Date Approved

10-10-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Special Education

Department

Language, Literacy, and Special Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Xin, Joy

Subject(s)

Science--Study and teaching;Learning disabled children

Disciplines

Special Education and Teaching

Abstract

The purposes of the study are to examine the effects of inquiry-based and teacher-centered instruction methods when teaching science for middle school students with learning disabilities. These two instructional methods were provided to 81 students in two middle schools located in southern New Jersey. Of those, 30 students with learning disabilities, 15 in each school participated in the study. Both groups were given a pre and post test prior to and after the three weeks of science instruction to evaluate student performance. In addition, a student and teacher survey was provided to examine their satisfaction. The results show that students with learning disabilities receiving teacher-centered instruction gained 11% higher on the posttest than those taught by inquiry-based instruction. However, students receiving inquiry-based instruction reported that they enjoyed their learning and would have a career in science.

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