This study explored the application of inquiry experimental teaching to enhance the growth of problem solving ability of advanced class students in mathematics and science. The researcher also the teacher took the eighth graders from the advanced mathematics and science class as the research subjects. Moreover, the researcher carried out three cycles of experimental teaching program by action study. Research methods were presented the experimental activity teaching by the process of scientific inquiry model to explore students’ performance and difficulties from five dimensions: being aware of problems, listing the possible cases, deciding strategies, applying actions, evaluating results. In addition, the researcher as the teacher explored the difficulties and reflections encountered through this teaching process. By this study, the researcher expected that she could better understand the promotion of students’ problem solving ability.
Research data collections and analysis were observations, recordings, interviews, worksheets, teaching videos, teaching logs; as well as through the cycle process of actions, observations, reflections, and revisions. Based on the findings, the results were the following:
1. Students lacked of observation and knowledge background that affected the feelings while facing the problems. Sufficient knowledge background could enhance students’ judgments while facing the problems.
2. Exceeding the student''s knowledge load made students hard to accept. It was difficult to design the experimental program for the researcher. To design the specific task experiment program, this met the students’ starting point behaviors and learning experiences with inquiry levels. This could help the students put emphasis on the learning goals and also foster the ability of summarizing the experimental results.
3. Extracurricular or experimental activities with life experiences could increase learning interests and motivations, and also could improve the number of exploring the inquiry experiment for the students. However, the teacher should consider the arrangements and control with the teaching progress and time limit.
4. The design of individual experimental program lacked of communication. Therefore, let the students discuss the design or improvement of experimental methods not only could help improve the efficiency of problem solving, but also could enhance the students’ ability of problem solving.
As a result, the research respectively provided some suggestions for the teaching design and future studies.