Investigation of secondary science teachers' beliefs and practices after authentic inquiry-based experiences

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Abstract

This study continues research previously conducted by a nine-university collaborative, the Salish I Research Project, by exploring science teachers' beliefs and practices with regard to inquiry-oriented instruction. In this study, we analyzed the relationship among secondary science teachers' preparation, their beliefs, and their classroom practices after completion of a course designed to provide authentic inquiry experiences. From Teacher Pedagogical Philosophy Interview data and Secondary Science Teacher Analysis Matrix observational data, we analyzed links between the teachers' conveyed beliefs and observed practice regarding the teachers' actions (TA) and students' actions (SA). Also presented is a listing of teachers' perceived influences from university preparation course work. Results indicated that 7 of the 8 teachers professed a belief in teacher-centered or conceptual style with regard to TA and SA. The observational results indicated that 7 of the 8 teachers displayed a teacher-centered or conceptual style with regard to TA and SA. Inconsistencies between interview and observational data were unexpected, as half of the teachers professed slightly greater teacher-centered styles with regard to TA than what they actually practiced in their classrooms. All teachers reported that an inquiry-based science course was valuable. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 43: 938–962, 2006

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