Chapter

Motivation, Leadership and Curriculum design

pp 201-213

Date:

The Implementation of e-Networks to Support Inquiry Learning in Science

  • P. John WilliamsAffiliated withTechnology, Environment, Maths and Science Education Research Centre, University of Waikato Email author 
  • , K. Otrel-CassAffiliated withAalborg University, Denmark
  • , E. KhooAffiliated withUniversity of Waikato, Hamilton
  • , B. CowieAffiliated withUniversity of Waikato, Hamilton
  • , K. SaundersAffiliated withUniversity of Waikato, Hamilton
  • , S. Van Der MerweAffiliated withUniversity of Waikato, Hamilton

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Abstract

The successful implementation of an e-networked and information and communication technology (ICT)-supported science inquiry learning approach in secondary classrooms is dependent on a range of factors within the milieu of teacher, school and students. The teacher must have a clear understanding of the goals of the activity, the school leadership must provide effective technological infrastructure and sympathetic curriculum parameters, and the students need to be carefully scaffolded to the point of engaging with the inquiry process.

This chapter is based on the findings from a 2-year Teaching and Learning Research Initiative project—Networked Inquiry Learning in Secondary Science classrooms (NILSS)—which involved collaboration with six junior secondary science teachers in three New Zealand schools to support and investigate their planning and implementation of inquiry learning projects.

Within the study, e-networks motivated students to exercise agency, collaborate and co-construct knowledge using a wide range of resources for meaning making and expression of ideas. These outcomes were, however, contingent on the interplay of teacher organization and school provision of an effective technological infrastructure and support for flexible curriculum design.

Keywords

e-Networks ICT Inquiry learning Collaboration Student agency