European Science Education Research Association (ESERA) Conference , Bologna, Italy, 26 - 30 August 2019, pp.1-2
A collaborative inquiry approach, Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL), originally developed for college chemistry classrooms, has been used for the past two decades to facilitate learning and improve higher order thinking skills in various disciplines including anatomy & physiology, biology, engineering & math, computer science and psychology. However, nothing has been reported on its impact on students’ learning at middle school level. In this study, we explore the effectiveness of POGIL on 7th grade students’ understanding of Pure Substances and Mixtures compared to whole-class instruction. A nonequivalent, control group, pretest-posttest design was implemented and data were collected from seventh grade students (n=57) through Pure Substance and Mixtures Achievement Test (PSMA). Independent samples t-test used to compare pre-PSMA scores of experimental group (n=28) and control group students (n=29) revealed that there was a significant difference between the groups before the treatment. Thus, ANCOVA was implemented to analyze posttest scores, where pretest scores was assigned as a covariate. The results show that there was a significant mean difference between the groups in favor of experimental group. In conclusion, the data provide evidence to support that students instructed by the POGIL method have a greater comprehension of content knowledge in the context of pure substances and mixtures than students who learned by the teacher-centered whole-class instruction, as evidenced by higher post achievement scores for POGIL students. Accordingly, POGIL is an effective pedagogy to teach science to middle school students.