ERIC Number: ED407283
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Transformative Communication in Project Science Learning Discourse.
Polman, Joseph; Pea, Roy D.
Teachers interested in fostering science learning through inquiry or projects must play a complex role in discourse with students. They must scaffold student activities in the classroom without taking away students' active roles. This paper provides a framework for a specific form of scaffolding open-ended science inquiry based on the notion of transformative communication. Case studies are presented from interpretive research in a project-based high school earth science class at two crucial and difficult junctures of projects--the formulation of researchable questions and the marshaling of evidence to support a conclusion through data analysis. In two cases, the teacher helps students transform information gathered from library research into seeds for their own original research seeking to confirm or falsify others' claims. In two other cases, the teacher helps students transform unsupported claims and poorly used graphical representations into analysis and representations that directly test their claims. It is concluded that the strategy of transformative communication proves to be a powerful means of supporting students. Contains 25 references. (Author/JRH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March, 1997).