viernes, 23 de octubre de 2009

Type of study

The main purpose of this study was to solve a problem I found in the science classroom: the traditional teacher-centered methodology used to teach science lessons does not develop students’ autonomy awareness as expected and it does not help promote interest and positive attitudes towards science, leading students to become only recipients of science knowledge in a way that does not encourage them to start becoming more autonomous learners.

Since my reason to carry out this project began with a question related to my science classroom experiences, issues, and challenges and I wanted to do a reflective process which helped me to explore and examine aspects of science teaching and learning and to take action to change and improve the situation mentioned above, I decided to use action research methodology to investigate if the implementation in the classroom of an inquiry-based learning project full of inquiry activities related to the systems of the human body could give students the opportunity to ask more questions, to discover scientific knowledge themselves, and to communicate more with other peers and the teacher, thus increasing their autonomy awareness.

Action research is classroom-based research conducted by teachers in order to reflect upon and evolve their teaching. It is a systematic, documented inquiry into one aspect of teaching and learning in a specific classroom (Uhl, Barnhardt & Dirstine, 2006). The goal of this type of research is to gain understanding of teaching and learning within one’s classroom and to use that knowledge to increase teaching efficacy and/or student learning. In my case, I carried it out carefully and systematically in a specific fourth grade classroom at Gimnasio de Los Cerros school. The purpose was to gain understanding of science teaching and learning within my science classroom and to use that knowledge to increase my students’ autonomy awareness.

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