens as the water in the soil us used by plants? a. Soil moisture tension increases b. Soil moisture tension decreases c. Soil water becomes more available d. Plants extract w ater more easily 21. The process of water soaking into the soil is known as __________. a. Infiltration b. Percolation c. Permeation d. Soil moisture tension 22. Clay soils hold water more tightly due to ______________. a. Hygroscopic moisture b. Leaching c. Infiltration d. Capillary a ction 23. Available water holding capacity depends on ______________. a. Soil profile depth b. Soil texture c. Neither A or B d. Both A and B 24. Calculate the total water -holding capacity of this soil. A horizon 9 medium textured B horizon 23 moderately fine textured C hor izon 28 medium textured a. 14.85 b. 16.85 c. 18.25 d. 18.35 25. Calculate the total water -holding capacity of this soil. A horizon 7 fine textured B horizon 18 medium textured C horizon 35 course textured a. 10.30 b. 12.22 c. 12.85 d. 14.25

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404 Assessment 4 Understanding Soil Erosion and Chemistry 1. Soil erosion is the process by which ________________________. a. Soil is moved b. Soil become polluted c. Water is infiltrated into the soil d. Gasses are exchanged in the soil 2. What is a ridge or row of earth mound called that is placed across a slope to allow a gradual drop for the flow of water in order to reduce erosion? a. Diversion ditches b. Grassed strips c. Terrace d. Windbreak 3. What is the process that involves planting crops with little or no plowing and leaving crop residue on the surface to protec t the soil? a. Conservation tillage b. Crop rotation c. Stripped cropping d. Vegetation cover 4. What is runoff? a. The deposition of soil in the bottom of streams, riverbeds, ditches etc. b. Erosion that occurs on slopes that are saturated with water and slips down the hillside or mountain c. When the front edge of a glacier pushes soil, rocks, fallen trees, and other materials d. When rain falls faster than it can be absorbed into the soil and the water flows over the surface into streams and rivers 5. What type of erosion results whe n thin layers of soil are removed from the surface and often go unnoticed? a. Gully b. Rill c. Sheet d. Surface creep 6. Erosion that occurs on land not impacted by humans is _________________. a. Accelerated erosion b. Land slippage c. Anthropomorphic erosion d. Geologic erosion 7. Wind erosion is likely to occur in all of the following except which? a. Newly -plowed fields b. Construction sites cleared by equipment c. Land where vegetation had been grazed too closely d. A field with a cover crop planted on it 8. Another name for a landslide is: a. Gl acial erosion b. Gully erosion c. Land slippage d. Saltation

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405 9. Which is not a commonly used erosion management practice? a. Mulching b. Silt fences c. Cover crops d. Heavy grazing 10. Erosion that happens when small rills continue to wash away and become more sever is known as: a. Com plex rill erosion b. Sheet erosion c. Gully erosion d. Ditch erosion 11. The process of wind lifting medium size particles into the air, but are too heavy to remain in suspension is: a. Saltation b. Suspension c. Surface creep d. Rill erosion 12. A row of trees planted to slow wind and help prevent wind erosion is knows as: a. Terrace b. Diversion hedges c. Vegetative break d. Windbreaks 13. A natural soil pH is: a. 2 b. 4 c. 7 d. 10 14. A soil with a pH of 1 is considered: a. A strong acid b. A strong base c. A weak acid d. A weak base 15. A soil with a pH of 6.0 has ____________active H+ than 7.0. a. 10 times more b. 10 times less c. 100 times more d. 100 times less 16. Soils formed under rainy conditions are typically _______________than soils formed under dry conditions. a. More acidic b. More basic c. Have a higher pH d. Has more calcium and magnesium 17. As a general rule soil acidity generally ______________ with soil depth. a. Increases b. Decreases c. Stays the same d. Varies

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406 18. Nitrogen fertilizers typically __________ soil pH a. Raises b. Lowers c. Does not change d. Initially raises then lowers 19. Cation exchange capacity is the ability of a soil to: a. Move water through the soil b. Prevent erosion c. Change its pH to promote plant growth d. React to chemicals added to the soil 20. What is the effect of adding lime to a soil with a pH of 5? a. Will lower the pH b. Will raising the pH c. Will incre ase water holding capacity d. Will decrease water holding capacity 21. Which is not a type of liming agent? a. Calcium oxcide (CaO) b. Calcium hydroxide [Ca(OH)2] c. Calcium carbonate (CaC) d. Calcitic limestone (CaCo3) 22. Soils that have a high cation exchange capacity (CEC) h ave a high _______ content. a. Clay b. Sand c. Silt d. Parent material 23. A soil with a high cation exchange capacity: a. Retains a high amount of cations b. Likely has a high clay content c. Likely has a relatively high organic matter content d. All of the above 24. Organic matter contains about a ______% nitrogen a. 2 b. 5 c. 20 d. 80 25. If the soil permits, roots will extend ______ in depth. a. 12 feet b. 36 feet c. 910 feet d. 1520 feet

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407 Assessment 5 Fertilizer Formulations, Applications, and Nutrient Deficiencies 1 .) _________________ is considered an organic fertilizer. a. Blood meal b. Dried and ground sewage sludge c. Cottonseed meal d. All of the above 2 .) A sensitive area that might need special consideration when applying fertilizer is ______________. a. 20 acres of soy beans b. An open hay field c. A drainage ditch d. All o f the above 3 .) Fertilizers that come from non -living sources are called ___________________. a. Inorganic fertilizers b. Organic fertilizers c. Green fertilizers d. Complete fertilizers 4 .) Water -insoluble nitrogen (WIN) can also be referred to as _____________. a. Quick releas e nitrogen b. A complete fertilizer c. Turf fertilizer d. Slow -release nitrogen 5 .) How many pounds of nitrogen are in a 50 lb bag of 1025 -5 a. 5 b. 10 c. 12.2 d. 25 6 .) Which of the following fertilizers have a 1 -11 ratio? a. 1015-5 b. 61212 c. 101010 d. 10-6-6 7 .) Which fertilizer grade is l east likely to be found at a feed and seed store? a. 101010 b. 304030 c. 51530 d. 20-0-5 8 .) Which adds more nitrogen to a field? a. 1/2 lb of 20 3010 b. 1 lb of 10 1010

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408 c. 2 lbs of 5 -5-5 d. They all have the same amount of nitrogen 9 .) Which of the following is not a complete fe rtilizer? a. 101010 b. 20-3-8 c. 10-5-0 d. All of the above are complete 10.) Which of the following is a single grade fertilizer? a. 10-0-0 b. 5-5-5 c. 20-5-3 d. None of the above 11.) Which level of nutrients is most desirable? a. Level I b. Level II c. Level III d. Level IV 12.) What can be done to de termine the nutrient levels in the soil? a. A soil test b. Tissue testing c. A soil injection d. Top dressing 13.) The simplest way to fertilize is to ________. a. Broadcast b. Inject c. Top dress d. Site -specific application 14.) Which type of fertilizer application is applied on the grow ing crop rather than mixed into the soil? a. Top dressing b. Side dressing c. Chiseling d. Post -emergence 15.) Which type of fertilizer application is applied directly to the leaf of the plant? a. Top dressing b. Side dressing c. Foliar feeding d. Broadcast 16.) Which type of fertilizer a pplication is applied after planting but before the crop begins to grow? a. Top dressing b. Side dressing

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409 c. Pre -emergence d. Post -emergence 17.) Fertigation is ________________? a. Fertilizing the field before crops are planted b. Injecting the fertilizer into the ground c. Applyi ng the fertilizer directly to the plant d. Injecting fertilizer into the irrigation water 18.) Site -specific application (variable rate technology) involves ______________ to apply fertilizer to a field. a. Lasers b. Computers/GPS c. Foliar feeding d. Fertilizer injectors 19.) Bui ld up is the amount of fertilizer that ________________________. a. Is required to increase the soil nutrients to its desired level b. Is the amount that will be moved when the crop is grown c. Amount needed to reach the desired level plus what will be removed when the crop is grown d. Should be applied every year (1 ton of lime per acre) 20.) The rate of fertilizer of application depends on ________________. a. What is typical for farmers in the area b. What has been done on the farm c. The fertilizer applied the previous year d. The soil sample 21.) How many macronutrients are there? a. 3 b. 6 c. 9 d. 16 22.) What are the primary nutrients? a. Calcium, Magnesium, & Sulfur b. Nitrogen, Phosphorus, & Potassium c. Chlorine, Iron, & Boron d. Copper, Molybdenum & Zinc 23.) A plant with light green or yellow leaves could have a ____________ deficiency. a. Nitrogen b. Phosphorus c. Sulfur d. Potassium 24.) A plant with yellow/brown discoloration and scorching along the outer margin of the leaves could have a _______________ deficiency. a. Nitrogen

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410 b. Phosphorus c. Sulfur d. Potassium 25.) A plant with purple cast to leaves and stems, and stunted leaves could possibly have a _______________. a. Nitrogen b. Phosphorus c. Sulfur d. Potassium 26.) A plant with yellowing colors of the bottom/oldest leaves could have a __________________ deficiency. a. Copper b. Magnesium c. Sulfur d. Calcium 27.) A pl ant with yellow, almost white, leaves with green veins could have a/an ______________ deficiency. a. Zinc b. Iron c. Magnesium d. Iron 28.) An acidic soil __________________ the amount of available calcium, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, phosphorus, and molybdenum. a. Reduce b. Increase c. Neither reduce or increase d. Increase some while decreasing others 29.) A deficiency of boron, copper, and potassium can be caused by _______________. a. Wet soil b. Dry soil c. Deep soil d. Shallow soil 30.) Soils with hardpans require _______________ and ______________ to increase fertility. a. Lime and iron b. Calcium and manganese c. Phosphorus and potassium d. Chlorine and sulfur

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411 Assessment 6 Seed Germination & Plant Life Cycles 1 .) What term defines the beginning growth of the seed embryo? a. Germination b. Stratification c. Scarificat ion d. Imbibitions 2 .) Seeds with a stratification dormancy mechanism must experience ____________ to germinate? a. Fire b. Acid c. Water and Oxygen d. Cold 3 .) What enzyme breaks down proteins and changes them to amino acids? a. Amylase b. Acids c. Protease d. Phytochrome 4 .) Most seeds are ______ water? a. 12% b. 510% c. 2030% d. 4050% 5 .) Water becomes imbedded into the seed during the first phase of germination through a process known as: a. Imbibition b. Turgidity c. Stratification d. Scarification 6 .) The radicle is another term for: a. The first leaves b. The seed coat c. Th e water in the cell d. The first root 7 .) What triggers the germination process? a. Temperature b. Water content c. Soil nutrients d. Pressure 8 .) Seeds germinate at a temperature of 32 105 F but the generally accepted optimal temperature for germination is: a. 3244 b. 4560 c. 65-80 d. 85100 9 .) Seeds that are light sensitive have ____________ found on the seed coat. a. Photosynthesis b. Phytochrome

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412 c. Stomata d. Pores 10.) Viability refers to the ______________. a. Seeds ability to germinate under optimal conditions b. Ability of the seed to germinate under d ifferent conditions c. Ability of the seed to germinate when it is cold d. Ability of the seed to germinate with little water 11.) What temperatures are best to store seeds? a. 20 F b. 40 F c. 60 F d. 80 F 12.) What humidity is best to store seeds? a. 15% b. 40% c. 60% d. 100% 13.) All of the follow ing are life cycles of plants except for which of the following? a. Annual b. Biennial c. Herbaceous d. Perennial 14.) A plant that completes its growing cycle in one year is known as a/an: a. Annual b. Biennial c. Herbaceous d. Perennial 15.) A plant that completes its growing cycle in tw o years is known as a/an: a. Annual b. Biennial c. Herbaceous d. Perennial 16.) A plant that completes its growing cycle each year is known as a/an: a. Annual b. Biennial c. Herbaceous d. Perennial 17.) A typical annual plant will require ________ days from germination to produce a seed. a. 60 b. 80 c. 120 d. 160 18.) An example of a summer annual is ___________. a. Corn b. Wheat c. Strawberries d. Carrots

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413 19.) An example of a winter annual is ______________. a. Corn b. Wheat c. Strawberries d. Carrots 20.) An example of a biannual is ______________. a. Corn b. Wheat c. Strawberries d. Carrots 21.) An example of a perennial is ______________. a. Corn b. Wheat c. Strawberries d. Carrots 22.) Trees and shrubs that lose their leaves in the fall are: a. Evergreen b. Annuals c. Herbaceous perennials d. Deciduous 23.) Plants that have shoots that die back in the winter but has roots that survive are known as: a. Woody perennials b. Deciduous c. Evergreen d. Herbaceous perennials 24.) During winter perennials go through a ___________period. a. Germination b. Growth c. Dormancy d. Latency 25.) A typical evergreen leaf lasts _________ before dropping. a. 12 months b. 46 months c. 13 year s d. 35 years

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414 Assessment 7 Examining Photosynthesis & Respiration 1 .) The green pigment in leaves is known as a. Chlorophyll b. Chloroplasts c. Mesophyll d. Stroma 2 .) The fluid filled region within the chloroplast is known as the __________. a. Chlorophyll b. Grana c. Mesophyll d. Stroma 3 .) The most important type of chlorophyll is _______________. a. Carotenoids b. Chlorophyll a c. Chlorophyll b d. Grana 4 .) The yellow green chlorophyll is ______________. a. Carotenoids b. Chlorophyll a c. Chlorophyll b d. Grana 5 .) Interconnected sets of flat, disk like sacks are ____________. a. Grana b. Mesophyll c. Stroma d. Thylakoids 6 .) A group of thylakoids are known as _________. a. Stroma b. Grana c. Mesophyll d. Cartenoids 7 .) The chlorophyll transfers the energy in sunlight into high energy compounds known as ____________. a. ATP b. NADPH c. Cellulose d. All of the above 8 .) During the light independent reaction (dark reaction) a. ATP is produced b. ATP and NADHP are used to make high -energy carbohydrates c. Photophosphorulation occurs d. 6 carbon molecules are split into 2 three carbon molecules that join with simple sugars 9 .) Wh ich of the following is not a C4 plant? a. Corn b. Crab grass c. Sugar beets

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415 d. Sugar cane 10.) Which is not a trait of a C4 plant? a. Bundle sheath cells b. High levels of carbon dioxide c. High rate of photosynthesis d. Calvin cycle takes place 11.) What will happen to a plant during a l ack of water? a. Bundle sheath cells rapidly produce carbon dioxide b. NADPH and ATP are rapidly produced c. Chlorophyll levels decrease d. Stomates close 12.) Can photosynthesis occur without sunlight? a. Yes, at a very high rate b. Yes, but at a very low rate c. Not at all d. Depe nds on how much water is present 13.) Which statement is the most correct? a. A C3 plant grows slightly faster than a C4 plant b. A C 4 plant grows much faster than a C 3 plant 14.) Respiration takes place in which organelle? a. Mitochondria b. Nucleus c. Ribosome d. Nucleotide 15.) When oxygen is in short supply, plants must rely on: a. Aerobic respiration b. Anerobic respiration c. Glycolysis d. Cytosol 16.) The process of plants removing oxygen is known as: a. Cellular respiration b. Fermentation c. Glycolysis d. Reduction 17.) The fluid of a cell in which the organelle s are suspended is known as: a. Mitochondria b. The golgi complex c. Cytosol d. Ribosome 18.) Carbohydrates are broken down in the plant to form all of the following except: a. Oxygen b. ATP c. Carbon dioxide d. Water 19.) An example of anaerobic cellular respiration is: a. Tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle b. Ctylosol c. Glycolysis

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416 d. Fermentation 20.) During the third stage of the aerobic respiration _____________ enter the mitochondria. a. Pyruvate molecules b. Cytosol fluid c. Tricarboxylic acid (TCA) d. Bacteria 21.) During the third stage of aerobic respiration, the ______________ takes place, releasing Carbon dioxide and hydrogen. a. Tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle b. Glycolysis c. Reduction d. Fermentation 22.) As temperature increases respirations _____________. a. Increases b. Decreases c. Stays the same d. Varies 23.) What type of plant has the highe st respiration rates? a. A young plant in a very wet (water logged) soil b. An old plant in a very wet (water logged) soil c. A young plant in an average soil d. An old plant in an average soil 24.) Respiration occurs: a. In the light b. In the dark c. In the light and dark d. In the absents of carbon dioxide and water 25.) Low levels of carbohydrates = ___________________. a. High rates of respiration b. Low rates of respiration c. High temperatures d. Low temperatures

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417 APPENDIX E CONTENT KNOWLEDGE ASSESSMENT PLANNING MATRICS Lessons 1 & 2 Lesson#/ Objective # % Instructional time (lessons combined) % of the Assessment Questions 1/1 7 7 1,2 1/2 18 21 3,4,5,6,7,8 1/3 7 7 9,10 1/4 6 3 11 1/5 11 7 12,13 2/1 12 14 14,15,16,17 2/2 13 14 18,19,20,21 2/3 13 14 22,23,24,25 2/4 13 14 26,27,28,29 Le sson 3 & 4 Lesson#/Objectives# % Instructional time (lessons combined) % of the assessments Questions 3/1 5 4 5 3/2 5 4 6 3/3 10 8 1,3 3/4 10 12 2,4,8 3/5 5 4 9 3/6 10 8 7,10 4/1 20 20 11,12,13,19,24 4/2 15 16 14,15,17,25 4/3 10 12 16,22,23 4/4 10 12 18,20,21 Lesson 5 & 6 Lesson#/Objectives# % Instructional time (lessons combined) % of the assessments Questions 5/1 10 8 1,7 5/2 10 12 2,8,15 5/3 40 40 3,4,5,6,9,10,11,12,13,14 6/1 15 16 18,21,22,23 6/2 10 8 17,20 6/3 15 16 16,19,24,25

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418 Lesson 7 & 8 Lesson#/Objectives# % Instructional time (lessons combined) % of the assessments Questions 7/1 5 8 1,6 7/2 5 8 4,8 7/3 10 8 3,11 7/4 10 8 5,10 7/5 5 8 7,9 7/6 10 12 2,3,12 8/1 5 0 8/2 20 20 13,14,15,16,17 8/3 10 12 19,22,23 8/4 20 20 18,20,21,24,25 Lesson 9, 10, & 11 Lesson#/Objectives# % Instructional time (lessons combined) % of the assessments Questions 9/1 5 4 2 9/2 5 2 1,3 9/3 15 16 4,5,6,7 9/4 10 12 8,9,10 10/1 5 8 11,12 10/2 20 24 13,14,15,16,17,18 10/3 5 8 19,20 1 1/1 20 20 21,22,23,24,25 11/2 5 4 26 11/3 5 8 27,28 11/4 5 8 29,30 Lesson 12 & 13 Lesson#/Objectives# % Instructional time (lessons combined) % of the assessments Questions 12/1 25 24 1,2,3,4,5,6 12/2 10 12 7,8,9 12/3 10 12 10,11,12 13/1 5 0 13 /2 15 16 14,17,18,19 13/3 5 8 15,20 13/4 30 32 13,16,21,21,22,23,24,25

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419 Lesson 14 & 15 Lesson#/Objectives# % Instructional time (lessons combined) % of the assessments Questions 14/1 25 24 1,2,3,4,5,6 14/2 25 24 7,8,9,10,11,13 14/3 5 4 12 15/1 5 8 14,15 15/2 25 24 16,17,18,19,20,21 15/3 15 16 22,23,24,25

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420 APPENDIX F ARGUMENTATION SCORIN G RUBRIC Schen, M. S. (2007). Scientific reasoning skills development in the introductory biology courses for undergraduates. Unpublished doctoral dissertat ion, The Ohio State University, Columbus

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421 APPENDIX G ARGUMENTATION INSTRU MENT Argumentation Skills Student ID# _________________ While working in your local community you have a member of the community approach you with a problem in the garden on t he property they own The local gardener is trying to grow peppers and sweet corn during the appropriate time of year, but the plants are not doing well, at times appear to be yellowing They commented last year the plants grew well, but then did not produ ce much of a crop at all They tell you about the facts during your visit to their garden (presented below). Fertilizer: Use manure from the two horses, and 20 10 5 fertilizer applied three times a year They also place all leaves and compost on the garden twice a year The garden is tilled using a small tiller twice in the spring and once in the fall. Upon further inspection at their home you see the tiller can turn the soil over up to 8 inches deep. They are sure to keep the garden moist at all times during the growing season watering when necessary if there is not enough rain They plant the sweet corn from seed using fresh seed each year and they buy the pepper plants that appear to be healthy from the local FFA Chapter You examine the soil and it appears to be a moderately dark loam soil that has a structure of crumb on top and platy around the 6 inch mark. You dig a hole and find the soil to be clay below 8 inches and the soil is structureless or is massive chunks. You take three soil tests one resulting in a soil pH of 7 and the other is 5.3, and the third is 7.2 (typically peppers prefer a pH of 6 8 and corn prefers a soil pH of 5.8 7) You do not notice any insect damage on the crop. The plants in the entire garden seem to be affected, not just the plants in a specific area.

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422 Student ID # _________________________ Given what you find on your visit what are you next steps you would chose to do? What is a conclusion that you can draw from the data regarding these relationships? What data are you using to support this relationship? What rationale links this data to your conclusion? A local horticulturalist takes a look at the garden while you are formulating your conclusion She is excited to find you are trying t o solve the same problem You speak with her and share your conclusion She listens to your conclusion as you have presented above, but offers an alternative viewpoint What does she conclude? How would you respond to her viewpoint?

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423 APPENDIX H LAWSONS CLASSROOM TEST OF SCIENTIFIC REASON ING CLASSROOM TEST OF SCIENTIFIC REASONING Multiple Choice Version Directions to Students: This is a test of your ability to apply aspects of scientific and mathematical reasoning to analyze a situati on to make a prediction or solve a problem Make a dark mark on the answer sheet for the best answer for each item If you do not fully understand what is being asked in an item, please ask the test administrator for clarification. DO NOT OPEN THIS BOOKLET UNTIL YOU ARE TOLD TO DO SO Revised Edition: August 2000 by Anton E. Lawson, Arizona State University. Based on: Lawson, A.E 1978. Development and validation of the classroom test of formal reasoning Journal of Research in Science Teaching 15(1): 11 -24.

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424 1. Suppose you are given two clay balls of equal size and shape The two clay balls also weigh the same One ball is flattened into a pancake-shaped piece Which of these statements is correct? a. The pancake -shaped piece weighs more t han the ball b. The two pieces still weigh the same c. The ball weighs more than the pancake -shaped piece 2. because a. the flattened piece covers a larger area. b. the ball pushes down more on one spot. c. when something is flattened it loses weig ht. d. clay has not been added or taken away. e. when something is flattened it gains weight. 3. To the right are drawings of two cylinders filled to the same level with water The cylinders are identical in size and shape. Also shown at the right a re two marbles, one glass and one steel The marbles are the same size but the steel one is much heavier than the glass one. When the glass marble is put into Cylinder 1 it sinks to the bottom and the water level rises to the 6th mark If we put the steel marble into Cylinder 2, the water will rise a. to the same level as it did in Cylinder 1 b. to a higher level than it did in Cylinder 1 c. to a lower level than it did in Cylinder 1 4. because a. the steel marble will sink faster. b. the marbles are made of different materials. c. the steel marble is heavier than the glass marble. d. the glass marble creates less pressure. e. the marbles are the same size.

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425 5. To the right are drawings of a wide and a narrow cylinder The cylinders have equally s paced marks on them Water is poured into the wide cylinder up to the 4th mark (see A) This water rises to the 6th mark when poured into the narrow cylinder (see B). Both cylinders are emptied (not shown) and water is poured into the wide cylinder up to the 6th mark How high would this water rise if it were poured into the empty narrow cylinder? a. to 8 b. to 9 c. to 10 d. to 12 e. none of these answers is correct 6. because a. the answer cannot be determined with the information given. b. it went up 2 more before, so it will go up 2 more again. c. it goes up 3 in the narrow for every 2 in the wide. d. the second cylinder is narrower. e. one must actually pour the water and observe to find out. 7. Water is now poured into the narrow cylinder (described in Item 5 above) up to the 11th mark How high would this water rise if it were poured into the empty wide cylinder? a. to 9 b. to 8 c. to 71/2 d. to 7 1/3 e. none of these answers is correct 8. because a. the ratios must stay the same. b. one must actually pour the water and observe to find out. c. the answer cannot be determined with the information given. d. it was 2 less before so it will be 2 less again. e. you subtract 2 from the wide for every 3 from the narrow.

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426 9. At the rig ht are drawings of three strings hanging from a bar The three strings have metal weights attached to their ends String 1 and String 3 are the same length String 2 is shorter A 10 unit weight is attached to the end of String 1 A 10 unit weight is also attached to the end of String 2. A 5 unit weight is attached to the end of String 3. The strings (and attached weights) can be swung back and forth and the time it takes to make a swing can be timed. Suppose you want to find out whether the length of the string has an effect on the time it takes to swing back and forth. Which strings would you use to find out? a. only one string b. all three strings c. 2 and 3 d. 1 and 3 e. 1 and 2 10. because a. you must use the longest strings. b. you must compare strings with both light and heavy weights. c. only the lengths differ. d. to make all possible comparisons. e. the weights differ.

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427 11. Twenty fruit flies are placed in each of four glass tubes The tubes are sealed Tubes I and II are partiall y covered with black paper; Tubes III and IV are not covered The tubes are placed as shown Then they are exposed to red light for five minutes The number of flies in the uncovered part of each tube is shown in the drawing. This experiment shows that flies respond to (respond means move to or away from): a. red light but not gravity b. gravity but not red light c. both red light and gravity d. neither red light nor gravity 12. because a. most flies are in the upper end of Tube III but spread a bout evenly in Tube II. b. most flies did not go to the bottom of Tubes I and III. c. the flies need light to see and must fly against gravity. d. the majority of flies are in the upper ends and in the lighted ends of the tubes. e. some flies are in both ends of each tube.

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428 13. In a second experiment, a different kind of fly and blue light was used The results are shown in the drawing. These data show that these flies respond to (respond means move to or away from): a. blue light but not gra vity b. gravity but not blue light c. both blue light and gravity d. neither blue light nor gravity 14. because a. some flies are in both ends of each tube. b. the flies need light to see and must fly against gravity. c. the flies are spread about eve nly in Tube IV and in the upper end of Tube III. d. most flies are in the lighted end of Tube II but do not go down in Tubes I and III. e. most flies are in the upper end of Tube I and the lighted end of Tube II. 15. Six square pieces of wood are put into a cloth bag and mixed about The six pieces are identical in size and shape, however, three pieces are red and three are yellow Suppose someone reaches into the bag (without looking) and pulls out one piece What are the chances that the piece is red? a. 1 chance out of 6 b. 1 chance out of 3 c. 1 chance out of 2 d. 1 chance out of 1 e. cannot be determined 16. because

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429 a. 3 out of 6 pieces are red. b. there is no way to tell which piece will be picked. c. only 1 piece of the 6 in the ba g is picked. d. all 6 pieces are identical in size and shape. e. only 1 red piece can be picked out of the 3 red pieces. 17. Three red square pieces of wood, four yellow square pieces, and five blue square pieces are put into a cloth bag Four red round pieces, two yellow round pieces, and three blue round pieces are also put into the bag. All the pieces are then mixed about Suppose someone reaches into the bag (without looking and without feeling for a particular shape piece) and pulls out one piece What are the chances that the piece is a red round or blue round piece? a. cannot be determined b. 1 chance out of 3 c. 1 chance out of 21 d. 15 chances out of 21 e. 1 chance out of 2 18. because a. 1 of the 2 shapes is round. b. 15 of the 21 pieces are red or blue. c. there is no way to tell which piece will be picked. d. only 1 of the 21 pieces is picked out of the bag. e. 1 of every 3 pieces is a red or blue round piece.

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430 19. Farmer Brown was observing the mice that live in his field He discovered that all of the mice were either fat or thin Also, all of them had either black tails or white tails This made him wonder if there might be a link between the size of the mice and the color of their tails So he captured all of the mice i n one part of his field and observed them Below are the mice that he captured Do you think there is a link between the size of the mice and the color of their tails? a. appears to be a link b. appears not to be a link c. cannot make a reasonable guess 20. because a. there are some of each kind of mouse. b. there may be a genetic link between mouse size and tail color. c. there were not enough mice captured. d. most of the fat mice have black tails while most of the thin mice have white tai ls. e. as the mice grew fatter, their tails became darker.

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431 21. The figure below at the left shows a drinking glass and a burning birthday candle stuck in a small piece of clay standing in a pan of water When the glass is turned upside down, put over the candle, and placed in the water, the candle quickly goes out and water rushes up into the glass (as shown at the right). This observation raises an interesting question: Why does the water rush up into the glass ? Here is a possible explanation The flame converts oxygen into carbon dioxide Because oxygen does not dissolve rapidly into water but carbon dioxide does, the newly formed carbon dioxide dissolves rapidly into the water, lowering the air pressure inside the glass Suppose you have the mat erials mentioned above plus some matches and some dry ice (dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide) Using some or all of the materials, how could you test this possible explanation? a. Saturate the water with carbon dioxide and redo the experiment noting the amoun t of water rise. b. The water rises because oxygen is consumed, so redo the experiment in exactly the same way to show water rise due to oxygen loss. c. Conduct a controlled experiment varying only the number of candles to see if that makes a difference. d. Suction is responsible for the water rise, so put a balloon over the top of an openended cylinder and place the cylinder over the burning candle. e. Redo the experiment, but make sure it is controlled by holding all independent variables constant; then measure the amount of water rise. 22. What result of your test (mentioned in #21 above) would show that your explanation is probably wrong? a. The water rises to the same level as it did before. b. The water rises less than it did before. c. The balloon expands out. d. The balloon is sucked in.

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432 23. A student put a drop of blood on a microscope slide and then looked at the blood under a microscope As you can see in the diagram below, the magnified red blood cells look like little round balls After adding a few drops of salt water to the drop of blood, the student noticed that the cells appeared to become smaller. This observation raises an interesting question: Why do the red blood cells appear smaller? Here are two possible explanations: I. Salt ions (Na+ and Cl -) push on the cell membranes and make the cells appear smaller II. Water molecules are attracted to the salt ions so the water molecules move out of the cells and leave the cells smaller. To test these explanations, the student used some salt water, a ver y accurate weighing device, and some water -filled plastic bags, and assumed the plastic behaves just like redblood -cell membranes The experiment involved carefully weighing a water -filled bag, placing it in a salt solution for ten minutes, and then reweighing the bag. What result of the experiment would best show that explanation I is probably wrong? a. the bag loses weight b. the bag weighs the same c. the bag appears smaller 24. What result of the experiment would best show that explanation II is probably wr ong? a. the bag loses weight b. the bag weighs the same c. the bag appears smaller

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433 Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning Answer Key: Multiple Choice Version Revised August 2000 1. B 2. D 3. A 4. E 5. B 6. C 7. D 8. A 9. E 10. C 11. B 12. A 13. C 14. D 15. C 16. A 17. B 18. E 19. A 20. D 21. A 22. A 23. A 24. B

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434 APPENDIX I INTRODUCTION LE TTER

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435 APPENDIX J EXPLANATION & DESIGN OF THE STUDY Explanation of the Study To the teacher: Thank you for agreeing to participate in this study I hope this study not only tells us information about the two teaching methods but also allows me to share valuable information with NATAA stakeholders, teacher preparation programs, fellow agriscience teachers and science teachers, and administrations I hope the lessons and lab investigations are something you find useful along with the data and results I gat her I hope your classes will work through this study and find the units and topics interesting It is anticipated you will read over all content information and instruct the lessons as described in the lesson plans In order for this study to have val idity, it is important each person teach the lessons in the same manner Please look over the lessons and labs as there may be items you have to order If you could order the material needed, I will likely write you a personal check and pay you back for th e materials you had to purchase I know from being an Ag teacher sometimes we can be creative on how to get the materials we need.so I know there are a couple times I am asking you to do that However, if you are paying for something out of your personal money please let me know and I will pay you for it I appreciate your participation, but I dont want you to have to pay to participate in this study I hope you understand the value the study can bring to the profession, but I cannot willingly ask you to pay for some of it with your own money. Setting up the study is very important All teachers/schools involved in the study have at least 2 sections of Agriscience Please set up the following arrangement: If the instructor has 3 sections, please have the 3rd section follow the same schedule as Group 1 If the instructor has 4 sections please have the 4th group follow the same schedule as group 2.

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436 Design of the Study (you can use the down the center so you know where you are in the study and what is next) Step # Inquiry based instruction (Group 1) Subject matter approach (Group 2) 1 Assign students ID#s, Introduce them to the computerized testing system, Student take Pretest 1 Assign students ID#s, Introduce them to the compute rized testing system, Student take Pretest 1 2 Teach lesson 1 Teach lesson 1 3 Teach lesson 2 Teach lesson 2 4 Students take Posttest 1 Students take Posttest 1 5 Students take Pretest 2 Students take Pretest 2 6 Teach lesson 3 Teach lesson 3 7 Teach lesson 4 Teach lesson 4 8 Students take Posttest 2 Students take Posttest 2 9 Students take Pretest 3 Students take Pretest 3 10 Teach lesson 5 Teach lesson 5 11 Teach lesson 6 Teach lesson 6 12 Students take Posttest 3 Students take Post test 3 13 Students take Pretest 4 Students take Pretest 4 14 Teach lesson 7 Teach lesson 7 15 Teach lesson 8 Teach lesson 8 16 Students take Posttest 4 Students take Posttest 4 17 Students take Pretest 5 Students take Pretest 5 18 Teach lesson 9 Teach lesson 9 19 Teach lesson 10 Teach lesson 10 20 Teach lesson 11 Teach lesson 11 21 Students take Posttest 5 Students take Posttest 5 22 Students take Pretest 6 Students take Pretest 6 23 Teach lesson 12 Teach lesson 12 24 Teach lesson 13 Teach lesson 13 25 Students take Posttest 6 Students take Posttest 6 26 Students take Pretest 7 Students take Pretest 7 27 Teach lesson 14 Teach lesson 14 28 Teach lesson 15 Teach lesson 15 29 Students take Posttest 7 Students take Posttest 7 30 Students take the argumentation instrument (I will e -mail this to you same for both groups) Students take the argumentation instrument (I will e -mail this to you same for both groups) 31 Students take the scientific reasoning instrument (Included on jump drive same for both groups) Students take the scientific reasoning instrument (Included on jump drive same for both groups)

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437 I know the design and the above table can be overwhelming Basically, there are 15 lessons you will be teaching As I think you will agree, I found it is better to assess students in smaller chunks The lessons break down well to assess students after each pair of lessons with the acceptation of lesson 9, 10, & 11. Lessons 9, 10, & 11 go together for one assessment I ca n understand that it looks like I am testing the students often. The reason for the pretest (which is the same as the posttest) is to establish a prior knowledge of the student and the groups I will use the pretest to control for differences between the groups, thus allowing me to find which method is more successful despite differences in student prior knowledge I am randomly assigning your class section to inquirybased instruction or subject -matter teaching (traditional method) The random selection is the best way to determine what group receives each teaching method It is of GREATEST importance that you do not cross the two styles of teaching This is the reason that I ask you to audio tape your class, I need to assure my committee and the people I present the results of the study to that the two methods were different and separate Therefore, each group (class) needs to be taught under one method the entire length of the study. Example: You have your Agriscience Class 3rd and 6th period Third hour you teach using the subject -matter the entire length of the study and 6th period you teach using inquiry -based instruction the entire length of the study At the end of the study the students will take an argumentation instrument I created. The purpose of this instrument is to assess students ability to work through a problem and explain the choices they made to develop their answer, why it is the best answer developed, as well as other potential answers. The scientific reasoning instrument will also be g iven to students at the end to establish if the group has developed a better scientific reasoning Have students write their school, method taught, and student ID number at the top of the page on all the instruments I will likely have you mail the hard co pies of the instruments back to me The argumentation instrument is not included on the jump drive I will e -mail you the argumentation instrument later in the study. I anticipate the study to be 100% complete by Thanksgiving break

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438 APPENDIX K EXPLANAT ION OF INQUIRY BASED INSTRUCTION AND SUBJECT -MATTER LESSON PLANS Explanation of Inquiry -based Instruction and Subject matter Lesson Plans Your participation in the study will provide valuable information to the NATAA, DuPont and other stakeholders involv ed in the program, fellow teachers in the NATAA program, teacher preparation programs, fellow inservice teachers, administrators, and the research community in agriscience education and science education You will be selecting one class to receive the in quiry -based instruction and one class to receive the subject -matter lessons Once I have randomly assigned ONE method or the other you will not be able to switch This is an important part of the study. Each group will receive the same method the entire st udy I will be comparing the two groups Students will take a pretest to establish previous knowledge and thus allow me to statistically control for difference between the groups prior knowledge When teaching the Subject -matter lessons there are sugges ted ways to teach each objective below the content You will need to follow the teaching methodology as best you can for the subject -matter approach to teaching The Inquiry-based instruction lesson plans are truly a supplement to the subject -matter lesson s You will not teach the material the same way as the subject -matter approach; instead you will use the inquiry -based instruction supplement to guide the inquiry method of instruction There are times the inquiry -based instruction asks you to guide studen ts to obtain the content contained in the subject -matter lessons Furthermore, there will be times the inquiry supplement may ask you to provide students with the technical terms or information as they investigate beyond the scope of the subject -matter les son Please follow the directions as closely as possible allowing students the ability to obtain the knowledge level material because they are assessed on the knowledge level exams Inquiry -based instruction students should be pushed and expected to main tain a notebook of their observations, learning, content knowledge level material, reasoning, and reflections I know you are familiar with the notebook style used at NATAA The subject -matter students should be asked to use the traditional method you dire ct It is possible at times the two groups will not be learning the same lesson This is okay for this to occur I know it may be difficult to keep the two groups at the same place and taking the tests on the same day This is fine, just keep the two gro ups separate in your teaching Overall, the two groups will finish approximately at the same time As you know the inquiry-based instruction develops an instructor as a facilitator role Please guide students when needed toward the objectives of the less on so they stay on track

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439 APPENDIX L EXPLANATION OF SCHOO L, METHOD, STUDENT ID NUMBER, DEMOGRAPHI C SHEET, AND COMPUTER -BASED TESTING SYSTEM Explanation of School, Method, and Student ID Number Demographic Sheet Computer -based Testing System Each schoo l is given an ID number, each method is given an ID number, and each student is given an ID number. To maintain the highest level of confidentiality for the students I do not need to see student names Your jump drive identifies your school number On your jump drive you will find a word document that has your school identification number Example: School12 This means you are school 12 of the study You will use this for all purposes during the study. When asked about school ID number you would enter 12 If your jump drive has a word document named: School7, you are school 7 for all purposes You can find the information on your jump drive in the folder titled school ID # and click on the folder and a word document will be named with your ID # and inside and contains your name, address, and e-mail address I intend to use during the study The method of instruction will be 01 and 02. 01 means the inquiry method and 02 means the subject -matter method You should have every student in the inquiry -method cl ass be 01 and every student in the subject -matter method be 02 Finally, student ID# Each student should have an ID number You can designate students a number alphabetically or however it is easiest for you to remember I assume you have students listed in your grade book alphabetically. So the first student in each section (inquiry and subject matter) is number 1 The second student is number 2 etc You can have the student ID number begin at 1 for each section. This is fine because the previous number d esignates what method the student is being taught. Final example: ID# 010113 The first two numbers (01) means school number 1 of the study. The second pair of numbers means the method (01) 01 means this student is receiving the inquiry method The third pair of numbers denotes the student ID in his/her section. 13 means this student is the 13 student in the section. One for practice: ID#080215 What does this mean? Answer: School eight, subject -matter method, and student fifteen

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440 Demographic sheet In completing the demographic sheet you will find the ID#s useful You will place your school ID number in every cell, or you may chose to identify it on the first cell The following cell you will enter the method used, followed by the student ID number Plea se indicated the grade the student is in during the instructional time, keep track of the days the student is absent and enter this into the next column. In the next five cells there are drop down items to select from You may have to obtain help from your school administrator to complete all the information If there is NO IEP then there is NO need to complete the last cell If there is an IEP, please identify the nature of the students IEP We are interested in IEP data b/c a Master student is completing his masters degree requirements studying the IEP data of my dissertation study What do students need to know ? Students will need to know AND remember their ID# when logging onto the testing system to take their pretests and posttests They will need to remember their entire ID number So if your school number is 05 and they are being taught with the inquiry approach, and you have identified that student as 18 their number is ID#: 050118. I suggest you give them a piece of paper that has their ID number on it or a place where they can write their ID number on in their notebook.

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441 Computer -Based System I will e -mail you a log in and ID to log into MyCAERT Once logged in you on the left side of the page you will see an icon you can click that says T horons study in the area of My Courses Click Thorons study Once you click Thorons study the 15 lessons will appear The pdf icon will allow you to access the pdf document that is included on your jump drive. You will also notice near the center of t he gray box a PPT files and can click on the APSS icon and access a PowerPoint for your use during the subject -matter portion of the study There is also an icon to the right of the PowerPoint that will allow you access to an E unit Eunits are not used i n this study, but could act as a reference or you could download them for use after completion of the study Computer -Based Testing I will be sending out an e -mail in the future to explain the testing system. You will likely get the e-mail explaining the testing system before this packet arrives However, you will have to assign each student their ID # (as explained above) and password. The students will use the assigned number and password to access the test The student will have to click on the test that they are to take Once into the testing system they will click the correct answer Once they complete the 25+ question multiple choice exam they will be finished You will have to make sure the student clicks the correct assessment to complete the correct test If they are taking Pretest one please ensure they select Pretest one If a student is taking the Posttest one they need to select Posttest one and so on

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442 APPENDIX M DEMOGRAPHIC SHEET IN WORD Student Demographics Sheet DIRECTIONS: Please comp lete the following information for all students in the class. School ID# Student ID# Grade Days Absent Gender Ethnicity National School Lunch Program Male Female Black Hispanic White Other Does not participate Reduced lunch Free lunch Male Female Black Hispanic White Other Does not participate Reduced lunch Free lunch Male Female Black Hispanic White Other Does not participate Reduced lunch Free lunch

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443 APPENDIX N EXPLANATION OF JUMP DRIVE, AUDIO RECORDING, AND IRB

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444 APPENDIX O IRB APPROVAL

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445 APPENDIX P INFORMED CONSENT FOR STUDENTS

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446 APPENDIX Q INFORMED CONSENT FOR PARENTS

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447 LIST OF REFERENCES Abd -El -Kalick, F., (2002). Rutherfords enlarged: A content -embedded activity to teach about nature o f science. Physics Education, 37(1), 64 68. Abrams, E. (1998). Talking and doing science: Important elements in a teaching for understanding approach, In J. J., Mintzes, J. H. Wandersee, & J. D. Novak, (eds). Teaching Science for Understanding: A Human Constructivist View, San Diego, CA: Academic Press, pp 308322. Agresti, A., & Finlay, B. (1997). Statistical methods for the social sciences (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. American Association for the Advancement of Science. (1989). Sci ence for all Americans: A project 2061 report on literacy goals in science, mathematics, and technology. Washington D. C.: AAAS. American Association for the Advancement of Science. (1993). Benchmarks for science literacy. New York: Oxford University Pre ss. Anderson, R. D. (2002). Reforming science teaching: What research says about inquiry. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 13(1), 112. Applebee, A. N. (1996). Curriculum as conversation: Transforming traditions of teaching and learning. Chicago: U niversity of Chicago Press. Atkin, J. M., & Black, P. (2003). Inside science education reform: A history of curricular and policy change. New York: Teachers College Press. Ball, D. L., & Cohen, D. K. (1996). Reform by the book: What is or might be t he role of curriculum materials in teacher learning and instructional reform? Educational Researcher, 25 (9), 6 8, 14. Balschweid, M. A. (2002). Teaching biology using agriculture as the context: Perceptions of high school students. Journal of Agricultural Education, 43(2), 56 67. Balschweid, M., & Thompson, G. (1999). Integrating science in agricultural education: Attitudes of Indiana agricultural science and business teachers. Paper presented at the 26th Annual National Agricultural Education Research C onference, Orlando, FL. Balschweid, M. A., & Thompson, G. W. (2002). Integrating science in agricultural education: Attitudes of Indiana agricultural science and business teachers. Journal of Agricultural Education, 43(2),1 10. Baron, J. (1991). Beliefs about thinking. In J. F. Voss, D. N. Perkins & J. W. Segal (Eds.), Informal reasoning and education (pp. 169 186). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

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465 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Andrew C. Thoron grew up in Waggoner, Illinois and then moved the summer before fifth grade to rural Raymond, Illi nois Andrew graduated from Raymond-Lincolnwood High School in 1998. While attending high school Mr. Thoron was active in the FFA. Upon high school graduation, Andrew attended Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC) in Springfield, Illinois with a major in agriculture Mr. Thoron was awarded the Associate of Science degree from LLCC in 2000 He then transferred to Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois where he earned the Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture with a specialization in agricultural education Andrew student taught at Seneca H igh School in Seneca, Illinois, under the tutelage of Mr. Kent Weber and Mr. Jeff Maierhofer and was awarded a teaching certification in agricultural education by the State Board of Education in Illinois Follow ing the completion of the B.S. degree in 2002, Andrew was employed at Mt. Pulaski High School in Mt. Pulaski, Illinois as the agriscience teacher While at Mt. Pulaski High School, Mr. Thoron taught eight different courses in agriculture In addition to hi s duties as the agriscience teacher Andrew was also the FFA advisor and served as a coordinator for the student assistance program of the high school Mr. Thoron became involved in the local community through various organizations and was a volunteer on th e Mt. Pulaski Phoenix Fire Department Mr. Thoron was named to whos who in teaching each of his three years at Mt. Pulaski and was presented the National Association for Agricultural Education Teachers Turn the Key award Andrew was also a member of the I llinois Association of Vocational Agricultural Teachers and served as Section 14 Chairman. After three years of teaching at Mt. Pulaski High School, Andrew accepted a position with FCAE (Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education) a state funded project through the Illinois State Board of Education Andrew moved to northeastern Illinois and maintained an

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466 office at the Cook County Farm Bureau. Andrews primary responsibility was t o aid teachers, administrators, and community members in developing and maintaining agricultural education programs within a fifteen -county district that included Chicago While on FCAE Andrew helped districts tailor curriculum and provide d professional development programs for agriscience teachers In 2006, Mr. Thoron accepted a graduate teaching and research assistantship with the Agricultural Education and Communication Department at the University of Fl orida to begin work on a Master of Science and Ph.D. in agricultural education under the instruction of Dr. Brian E. Myers While at the University of Florida, Andrew provide d professional development programs for Florida agriscience teachers and assisted in numerous undergraduate courses in the department in cluding supervis ing student teachers Andrew completed the req uirements for the Master of Science degree in December 2007 Once Mr. Thoron began the doctoral program, he started teaching classes in agricultural education as the lead instructor continued his research program, and supervised student teachers While at the University of Florida Andrew received several awards for research conducted, was nominated for several teaching awards, and received the North American College and Teachers of Agriculture gradu ate student teaching award In February 2010, Andrew acce pted a faculty position at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in agricultural education