Research in Science Education

, Volume 49, Issue 6, pp 1547–1567 | Cite as

The Connection Between Forms of Guidance for Inquiry-Based Learning and the Communicative Approaches Applied—a Case Study in the Context of Pre-service Teachers

  • Antti LehtinenEmail author
  • Sami Lehesvuori
  • Jouni Viiri


Recent research has argued that inquiry-based science learning should be guided by providing the learners with support. The research on guidance for inquiry-based learning has concentrated on how providing guidance affects learning through inquiry. How guidance for inquiry-based learning could promote learning about inquiry (e.g. epistemic practices) is in need of exploration. A dialogic approach to classroom communication and pedagogical link-making offers possibilities for learners to acquire these practices. The focus of this paper is to analyse the role of different forms of guidance for inquiry-based learning on building the communicative approach applied in classrooms. The data for the study comes from an inquiry-based physics lesson implemented by a group of five pre-service primary science teachers to a class of sixth graders. The lesson was video recorded and the discussions were transcribed. The data was analysed by applying two existing frameworks—one for the forms of guidance provided and another for the communicative approaches applied. The findings illustrate that providing non-specific forms of guidance, such as prompts, caused the communicative approach to be dialogic. On the other hand, providing the learners with specific forms of guidance, such as explanations, shifted the communication to be more authoritative. These results imply that different forms of guidance provided by pre-service teachers can affect the communicative approach applied in inquiry-based science lessons, which affects the possibilities learners are given to connect their existing ideas to the scientific view. Future research should focus on validating these results by also analysing inservice teachers’ lessons.


Inquiry-based learning Communicative approach Classroom communication Pre-service teachers 


Funding Information

This study was partly funded by the Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Research Involving Human Participants

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Teacher EducationUniversity of JyvaskylaJyvaskylaFinland

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