Improving Students’ Intrinsic Motivation by Using an Inquiry-based Learning Practical
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Inquiry-based learning is an approach for teachers which allows students to experience higher levels of autonomy when compared to traditional approaches. This would, according to self-determination theory, lead to a higher intrinsic motivation of students. In this research, an inquiry-based approach is compared to a traditional approach related to direct instruction, within the setting of a physics practical related to ionizing radiation. The research question is: To what extent does an inquiry-based practical about ionizing radiation result in higher intrinsic motivation of students when compared with a traditional style practical? To determine this, students working on both styles have been compared by the use of a questionnaire regarding intrinsic motivation. The results show that students (N = 55, age 15 – 17) doing the inquiry-based learning practical have significantly more interest/enjoyment and a significantly higher perceived competence. Hence, students doing the inquiry-based practical are shown to have a higher intrinsic motivation regarding the practical.