A study was recently conducted in a suburban middle school regarding two teaching strategies. Ninety-three eighth grade students were administered a pretest regarding plate tectonics. Forty-one of the students conducted an inquiry lab; they participated in a class discussion regarding the material. Forty-two of the students first participated in a class discussion regarding plate tectonics; afterwards they completed the laboratory exercise. A posttest was administered at the conclusion of the unit. Ten students were not in attendance for both the pretest and the posttest. Statistical analysis of the 83 remaining students through the use of t-tests indicates no statistically significant performance difference on the scores of the posttest.



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