Science Education and Culture: Inquiry-Based Learning

Dashia Magee (1) , A.J. Meier (2)
(1) The College of New Jersey & University of Northern Iowa - USA , United States
(2) The College of New Jersey & University of Northern Iowa - USA , United States


At a time when inquiry-based science education is finding increased acceptance, US classrooms are exhibiting a significant increase in diversity. This necessitates attention to the compatibility between the culture of inquiry teaching and the broad range of cultures that form students’ backgrounds. Although some research has considered students’ cultural backgrounds and the roles these might play in the effectiveness of an inquiry approach, none has focused on the specific characteristics of an inquiry approach that might constitute cultural "biases" for a broad range of students with a concomitant broad range of cultural values and beliefs. This article seeks to identify characteristics of an inquiry approach, compare these to the potential cultures students may bring with them to the classroom, using cultural orientations as a heuristic, and suggest construals of inquiry that could better address the needs of a greater number of learners.

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Dashia Magee (Primary Contact)
A.J. Meier
Author Biographies

Dashia Magee, The College of New Jersey & University of Northern Iowa - USA

Dashia Magee is an assistant professor in the Educational Administration and Secondary Education at the College of New Jersey. She has published in areas of teacher education and science education. She has taught course in science education, curriculum studies, and social foundations.

A.J. Meier, The College of New Jersey & University of Northern Iowa - USA

A.J. Meier is a professor in the MA TESOL/Applied Linguistics Program at the University of Northern Iowa. She has published in the areas of politeness theory, cross-cultural apologies, language and gender, intercultural pragmatics, and language teacher education. She has taught theoretical and applied linguistics and presented intercultural communication workshops in the United States, Russia, and Austria.

Magee, D., & Meier, A. (2011). Science Education and Culture: Inquiry-Based Learning. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 11(3), 1–14.

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