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ERIC Number: EJ950572
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0693
Biology Teachers Designing Context-Based Lessons for Their Classroom Practice--The Importance of Rules-of-Thumb
Wieringa, Nienke; Janssen, Fred J. J. M.; Van Driel, Jan H.
International Journal of Science Education, v33 n17 p2437-2462 2011
In science education in the Netherlands new, context-based, curricula are being developed. As in any innovation, the outcome will largely depend on the teachers who design and implement lessons. Central to the study presented here is the idea that teachers, when designing lessons, use rules-of-thumb: notions of what a lesson should look like if certain classroom outcomes are to be reached. Our study aimed at (1) identifying the rules-of-thumb biology teachers use when designing context-based lessons for their own classroom practice, and (2) assessing how these personal rules-of-thumb relate to formal innovative goals and lesson characteristics. Six biology teachers with varying backgrounds designed and implemented a lesson or series of lessons for their own practice, while thinking aloud. We interviewed the teachers and observed their lessons. Our results suggest that rules-of-thumb, which differed substantially among the teachers, indeed to a great extent guide the decisions teachers make when designing (innovative) lessons. These rules-of-thumb were often strongly associated with intended lesson outcomes. Also, teachers' personal rules-of-thumb were more powerful in determining the lesson design than formal innovative goals and lesson characteristics. The results of this study encourage more research into how rules-of-thumb reflect teachers' practical knowledge, for which suggestions are made. (Contains 2 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands