Effects of Two Instructional Strategies on Students’ Engagement in Biology Classes
Biology has a wide area of application which includes clothing & textiles, food &beverages, bio- entrepreneur, protecting oneself and educating others. Additionally, Engagement of students in the instructional process is expedient if their interest and attention are to be sustained. Despite the importance, students are not properly engaged in classes. Thus, this study examined the effects of two instructional strategies (Enhanced Inquiry and 5Es Model) on students’ engagement in Biology classes. Mental ability and gender were incorporated as moderator variables. The theory of constructivism guided the study. Three hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. The research adopted the pretest, post-test non-equivalent control group, quasi experimental design. A total of 345 students in six intact classes and six Biology teachers were involved in the study. Data were collected using Classroom Engagement Inventory (CEI) and Mental Ability Test (MAT). ANCOVA as an inferential statistics was used to test the hypotheses. The results revealed that treatment had a significant effect on students’ engagement. However, Enhanced Inquiry instructional strategy had the most significant effect on students’ engagement. There was no significant effect of mental ability/ gender preference on students’ engagement in Biology classes. It can therefore be inferred that enhanced inquiry is an effective strategy. Mental ability and gender are not prerequisites for being engaged in classes. Recommendation included that teachers should embrace Enhanced Inquiry strategy during the instructional process in order to foster student engagement. Inaddititon, both male and female students should be treated equally with no preference for one.
Keywords: Enhanced inquiry, 5Es model, mental ability, gender, engagement