ERIC Number: ED441703
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
Pre-Service Science Teachers and the Independent Inquiry Experience.
Most of America's pre-service science teachers enter their preparation programs without having conducted a single inquiry in which they have developed the question being investigated or the means to resolve it. This article describes a study in which twelve pre-service secondary science teachers developed their own investigations--from formulating questions to defending results in front of peers. Data strongly suggest that epistemological beliefs, expressed within the context of the inquiry experience, had a significant impact on the conduct and interpretation of these inquiries, and that these beliefs were associated with very different plans by the participants for using inquiry in their own classrooms. One group of participants believed that inquiry was a relatively simple, linear process. These individuals mentioned few problems conducting their inquiry. In preparing to defend their inquiries, these individuals were primarily concerned with communicating the details of their study to their peers. With regard to plans for using inquiry in their own classrooms, they mentioned overt guidance and direct instruction as ways to help students complete an inquiry, but did not mention helping students make sense of the process. Another group of participants understood inquiry as a more complex set of interrelated considerations. This group claimed that they encountered more and different kinds of problems than the first group; they described preparation for their class presentation as a time to reinterpret their work and to re-represent it in a way that would make sense to others. In describing how they would implement inquiry in their own classrooms, members of this group suggested that they would include opportunities for student-student and student-teacher dialogue as well as whole-class activities aimed at helping students make sense of the inquiry process. (Contains 44 references.) (Author/YDS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 24-28, 2000).