Yesterday’s Students in Today’s World—Open and Guided Inquiry Through the Eyes of Graduated High School Biology Students

Bat Shahar Dorfman, Hagit Issachar, Michal Zion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Educational policy bodies worldwide have argued that practicing inquiry as a part of the K-12 curriculum would help prepare students for their lives as adults in today’s world. This study investigated adults who graduated high school 9 years earlier with a major in biology, to determine how they perceive the inquiry project they experienced and its contribution to their lives. We characterized dynamic inquiry performances and the retrospective perceptions of the inquiry project. Data was collected by interviews with 17 individuals—nine who engaged in open inquiry and eight who engaged in guided inquiry in high school. Both groups shared similar expressions of the affective point of view and procedural understanding criteria of dynamic inquiry, but the groups differed in the expression of the criteria changes occurring during inquiry and learning as a process. Participants from both groups described the contribution of the projects to their lives as adults, developing skills and positive attitudes towards science and remembering the content knowledge and activities in which they were involved. They also described the support they received from their teachers. Results of this study imply that inquiry, and particularly open inquiry, helps develop valuable skills and personal attributes, which may help the students in their lives as future adults. This retrospective point of view may contribute to a deeper understanding of the long-term influences of inquiry-based learning on students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-149
Number of pages27
JournalResearch in Science Education
Issue number1
Early online date22 Dec 2017
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature.


  • Dynamic inquiry
  • Guided inquiry
  • Inquiry-based learning
  • Long-term learning
  • Open inquiry


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