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Teachers’ beliefs about inquiry-based learning and its impact on formative assessment practice

Correia, CF; Harrison, C; (2019) Teachers’ beliefs about inquiry-based learning and its impact on formative assessment practice. Research in Science and Technological Education 10.1080/02635143.2019.1634040.

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Abstract

Background: Inquiry pedagogy has been advocated as means to engage and motivate students to learn science. The development of teacher formative assessment practice in inquiry is key for a successful implementation of student-centred inquiry pedagogy in the classroom. // Purpose: This study explores secondary science teachers’ espoused beliefs about inquiry-based learning and the impact this has on their actual formative assessment practice in the classroom. // Sample: The study involved two experienced science teachers. // Design and methods: This study provides two case studies of developing practice as teachers attempt to move towards student-centred inquiry approaches. The study combines teacher semi-structured interviews, recordings of teacher–student(s) conversations in inquiry lessons, and field notes of classroom observations. Following a qualitative approach, we did a thematic analysis of teacher interviews to infer teachers’ espoused beliefs about inquiry-based learning and about their perceptions of their role as teachers in inquiry lessons. We used a combination of the ESRU model and the Convergent/ Divergent assessment framework to characterise teachers’ formative assessment conversations with their students in inquiry lessons. // Results: Our findings show that teachers’ beliefs about inquiry are consistent with how they teach and assess inquiry, and that the promotion of student autonomy is influenced by teacher beliefs. Teachers who position themselves as facilitators adopt more open guided inquiry approaches, while teachers who position themselves as ‘shepherds’ adopt more directed approaches to inquiry. This has important implications for students’ autonomy and self-regulation in inquiry lessons.

Type: Article
Title: Teachers’ beliefs about inquiry-based learning and its impact on formative assessment practice
DOI: 10.1080/02635143.2019.1634040
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/02635143.2019.1634040
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Inquiry-based learning, attitudes and beliefs, formative assessment, teacher professional development
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10077664
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