How Chemistry Students Learn in an Inquiry-Based Classroom

Kayla Mahoney, '12, Leah A. Nillas

Research output: Faculty Advisor of Undergraduate Research


Inquiry-based learning (IBL) provides an excellent opportunity for students to develop their habits of mind (Llewellyn, 2005). Habits of mind are described as mental habits that are developed to render students’ thinking. These include skills in higher-order thinking, critical reasoning, problem-solving, communication and decision making, and metacognition. This research study investigated how chemistry students in an urban high school learn in an inquiry-based classroom. Six inquiry-based lessons were implemented throughout the course of four weeks. Reflections were written after each lesson to assess students’ learning. Student work and lesson plans were also analyzed throughout this study. The qualitative data were analyzed using Marchlwicz and Wink’s (2011) Active Model of Inquiry Framework. Results support that IBL allows students to think more critically about concepts, as well as be more engaged in the lessons.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - Apr 14 2012


  • Education

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