Journal of Science Teacher Education

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 337–354

Understanding Teachers’ Conceptions of Classroom Inquiry With a Teaching Scenario Survey Instrument


DOI: 10.1007/s10972-008-9097-4

Cite this article as:
Kang, NH., Orgill, M. & Crippen, K.J. J Sci Teacher Educ (2008) 19: 337. doi:10.1007/s10972-008-9097-4


A survey instrument using everyday teaching scenarios was developed to measure teacher conceptions of inquiry. Validity of the instrument was established by comparing responses for a group of secondary teachers to narrative writing and group discussion. Participating teachers used only three of the five essential features of inquiry detailed in the standards documents (NRC 2000) when expressing their ideas of classroom inquiry. The features of ‘evaluating explanations in connection with scientific knowledge’ and ‘communicating explanations’ were rarely mentioned. These missing components indicate a gap between the teachers’ conceptions of inquiry and the ideals of the reform movement.


Teacher beliefsClassroom inquirySecondary educationEvaluation instrument

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nam-Hwa Kang
    • 1
  • MaryKay Orgill
    • 2
  • Kent J. Crippen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Science and Mathematics EducationOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryUniversity of Nevada-Las VegasLas VegasUSA
  3. 3.Department of Curriculum and InstructionUniversity of Nevada-Las VegasLas VegasUSA