Understanding Teachers’ Conceptions of Classroom Inquiry With a Teaching Scenario Survey Instrument

Apr. 15, 2008

Source: Journal of Science Teacher Education (2008) 19:337–354

A survey instrument using everyday teaching scenarios was developed to measure teacher conceptions of inquiry. Validity of the instrument was established by comparing responses for a group of secondary teachers to narrative writing and group discussion.

Participating teachers used only three of the five essential features of inquiry detailed in the standards documents (NRC 2000) when expressing their ideas of classroom inquiry. The features of ‘evaluating explanations
in connection with scientific knowledge’ and ‘communicating explanations’ were rarely mentioned. These missing components indicate a gap between the teachers’ conceptions of inquiry and the ideals of the reform movement.

Updated: Oct. 24, 2008