AERA 2018 Annual Meeting: “The Dreams, Possibilities, and Necessity of Public Education”
April 13-17, 2018
Title: "The Impact of Arts- and Inquiry-Based Instruction on the Life Science Knowledge of Fifth Graders"
Authors: Brad Hughes, Christa Renee Mulker Greenfader (SoE Alumna), Drew Bailey
The increasing national demand for science-related skills has highlighted the import of early, effective science education. Yet elementary classroom teachers often feel underprepared to teach science. The present examines two potential approaches to science instruction: inquiry and visual and performing arts (VAPA). 711 fifth graders received three VAPA-based and three inquiry-based life science lessons, and their life science knowledge was assessed at three time points, prior to the intervention and after each set of lessons. Classrooms were randomly selected to receive either the VAPA-based or inquiry-based lessons first. Multiple regressions indicate that inquiry lessons versus VAPA lessons give fifth graders a boost on life science knowledge and there may be an additive benefit of receiving both.