Developing students' ability to ask more and better questions resulting from inquiry-type chemistry laboratories
This study focuses on the ability of high-school chemistry students, who learn chemistry through the inquiry approach, to ask meaningful and scientifically sound questions. We investigated (a) the ability of students to ask questions related to their observations and findings in an inquiry-type experiment (a practical test) and (b) the ability of students to ask questions after critically reading a scientific article. The student population consisted of two groups: an inquiry-laboratory group (experimental group) and a traditional laboratory-type group (control group). The three common features investigated were (a) the number of questions that were asked by each of the students, (b) the cognitive level of the questions, and (c) the nature of the questions that were chosen by the students, for the purpose of further investigation. Importantly, it was found that students in the inquiry group who had experience in asking questions in the chemistry laboratory outperformed the control grouping in their ability to ask more and better questions.