Thoron, A. C., & Burleson, S. E. (2014). Students' perceptions of agriscience when taught through inquiry-based instruction. Journal of Agricultural Education, 55(1), 66-75. doi: 10.5032/jae.2014.01066
United States science scores have remained stable over the past 12 years, and as a result secondary school students have been deemed less proficient than international peers. Additionally, there has been increased pressure for accountability from both teachers and students. This highly competitive performance-based classroom environment has threatened student motivation. Due to this, many have moved away from an emphasis on rote memorization and lessened the threat of performance testing by using inquiry and problem solving strategies as a way to provide more autonomy in the classroom. Agricultural education has joined the movement in providing autonomy in the classroom through inquiry-based teaching methods. This study investigates the perceptions of school-based agriscience students toward agriscience and inquiry-based instruction when taught through inquiry-based instruction. The perceptions of 170 secondary agriscience students who responded to the questionnaire indicated more favorable attitudes toward agriscience. Participants also had positive responses to items regarding agriculture's importance to society, and influence in their daily lives. It is recommended that inquiry-based instruction be utilized in the agriscience classroom to promote student learning and motivation. Further investigations on the impacts of student motivation in the classroom when inquiry-based instruction is utilized in school-based agriscience education should be investigated.
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