Colclasure, B., Thoron, A., Osborne, E., Roberts, T., and Pringle, R. (2020). Comparing the 5E method of inquiry-based instruction and the four-stage model of direct instruction on students’ content knowledge achievement in an ENR curriculum. Journal of Agricultural Education, 61(3), 1-21. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2020.03001

The purpose of this study was to compare the 5E method of inquiry-based instruction (IBI) and the
four-stage model of direct instruction (DI) on students’ content knowledge achievement. The population
for this study was all secondary high school students enrolled in the CASE® Natural Resources and
Ecology course and whose teachers completed the CASE® Institute for Natural Resources and Ecology
certification between the years 2013 and 2017. This study was quasi-experimental and used a
nonequivalent control group, pretest-posttest design. A convenient sample of 13 teachers and 222
students was collected. Each teacher was randomly assigned to deliver a set of 16 lesson plans that
utilized either the IBI or DI approach. Lesson plans were grouped into four modules, each lasting
approximately two weeks. Prior to the delivery of each module, teachers administered content
knowledge pretests. Posttests were administered at the completion of each 2-week module. Students in
both groups demonstrated significant gains in content knowledge achievement. ANCOVA statistical
procedures were used to compare student achievement for both instructional methods. Results of the
ANCOVA indicated that the 5E method of IBI and the four- stage model of DI are equally effective on
students’ content knowledge achievement.

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