Inquiry-Based Approaches in Primary Science Teacher Education

Part of the Contributions from Science Education Research book series (CFSE, volume 5)


This chapter introduces an interactional graphic tool together with a model for inquiry-based science teaching (abbreviated as IBST). The combination of the graphic tool and model offers an approach to support the planning, implementation, reflection and analysis of dialogic IBST. The potential use is illustrated here using a case study in which student teachers used IBST to develop their teaching. The interactional graphic and the model are fundamentally related to three established approaches to science teaching: inquiry-based science teaching, dialogic teaching and the communicative approach. Together, these approaches draw attention to learner participation in inquiry-based science teaching, the joint construction of understanding as a dialogic teaching process and the alternative types of talk teachers can use to guide learning in science through communicative approaches. Combining these three approaches provides a broader ‘three-pronged’ approach to teaching and learning in science. On this basis, we designed our primary teacher science course to include ideas from both inquiry teaching and classroom interaction. During the course, in addition to analysing the content structure of climate change, examining textbooks, pupil thinking and their preconceptions, the student teachers also explored the fundamental ideas of dialogic IBST in primary schools. The analysis of the executed teaching sequences was supported by the use of the interactional graphic tool which helps in mapping teachers’ communicative pattern and the extent to which the IBST approach is taking place. The potential use of the interactional graphic tool and IBST approach for the professional development of teachers is discussed in the end.


Inquiry Communicative approach Dialogic teaching Interactional graphic 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

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