International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 129–159

Linking teacher beliefs, practices and student inquiry-based learning in a CSCL environment: A tale of two teachers


DOI: 10.1007/s11412-011-9133-9

Cite this article as:
Song, Y. & Looi, C. Computer Supported Learning (2012) 7: 129. doi:10.1007/s11412-011-9133-9


The links uncovered by research connecting teacher beliefs to classroom practice and student inquiry-based learning are tenuous. This study aims at examining (a) how teacher beliefs influenced practices; and (b) how the influence on practices, in turn, impacted student inquiry learning in a CSCL environment. Through a fine-grained comparative analysis of two cases, this study explores how two teachers with different collections of beliefs enacted the same mathematics lesson on division and fractions in a CSCL environment premised on inquiry principles, and what the connections between different enactments and students’ progressive inquiry process and outcomes were. The findings suggest that the two teachers’ adherence to different beliefs led to different practices, which in turn contributed to different student learning processes and outcomes. We interpret these differences that shaped the students’ opportunities for progressive inquiry in the CSCL environment. We conclude that the teacher holding “innovation-oriented” beliefs tended to enact the lesson in patterns of inquiry-principle-based practices and technology-enhanced orchestration; these patterns interacted with each other to contribute to student inquiry learning and effective use of technology affordances.


Teacher beliefsTeacher practicesStudent learningCSCLProgressive inquiry learningInquiry principle-based practices

Copyright information

© International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc.; Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of EducationNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore