The social outcomes of whole class inquiry on students in a high school biology classroom
The purpose of this study was to better understand the impact that an inquiry-based instructional model, called whole class inquiry (WCI), had on students in the general education classroom at Clinton High School. The students were divided into three ability groups: high, medium, and low. The students participated in at least three full WCI assessments and smaller WCI activities over the course of three months. The researcher used surveys, questionnaires, interviews, and observations to collect data and draw conclusions. Results showed that all students developed social and emotional life skills. Not all classes showed similar results however, with certain conditions contributing to greater overall achievement. Factors that may negatively impact success of WCI implementation include students' previous experience with WCI, attitude, and number of students with learning and behavioral disabilities. The study also suggests that students with learning disabilities may need greater teacher direction and support during WCI assessments than other students. In conclusion, the study suggests that WCI is an effective tool for not only teaching science through inquiry, but also teaching students valuable life skills, particularly collaboration and teamwork.