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Research in Science Education

, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 865–885 | Cite as

The Effect of Student-Centered Approaches on Students’ Interest and Achievement in Science: Relevant Topic-Based, Open and Guided Inquiry-Based, and Discussion-Based Approaches

  • Jingoo KangEmail author
  • Tuula Keinonen
Article

Abstract

Since students have lost their interest in school science, several student-centered approaches, such as using topics that are relevant for students, inquiry-based learning, and discussion-based learning have been implemented to attract pupils into science. However, the effect of these approaches was usually measured in small-scale research, and thus, the large-scale evidence supporting student-centered approaches in general use is insufficient. Accordingly, this study aimed to investigate the effect of student-centered approaches on students’ interest and achievement by analyzing a large-scale data set derived from Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2006, to add evidence for advocating these approaches in school science, and to generalize the effects on a large population. We used Finnish PISA 2006 data, which is the most recent data that measures science literacy and that contains relevant variables for the constructs of this study. As a consequence of the factor analyses, four teaching methods were grouped as student-centered approaches (relevant topic-based, open and guided inquiry-based, and discussion-based approaches in school science) from the Finnish PISA 2006 sample. The structural equation modeling result indicated that using topics relevant for students positively affected students’ interest and achievement in science. Guided inquiry-based learning was also indicated as a strong positive predictor for students’ achievement, and its effect was also positively associated with students’ interest. On the other hand, open inquiry-based learning was indicated as a strong negative predictor for students’ achievement, as was using discussion in school science. Implications and limitations of the study were discussed.

Keywords

Student-centered approaches Relevant topic Inquiry-based learning Discussion PISA 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Applied Educational Science and Teacher Education, Philosophical FacultyUniversity of Eastern FinlandJoensuuFinland

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