ERIC Number: ED472970
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Jan-30
Development of a Framework to Measure Science Teachers' Inquiry Perceptions and Practices.
Thompson, Stephen L.
For more than a decade, there has been a call for reform in science education. This effort stresses the creation of a scientifically literate population. Required in this effort to create a more scientifically literate populace is an understanding of the Nature of Science (NOS) on the part of the average citizen. This call for reform recognizes the classroom teacher as the main vehicle through which images of the NOS and scientific inquiry are portrayed for students. In order to improve both science teachers' and students' understanding of the NOS and inquiry, the National Science Foundation has implemented the Graduate Teaching Fellows in GK-12 Education (GK-12) initiative. This initiative, which is consistent with reform efforts that call for scientist involvement in K-12 science classrooms, supports programs that place graduate level scientists (GTFs) with K-12 science teachers (PTs) to act as classroom resources. One such program focuses on sustained collaborations between GTFs and PTs with a hands-on, inquiry based planning and teaching emphasis. This naturalistic study used mixed methods of surveys, observation, interviews and artifact collection to examine how this program influenced PTs' inquiry practices and perceptions. During data analysis classroom features of inquiry emerged. These features led to the creation of five components of two types of inquiry, Technical and Substantive. These types of inquiry, the components, and their features, make-up an Inquiry Framework that represents a continuum of understandings related to inquiry and is grounded in the practice of teaching. This framework was applied to inquiry features captured from each PT involved in the study. This paper highlights the framework used to capture and articulate these PT's beliefs and practices related to inquiry. Initial attempts demonstrate the potential of this framework as a tool for improving understanding of inquiry. It also shows the capability to reduce the gap between science teachers, science educators, and educational researchers who are struggling to articulate, capture and demonstrate inquiry-based teaching practices. (Contains 27 references.) (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Education of Teachers of Science (St. Louis, MO, January 29-February 2, 2003).