Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Anna C. Hiatt

Committee Members

Thomas C. Jones, Laura Robertson


One of the main aims of inquiry is to engage students as active, not passive, participants in science. The purpose of this study is to describe science educators’ and students’ views about inquiry-based instruction in order to better understand and improve implementation of evidence-based teaching strategies. Inquiry-based techniques have been shown to improve student understanding of scientific concepts, yet, there continue to be challenges in implementing these techniques. This research project utilizes Q Methodology, a research method that captures both common and disparate measures of subjectivity, to identify commonalities and defining viewpoints about inquiry-based teaching and learning. Three significantly different viewpoints were identified and each viewpoint represents differences in teaching styles and classroom environments. Additionally, consensus items reveal students and instructors highly value relating science to everyday life; however, a lack of importance is placed upon peer learning and use of open-ended questions.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.