ERIC Number: ED309939
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987
Mind Games: A Study of Hypothetical Questioning in a Science Classroom.
Haley-Oliphant, Ann E.
The purpose of this study was to examine the thinking underlying the questions posed by a science teacher to her seventh grade students in an instructional activity called Mind Games, in which hypothetical situations focussed on scientific issues are proposed and explored at least once during each major instructional unit. Mind games are conveyed to the students mainly through a series of questions, and this study examined the origins and functions, characteristics and preparation, interaction and evaluation involved in this line of questioning. The study which was designed after considering recent research on teacher thinking, the complexity of the classroom and the use of questions by teachers, was conducted in a suburban junior high school with a teacher having 5 years teaching experience at an inner city school and 2.5 years at the suburban school. Naturalistic methods were used to acquire the data, including field notes, audiotape and videotape recordings, and structured interviews with the teacher and the students. Data were analyzed using the technique of constitutive ethnography. Preliminary findings indicate that the line of questioning employed has two functions. First, the hypothetical situations examined serve to provide the opportunity for students to engage in critical and creative thinking and to give the teacher and the students a chance to make science "wonder-full." A series of characteristics for these hypothetical situations has been made and the phases that occur during these situations are being analyzed. (CW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (60th, Washington, DC, April 23-25, 1987). The preparation of this paper was sponsored in part by a grant from the United States-Spanish Joint Committee for Educational and Cultural Cooperation, Ministry of Exterior Affairs, Madrid. Figures 1 and 2 contain marginally legible type.