Journal of Science Teacher Education

, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 501-516

First online:

4E × 2 Instructional Model: Uniting Three Learning Constructs to Improve Praxis in Science and Mathematics Classrooms

  • Jeff C. MarshallAffiliated withEugene T. Moore School of Education, Clemson University Email author 
  • , Bob HortonAffiliated withEugene T. Moore School of Education, Clemson University
  • , Julie SmartAffiliated withEugene T. Moore School of Education, Clemson University

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After decades of research endorsing inquiry-based learning, at best only moderate success has been noted in creating effective systemic implementation in K-12 classrooms. Thus, teachers need to be better equipped in how to bring this transformation to their own classrooms. Changing beliefs and overcoming external obstacles encourages the use of inquiry, but a clear, yet dynamic, instructional model is also needed for teachers to see the potential of inquiry-based instruction. The proposed 4E × 2 (read “4E by 2”) Instructional Model provides such a model for learning that links strong conceptual understanding of content with inquiry learning experiences. The 4E × 2 Model integrates what we know and understand about inquiry-based teaching and learning with effective assessment and metacognitive reflection. These three constructs, formative assessment, inquiry instructional models, and metacognitive reflection, are foundational to the Model. A synthesis of research tied to these three constructs provides the justification of both the need for and the value of such a model. An argument for the formation of the 4E × 2 Instructional Model is made based on the coherence and the resulting synergy that occurs when these three learning constructs are united.


Assessment Formative assessment Inquiry Instructional models Learning Mathematics education Reflective practice Science education