Area of Focus
The purpose of the present study focuses on establishing the effectiveness of applying inquiry-based learning as an approach to enhance teaching science curriculum, particularly in home school settings.
The student interaction in home settings is the principal motivating factor in the present research. Established information in the field of education has revealed that several strategies can enhance learning and teaching in schools. In the era of technological changes, schools have not been left behind in adopting various approaches that promote education. However, a majority of the research conducted in the education sector have given a limited interest in establishing the modalities of improving learning in home settings as well as developing positive attitudes among the learners particularly the science curriculum. Higher concentration is being given to the school environments as opposed to the home settings. The present research focuses on home environments as an essential area for initial learning. Since home settings form the first learning environment for the children’s development, a new locus of research is important so as to establish the effectiveness of inquiry-based learning in homeschool background
Background of the Problem
Homeschooling in the educational sector requires practical approaches that help improve the participation of all the stakeholders. Informal learning environments utilize the on location settings to provide initial instructions that harness the learner’s engagement in entirely new approach. For instance, when isolated together, the home environment focuses on improving the cognitive development of the child. Informal settings are places where learning takes place outside the formal classroom environment. Educational studies should provide strong arguments concerning the importance of home-school settings. An application of appropriate learning approach is essential for instructing students in home settings. The utilization of accurate content through listening, writing and reading facilitate the child’s engagement with the teacher. For a long time, several approaches have been developed so as to enhance learning in schools. Researchers have established the strengths, weakness, and pitfalls as well as strategies that help rectify the limitations of the education system. Greater emphasis has been placed on the cognitive development of the child in all aspects of learning and teaching. However, there is limited research concerning the development of approaches that improves learning in home settings, in particular, the science settings. For many years, research has focused on the learning and teaching in school settings. Teaching sciences require practical methodologies that facilitate improved teacher-student interactions so as to enhance the application and interpretation of content. Since a majority of researchers have placed more emphasis on the entire curriculum, narrowing down to the science subject because of its complexity is necessary for the student-teacher interaction. Learning science content requires appropriate methodologies that facilitate student interpretation of content and harnessing of practical skills. An in-depth investigation concerning the effectiveness of inquiry learning in science teaching is essential because it helps in understanding the challenges faced by the learners and teachers while in the home school environment. Similarly, the study is essential as it helps in understanding the characteristics of the inquiry-based learning as well as its effectiveness in developing positive relationships between the instructors and the learners.
Several researchers have delved into the issues of inquiry-based learning so as to establish its effectiveness in teaching in school settings. For instance, Gormally, Brickman, Hallar and Armstrong (2009) conducted an investigation that revealed the effect of inquiry-based learning, particularly on student’s science literacy skills as well as confidence. From their research, they established that inquiry-based learning has a positive impact on children’s skills and confidence.
Similarly, Magnussen, Ishida and Itano (2000) carried out a study to establish the impact of using inquiry-base learning on the development of critical thinking skills. From their research, the investigators determined that the approach is essential because it promoted conceptual understanding as well as the development of reasoning skills.
Similar research was conducted by Bayram, Oskay, Erdem, Özgür and Şen (2013) focused on establishing the effect of inquiry learning as a motivating factor in teaching. A review of their investigation shows that inquiry-based learning promoted the student engagement in science subjects and improves their attitudes towards the instructions. The researchers further pointed out that inquiry-based learning enhances student problem-solving skills and critical thinking as a method of establishing solutions to science issues.
Although the researchers have indicated a high correlation of successful science learning and inquiry-based approach, their investigation did not show the impact of the methodology in a home setting. The present research is essential because it helps uncover the impact of the technique in a home school setting.
For this study, the participants will be recruited from children that receive teaching in a home setting. The research will involve five children and one teacher both of who are getting and implementing instruction in a home school setting. The five children will be identified according to their age and level of development. For instance, the research will enroll two ten-year-old biological children (twin boys). Being part of twin units is an experience that plays a positive aspect in a child’s life. It provides a unique set of qualities and attributes that manifest during learning and development. The sex of the two twins further plays an essential aspect of the research because of their anatomy. Similarly, the study will include two eleven-year old adopted children (a girl and a boy). The two children having been fostered have difficulties relating with the other children because of their behavioral characteristics. Being abandoned at early age imprints an infant’s brain and alters the cognitive development. Additionally, the research will involve one twelve-year-old girl biologically related to the mother teacher. The twelve-year old child has an innate relationship with the mother. As the lead teacher, the caregiver mother is further enrolled so as to advance the application of the teaching approach.
Since the mother has many contact hours with the children, she is essential for the research because of the relationship developed between her and the children. As a primary caregiver, the mother has a significant role in shaping the lives of the children in a home school setting. More often, mothers develop unique relationships of mutual respect and trust hence increases the participation of the children in learning. Similarly, the twins in this research study are essential because of their ego fusion development. For instance, the twins have close links that present difficulties to teachers while offering instructions. The social cues of the twins are interrelated hence the need for developing approaches that provide them opportunities to participate equally. The adopted children are essential to the research because of the psychological setup. Having being abandoned at an early age, their mental structure may be affected hence offering difficulties to integrate them with other children. The twelve-year old child is further relevant to the research because of the close bonding she forms with the mother teacher.
- What are the challenges that inhibit the home school learners from getting the appropriate instructions involving science teaching?
- What are the factors that prevent successful teaching science subjects in a home school setting?
Idea Teaching and Learning
The present focus of the study is an approach that involves teaching and learning in a home environment. Since the research area looks into the effectiveness of inquiry-based learning, it is a subject that addresses issues in education. The problem has been studied by various researchers while investigating the appropriate approaches to improve learning. For instance, research by Gormally et al. (2009) supports the current study as an issue in teaching and learning.
Locus of Control
The idea is within the locus of control because the researcher has the full authority of the survey. The researcher has the sole responsibility for administering the questionnaires and analyzing as well as presenting the findings of the examination. For the current study, the researcher has an internal locus of control because of the ability to draft the rules of engagement and strategies of administering the questionnaires.
For the present study, I am passionate to establish the effectiveness of the inquiry-based learning in home settings. As an experienced teacher in the educational field, I would like to determine how to improve the teaching of sciences in homes. Homeschooling is complementary approaches for parents and can help improve the status of the children from the teachers after they have left the day-to-day instruction in a classroom environment. I, therefore, find the idea appropriate and close to me as a teacher.
Having witnessed children that face challenges with improving their learning abilities in science subjects; I find it essential to conduct a study so as to establish the role of inquiry-based learning in homes. As the principal caregivers to the children, mothers can provide support to the teachers by improving the condition of their children through teaching.
Bayram, Z., Oskay, Ö. Ö., Erdem, E., Özgür, S. D., & Şen, Ş. (2013). Effect of Inquiry Based Learning Method on Students’ Motivation. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 106, 988-996.
Gormally, C., Brickman, P., Hallar, B., & Armstrong, N. (2009). Effects of inquiry-based learning on students’ science literacy skills and confidence.International journal for the scholarship of teaching and learning, 3(2), 1-22.
Magnussen, L., Ishida, D., & Itano, J. (2000). The impact of the use of inquiry-based learning as a teaching methodology on the development of critical thinking. Journal of Nursing Education, 39(8), 360-364.
Mills, G. E. (2014). Action research: A guide for the teacher researcher. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.