The Art of Teacher Talk: Examining Intersections of the Strands of Scientific Proficiencies and Inquiry

Jennifer K LeBlanc, Baki Cavlazoglu, Stephen C Scogin, Carol L Stuessy
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Abstract


This research examined how a teacher’s discussion of the strands of scientific proficiencies changed over the course of an inquiry cycle as students engaged in a complex, technology-enhanced inquiry learning environment called PlantingScience (PS). Our research is descriptive in nature and attempts to deconstruct the complexity of teacher talk in the classroom as related to the strands of science proficiency. For this study, we used an exploratory sequential mixed methods design. First, the research team watched twenty recorded PS science lessons, transcribed the teacher’s comments about inquiry, and identified each class/lab’s phase of inquiry. Then, the research team coded the teacher’s transcribed inquiry comments. By using both the scientific proficiency and inquiry lenses to examine one teacher’s orchestration, our findings detail the art of teacher talk for promoting the four strands of scientific proficiencies through the phases of inquiry. As students transitioned through each phase of inquiry, the teacher emphasized the strands of scientific proficiency differently, but all strands were present. Since teachers play a vital role in developing students’ understanding of science as both content and practice, this research helps recognize and describe strategies promoting greater scientific proficiency in students.

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