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Purpose: The aim of this research is to investigate the effect of a self-instruction intervention received by teachers on the reasoning and communication skills of sixth and fifth graders. It comprised training elementary science teachers to integrate the Five-E Inquiry-based-computer-simulations.
Approach/Methodology/Design: A mixed-methods quasi-experimental design was employed in this study to investigate the effect of the intervention on students’ reasoning and communication skills from the results of tests, interviews, and observations. The sample included five private schools in the region of Beirut and Mount Lebanon. Participants included 434 students and 10science teachers. Qualitative data were collected from the interview replies of ten science teachers, and 22 pre-post observations. Quantitative data were collected from the pre-post-test results in reasoning and communication over a sample of 434 students from grades five and six.
Findings: The integration of the Five-E Inquiry Model-Computer-Simulation-approach enhanced students’ reasoning skills particularly at the levels of “Analysis”, “Interpretation” and “Conclusion”. Post-test results indicated a significant improvement in students’ reasoning and communication skills. Teachers tackled written communication skills more through writing laboratory reports, and the post-test results for written communication showed significant improvement. Therefore, there was a statistically significant difference between post-test scores of the experimental schools and those of the control schools.
Practical Implications: The study will contribute to the proper integration of computer simulations in an inquiry-based learning environment to enhance elementary students’ reasoning and communication skills in science.
Originality/value: This study responded to students’ lack of reasoning and communication skills and teachers’ lack of technological pedagogical knowledge. The study provided instructional strategies for the proper integration of computer simulations based on the Five-E instructional model that enhanced students’ reasoning and communication skills.
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