The Beginning Teachers’ Challenges in an Inquiry-Based Approach to Teaching Science: Provision for a Special Science Research Elective Course
Inquiry-based approach has been used by teachers and educators worldwide. It has proven its effectiveness in classroom application and has taught students to think critically and analytically . Over decades it has been cited as an imperative part and parcel of science education. Students are encouraged to apply various analytic and thought related skills in order to learn better the various underlying scientific concepts and processes, which remains central to science education. This article entails the significant relationships between how well beginning science teachers understand the concept of inquiry – based approach to teaching science and the challenges they encountered in using this approach. It aimed specifically to not only determine the significant relationship between the variables but more so suggest and create a special science program which will be an elective course in teacher education institution among HEIs. To do so, a sample of 64 respondents from different institutions were used to gather the necessary data. The research made use of a descriptive quantitative methods of research and a survey questionnaire was distributed via google forms. Beginning science teachers were classified based on their teaching experience which ranges from 0 to 3 years. There was a majority of young generation of teachers evident in the demographic profile whose age bracket is from 20-22 years old and are female. Beginning science teachers’ understanding of inquiry – based approach in teaching science were every evident, overall they pose a very high weighted mean. On the other hand, there were numerous challenges of using inquiry-based approach to teaching science but these article grouped those numerous challenges into five (5). Result of the study showed emphasis on MOTIVATION; for students to engage in inquiry in a way that can contribute to meaningful learning they must sufficiently be motivated because inquiry requires a higher level of motivation on the part of learners than is demanded by most traditional educational activities with the average weighted mean of 4.77. Pearson r correlation was used to determine if there is a significant relationship between the beginning teachers’ understanding of using Inquiry- based approach in teaching science to the challenges they experienced in using this approach. Results revealed that the p-value of 0.00 for one-tailed test and p-value of 0.00 for two-tailed test are both less than the alpha level of 0.05 and therefore it is significant. Moreover, the r value of 0.22 signifies that there is a weak positive relationship between the understanding of using inquiry-based approach and the challenges experienced by beginning teachers in teaching science.Although there are other aspects not directly involved in this research such as, the respondents pre-service training and preparation in teaching science and exposure to inquiry-based approach in teaching science to fully implement the said approach in their own classrooms as deemed required and mandated by national standards stipulated in the K to 12 program specifically in the science curriculum.
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