Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Suha Tamim


The problem of practice described in this paper was identified by varying academic performances of students in a middle school located in South Carolina. The identified problem led the researcher to formulate a research question: What is the impact of inquiry-based learning on academic achievement for eighth-grade students in social studies? The purpose of this study is to determine if implementing inquiry-based learning will affect the academic achievement of students in social studies. Action research allows teachers to study their own classrooms to better understand them and to be able to improve their quality or effectiveness (Mertler, 2014). Action research is a four-stage procedure: the planning stage, the acting stage, the developing stage, and the reflecting stage. Chapter one of the paper introduces the reader to the historical context of the research question that was constructed to guide the research. Chapter two contains relevant literature needed to guide the action research as discovered in similar studies. Chapter three details the stages of action research and the methodology to be employed by this teacher-researcher along with ethical considerations for the research. Chapter four provides an analysis of the data collected from the use of a teacher-made pretest and posttest administered during the six-week implementation of guided-inquiry. Chapter five offers conclusions to the study along with challenges faced by the teacher-researcher, implications for future research, and an action plan for future usage of guided-inquiry instruction and learning at Pine Grove Middle School.


© 2018, Lindsey A. Bailey