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Direct Instruction vs. Task Structuring Are they equally effective to teach the control of variables strategy?

Walther, Lucian R.F.Z.J. (2012) Direct Instruction vs. Task Structuring Are they equally effective to teach the control of variables strategy?

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Abstract:Teaching children effectively to design meaningful experiments and to draw conclusions from the outcomes is essential in early science education. Prompted by suggestions from Kuhn and Dean (2005) and Lazonder and Kamp (2011), the present study investigated whether structuring a task in a learning environment is as effective as direct instruction to acquire an effective experimentation strategy. Fifty-two5th graders engaged in a simulation-based inquiry task. One group (n = 19) received a direct instruction about why and how to apply the control of variables strategy and were provided with one broad research question about all the variables in the simulation. Another group (n =17) did not receive any information about how to set up experiments but their research question was divided into several successive simpler questions, each addressing only one variable. The third group (n =16) worked on the broad research question but did not receive any instruction about how to approach the experimentation. The results did not show a significant benefit of neither the direct instruction nor the structured task in comparison to the control condition. Based on this result, several issues are discussed on how to improve direct instruction and task structuring in future research.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/61617
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