Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 280–297

Enactment of Scientific Inquiry: Observation of Two Cases at Different Grade Levels in China Mainland

  • Lei Wang
  • Ronghui Zhang
  • David Clarke
  • Weizhen Wang
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10956-013-9486-0

Cite this article as:
Wang, L., Zhang, R., Clarke, D. et al. J Sci Educ Technol (2014) 23: 280. doi:10.1007/s10956-013-9486-0

Abstract

Enactment of scientific inquiry in classroom has attracted a great attention of science educators around the world. In this study, we examined two competent teachers’ (one Grade 9 chemistry teacher and one Grade 4 science teacher) enactment of scientific inquiry in selected teaching units to reveal the characteristics of enacted inquiry at different grade levels by analyzing lesson sequence videos. The coding schemes for enacted inquiry consist of ontological properties and instructional practices. Pre-topic and post-topic teacher interviews and the two teachers’ responses to a questionnaire were adopted to identify the factors influencing teacher’s enactment. The results indicate that the two case teachers’ enactment involved a range of inquiry activities. The enacted inquiry at fourth-grade level covered all the inquiry elements, tending to engage students in the whole procedure of inquiry. The ninth-grade chemistry class placed emphasis on the elements “making plans” to solve problems in authentic context. Important factors influencing the enactment include teacher’s understanding about scientific inquiry, textbooks, assessment, students and resource. Implications for inquiry enactment and instruction improvement have been provided.

Keywords

Scientific inquiryEnactmentFactorsObservationOntological propertiesInstructional practice

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lei Wang
    • 1
  • Ronghui Zhang
    • 1
  • David Clarke
    • 2
  • Weizhen Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.College of ChemistryBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Melbourne Graduate School of EducationUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia