NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ803485
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Pages: 34
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 76
ISSN: ISSN-1050-8406
Fostering Second Graders' Scientific Explanations: A Beginning Elementary Teacher's Knowledge, Beliefs, and Practice
Beyer, Carrie J.; Davis, Elizabeth A.
Journal of the Learning Sciences, v17 n3 p381-414 Jul 2008
Teaching science as explanation is fundamental to reform efforts but is challenging for teachers--especially new elementary teachers, for whom the complexities of teaching are compounded by high demands and little classroom experience. Despite these challenges, few studies have characterized the knowledge, beliefs, and instructional practices that support or hinder teachers from engaging their students in building explanations. To address this gap, this study describes the understandings, purposes, goals, practices, and struggles of one third-year elementary teacher with regard to fostering students' explanation construction. Analyses showed that the teacher had multiple understandings of scientific explanations, believed that fostering students' explanations was important for both teachers and students, and enacted instructional practices that provided opportunities for students to develop explanations. However, she did not consistently take up explanation as a goal in her practice, in part because she did not see explanation construction as a strategy for facilitating the development of students' content knowledge or as an educational goal in its own right. These findings inform the field's understanding of teacher knowledge and practice with regard to one crucial scientific practice and have implications for research on teachers and inquiry-oriented science teaching, science teacher education, and curriculum materials development. (Contains 2 tables.)
Lawrence Erlbaum. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 2
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A