Journal of Science Teacher Education

, Volume 24, Issue 8, pp 1263–1291 | Cite as

Teacher Enactment Patterns: How Can We Help Move All Teachers to Reform-Based Inquiry Practice Through Professional Development?

  • Christine LotterEmail author
  • Gregory T. Rushton
  • Jonathan Singer


The purpose of this study was to investigate high school teachers’ beliefs about inquiry instruction and determine how their beliefs influenced their use of inquiry after a professional development program. Thirty-six high school science teachers participated in this study. The professional development program consisted of a 2-week summer institute as well as academic year support. The summer program included discipline-specific content lessons that utilized inquiry-based instruction, pedagogical practice involving the use of a summer high school enrichment program, and reflection on this practice-teaching in content area groups. Both in-depth qualitative interview and written reflection data were collected as well as data from the teachers’ classroom implementation of inquiry. Based on the analysis of the teachers’ interviews and classroom enactments, the teachers were placed into four enactment categories: Integrated, Emerging, Laboratory-based, and Activity-focused. We used Windschitl’s (Rev Educ Res 72(2):131–175, 2002) four constructivist dilemmas as a framework to understand the teachers’ enactments. We describe the teachers’ beliefs and practices in each enactment category as well as the components of the professional development model that were important to making changes in the teachers’ practices. In the conclusion, we connect the enactment levels to the professional development experience and suggest future directions for professional developers to move teachers toward more integrated inquiry practices.


Inquiry Professional development Teacher beliefs 

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOC 65 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (DOC 30 kb)
10972_2013_9361_MOESM3_ESM.doc (33 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (DOC 33 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Association for Science Teacher Education, USA 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine Lotter
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gregory T. Rushton
    • 2
  • Jonathan Singer
    • 3
  1. 1.College of EducationUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryKennesaw State UniversityKennesawUSA
  3. 3.Department of EducationUniversity of Maryland, Baltimore CountyBaltimoreUSA

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