Campus Location

Abilene Campus

Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2023

Document Type



Teacher Education

Degree Name

Master of Education in Teaching and Learning

First Advisor

Andrew Huddleston


Schema provides a theoretical framework for understanding the nature of science, inquiry, and open-ended labs. These topics have been emphasized in the state standards, especially in high school sciences. In this study the researcher took field notes, collected lab write ups, and conducted focus group interviews to understand students’ use of schema related to open-ended labs. These data were analyzed with the constant comparative method to generate themes. The author describes the major findings with parallel narratives, one focused on a student’s confusion and the other focused on a student’s understanding. The author concludes by advocating for science teachers to provide open-ended labs with scaffolding for high school students by including sentence starters and reteaching the scientific process throughout the year.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


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