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ERIC Number: ED548446
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 251
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2674-2131-9
ISSN: N/A
Embedding Argumentation Discourse within Elementary Inquiry Teaching: Implications for Professional Development
Borger, Laurie Landon
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Widener University
The National Research Council's most recent report "Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8," (2007) has suggested a redefinition of science proficiency. "This framework rests on a view of science as both a body of knowledge and an evidence-based, model building enterprise that continually extends, refines, and revises knowledge" (p.2). Therefore embedding argumentation discourse within inquiry teaching includes educating students to voice their own evidence based explanations and justifications for acceptance, refinement, or possible rejection by their peers. This new perspective will require elementary teachers to challenge their own knowledge, beliefs, and practices about science proficiency. It will necessitate the creation of professional development opportunities that are specific to the needs of the teachers who are facilitating the reform during a time period when the NCLB (2001) legislation requires 100% proficiency for all students in reading and math. This intrinsic case study involved the purposive sampling of 30 regular elementary education teachers in one rural school district in Pennsylvania. A grounded theory perspective was used to examine the elementary teachers' beliefs, practices, and barriers as a means to specify the necessary supports needed to accept the challenges associated with the redefinition of science proficiency. Data was collected through a survey, observational inventory, checklist, and interviews. Using constant comparison analysis, this researcher and the district's Science Department Head, identified and refined emerging trends into the following four essential themes: equity and accountability, teacher's beliefs, isolation, and curriculum rigor. Each theme influenced instructional practices. Most notably the implementation of the teacher evaluation plan encouraged teachers to view science as a lower priority and hindered their desire to improve it. Isolation kept teachers' science knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge stagnate, including their beliefs surrounding the ultimate goal of elementary science. The science curriculum did not include explanation or argumentation as a top level goal for instruction consequently instructional practices were limited. Eight specific components for professional development are delineated. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania