Guided Instruction Improves Elementary Student Learning and Self-Efficacy in Science

Carolyn J. Hushman, Scott Marley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The authors investigated whether the amount of instructional guidance affects science learning and self-efficacy. Sixty 9-and 10-year-old children were randomly assigned to one of the following three instructional conditions: (a) guided instruction consisting of examples and student-generated explanations, (b) direct instruction consisting of a lecture and examples, and (c) minimal instruction consisting of student directed discovery. Children who received guided instruction designed a greater percentage of experiments correctly and self-reported greater changes in science self-efficacy than children in the other conditions. No statistically significant differences were observed between direct and guided instruction on outcome measures of cued recall, application and evaluation. However, both conditions performed statistically higher on these outcome measures relative to the minimal instruction condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-381
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Educational Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 3 2015


  • cognitive processes/development
  • elementary school
  • instruction
  • science education
  • self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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