Effects of using the concept attainment model with inductive reasoning with high school biology students
The concept attainment method engages students in forming their own definition of the concept by examining several positive and negative examples of the topic being considered. The model can be used at any grade level and subject area and involves the students using critical thinking and metacognitive skills. A nontreatment and three treatment units were compared by using pre and postassessments, surveys, interviews with concept mapping, and teacher observations to determine the effectiveness of the concept attainment model on students' understanding of the biology concepts, thinking skills, and attitudes and motivation. The treatment units included several concept attainment activities per unit on bacteria and viruses, protists, and ecology. Teacher motivation and attitudes were assessed by a survey, teacher journal, and peer observations. The data indicated that students' understanding of the concepts and thinking skills did increase with the use of the concept attainment model. Students thought about their thinking process and ways that they learn while doing concept attainment activities. Student attitudes and motivations were slightly increased during the treatment units as many students perceived the concept attainment activities as being a game. Teacher motivations and attitudes increased during the creation and implementation of the concept attainment lessons. The concept attainment model is an effective teaching method to engage students in creating their own definitions. The lessons helped to increase understanding of the concepts, engaged students to think about their learning, and had a positive effect on their attitudes and motivations in class.