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Student performance on open-ended questions concerning seasons in a university physical science content course was examined to note differences between classes that experienced inquiry using a 5-E lesson planning model and those that experienced the same content with a traditional, didactic lesson. The class examined is a required content course for elementary education majors and understanding the seasons is part of the university's state's elementary science standards. The two self-selected groups of students showed no statistically significant differences in pre-test scores, while there were statistically significant differences between the groups' post-test scores with those who participated in inquiry-based activities scoring higher. There were no statistically significant differences between the pre-test and the post-test for the students who experienced didactic teaching, while there were statistically significant improvements for the students who experienced the 5-E lesson.
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