Direct or Inquiry? Science Teaching Orientations of Prospective Secondary Science Teachers

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Apler J. Bansiong


Inquiry teaching is advocated in many science curriculum frameworks throughout the world, as it is believed to promote scientific literacy, the main goal of science education. This paper determined the science teaching orientations (STOs) of prospective secondary science teachers (PSSTs) at a Philippine State University, distinguished these STOs by science fields and lesson stages, and compared the STOs by specialization, sex, year level, scholarship, and academic standing. Data were gathered from 63 PSSTs using descriptive and causal-comparative procedures, and their STOs were gauged by their Pedagogy of Science Teaching Test (POSTT) scores. Results revealed that across all lesson stages, and in the two science fields, the PSSTs were significantly more oriented toward inquiry teaching than direct approach. This trend of results is consistent in all sub-groups. Guided inquiry emerged as their most dominant teaching orientation and the didactic direct orientation as the least. Only scholarship and academic standing influenced the PSSTs' STOs. The scholars, and those with high academic standings, were significantly more oriented toward inquiry teaching than their respective counterparts. Such results indicate a bright future for science education as the PSST respondents have manifested stronger inclinations toward the reform-based pedagogical approaches in science.

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