Teacher Perceptions on Implementing Inquiry-Based Learning Approaches to Underrepresented STEM Populations
Keywords:teaching self-efficacy, Next Generation Science Standards, scientific inquiry, social constructivist theory, student-centered learning, guided inquiry
With the implementation of Next Generation Science Standards, educators shifted from lecturer to facilitator using inquiry-based learning approaches. Teachers may express anxiety about this role reversal in providing scientific instruction. This study addressed conflicting perspectives in the implementation of inquiry-based learning approaches as defined in the Next Generation Science Standards. Social cognitive theory and social development theory provided a theoretical framework through the concepts of self-efficacy and more knowledgeable other. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenology study was to gather research on 6-8th grade teachers’ perceptions of implementing inquiry-based learning approaches. Therefore, the overall research goal focused on lesson planning. Using criterion sampling, 15 teachers were selected based on five specific characteristics. Data were transcribed using a three-part interview in which participants reviewed for accuracy through member-checking. Bracketing was utilized to reduce researcher hidden bias. Transcribed data were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. The study key findings resulted in six themes including student developed scientific voice, active questioning, and modified lesson planning. Recommendation for this study include providing more instructional flexibility for addressing student prior knowledge in creating more effective social-constructivist classrooms.
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