Community-Based Inquiry in Allied Health Biochemistry Promotes Equity by Improving Critical Thinking for Women and Showing Promise for Increasing Content Gains for Ethnic Minority Students

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Department or Administrative Unit

Biological Sciences

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In the Community-Based Inquiry (CBI) instructional method, cooperative student groups complete case study activities based on scientific literature and conduct their own laboratory investigations that address authentic community needs. This study compared critical thinking and content knowledge outcomes between traditional Introduction to Biochemistry lecture/laboratory and CBI curricula with human health case studies and local elementary school lunch nutrition laboratory investigations. CBI students experienced statistically significant critical thinking gains of medium effect size with female and male equity, whereas traditional students demonstrated no critical thinking gains with statistically significant sex disparity of medium effect size. Bifurcating student ethnicity into White and all other respondents revealed that the Other students gained statistically significantly more content knowledge in CBI than in the traditional group with a large effect size. Chemistry faculty concerned with developing both content knowledge and critical thinking skill in all students should consider using CBI not only for majors, but also for non-majors such as allied health students.


This article was originally published in Journal of Chemical Education. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Journal of Chemical Education


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