Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Science Education (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences

Advisor 1

Shari Stockero

Committee Member 1

Kari Henquinet

Committee Member 2

Amy Lark


The Ghanaian education system has a pervasive teacher-centered pedagogy, lack or absence of laboratory materials, poor-quality teacher training, and minimal support systems for teachers. Practical Education Network is an organization which addresses these problems by training science teachers through workshops about how to utilize locally-available, affordable materials in order to teach topics in the national curriculum in an inquiry-based manner. Three hundred and twenty-four students in six different Junior High Schools in the Greater Accra Region participated in a year-long, quasi-experimental study in order to test the impact that the PEN approach has on students' classroom environment, critical thinking skills, attitudes towards science, and standardized test scores. Additionally, teachers’ ability to setup materials, facilitate the lesson, and deliver the objective was also examined. The data indicates that the PEN approach had a beneficial impact on students' classroom environment, attitudes towards science, and standardized test scores. The data also suggests that teachers were most comfortable with setup of materials, and least comfortable with delivery of the objective.