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Title: The development of inquiry-based pedagogy in beginning teachers of science
Author: McKie, Michelle
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2013
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Inquiry-based science teaching is considered a key means of improving scientific literacy. Although 'inquiry' is a prominent feature in curriculum documents internationally, 'inquiry-teaching' has proved difficult to define in operational terms. In approach, it implies elements of scientific authenticity, including open-endedness of practical activity and real-world relevance, and is associated with the development of critical skills and positive pupil outcomes, demonstrating the potential to reduce the achievement gap in science classrooms. Whilst many teachers subscribe to the philosophies of inquiry, many feel reluctant to adopt this approach. It is especially challenging for beginners who have yet to develop their teacher-identity and establish a confident classroom repertoire which accommodates creativity and flexibility. Thus, despite reform efforts, inquiry remains a peripheral pedagogy. This multiple case study (n=15) uses a longitudinal design to explore the development of new teachers of science in Scotland, in relation to the acquisition of investigative pedagogy. Commencing in May 2010, data collected through focus groups, semi-structured interviews and reflective journals was analysed using a general inductive approach to examine beginning teachers' conceptualisations of 'inquiry' in the classroom and identify those elements of early development which are required to facilitate authentic investigative experiences. Given the Scottish context, the Teacher Induction Scheme and Curriculum for Excellence were of particular relevance to this study. The various ways in which inquiry found expression in these beginners' classrooms are presented; insights gained from their discourse point to the interaction of personal and institutional factors for novices' developing pedagogy and teacher identity. Recommendations pertaining to teacher candidate selection, learning experiences during ITE and induction, and curriculum implementation are made with the aim of strengthening new teachers' commitment to an inquiry-based approach.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available