Views and Understandings of an Exemplary Secondary Science Teacher using Inquiry Instruction: A Case Study in England
Taber, Keith S.
University of Cambridge
Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
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Shah, H. H. (2015). Views and Understandings of an Exemplary Secondary Science Teacher using Inquiry Instruction: A Case Study in England (Masters thesis). https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.42138
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Inquiry instruction improves student learning, yet in the USA robust research shows secondary science teachers struggle to grasp inquiry. In 2015, academies are urging American teachers to come to a clear understanding of inquiry as a new framework gets adopted in the USA. Notably, this framework is akin to the National Curriculum in England, a country in which inquiry has received little attention. I use this opportunity to design a pilot study, and an instrumental case study, in England to illustrate the views and understandings of one exemplary secondary science teacher on inquiry as well as on factors influencing inquiry teaching. I draw on data sources—interviews, observations, vignettes, and artefacts—collected over a period of three months. I use inductive analysis to suggest five themes: (1) inquiry is an independent activity for students; (2) inquiry is a way to explore a topic and reveal misconceptions for teachers; (3) student knowledge and behaviour promotes inquiry; (4) absence of school resources constrains inquiry; and (5) a drive to show measurable attainment constrains inquiry. I find the teacher sharing rich inquiry activities and suggesting inquiry might have layers of independence and complexity. This empirical work could also have relevance to USA teachers in presenting a perspective on inquiry for preparing students. From my findings, I shape fresh ideas for teachers. I close by lending insight on considering a shared understanding of inquiry and directions for future research.
Inquiry Instruction, Secondary Science, Case Study, Empirical, Student Learning
I thank Homerton College for a Research Grant Award.
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.42138
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