Three case studies of three high school teachers' definitions, beliefs, and implementation practices of inquiry-based science method including barriers to and facilitators of successful implementation

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kimberly D. Blackburn-Morrison (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Gerald Ponder

Abstract: "This study involved three teachers in various stages of implementation of inquiry-based science method. The cases were chosen because one participant was a novice in using inquiry-based science method, one participant was in her second year of implementation, and the third participant was experienced with inquiry-based science method. The cases were set in a rural high school in three different science classrooms. One of the classrooms was a regular biology class. One of the classrooms was an honors oceanography class and another was an advanced placement environmental science classroom. Data sources included interviews, observations, and document collection. Interviews, observations, and document collection were used to triangulate data. Each classroom was observed five times. Interviews were conducted at the beginning of the semester with each participant and at the end of the semester. Follow-up interviews were conducted after each observation. Documents were collected such as each teacher's lesson plans, student work, and assignments. Data was initially organized according to the research areas of teacher's definition, teacher's beliefs, teacher's barriers to implementation, and teacher's enablers to implementation. Then, patterns emerging from each of these cases were organized. Lastly, patterns emerging across cases were compared in a cross-case analysis. Patterns shared between cases were: Participants related inquiry-based science method with hands-on learning activities. Participants saw students as the center of the learning process. Participants had positive beliefs about constructivist learning practices that were strengthened after implementation of inquiry-based teaching. Facilitators of successful implementation of inquiry-based science method were positive student motivation, students' retention of knowledge, and a positive experience for lower level students. Barriers to successful implementation were teachers not having complete control of the classroom, upper level students having difficulty with inquiry, time and curriculum being a factor, and teachers feeling unprepared to teach this methodology. The researcher culminated the study with practice and policy implications and reasons for further research. Overall, the findings were that these teachers in various stages of implementation with little training in this methodology were able to successfully implement inquiry-based science method based on the reform movement's definition despite barriers to implementation."--Abstract from author supplied metadata.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2005
Science, Study and teaching (Secondary), Science teachers, Attitudes, inquiry-based science method
Science--Study and teaching (Secondary)
Science teachers--Attitudes

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