Enacting classroom inquiry: Theorizing teachers' conceptions of science teaching

Scott McDonald, Nancy Butler Songer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Translating written curricular materials into rich, complex, learning environments is an undertheorized area in science education. This study examines two critical cases of teachers enacting a technology-rich curriculum focused on the development of complex reasoning around biodiversity for fifth graders. Two elements emerged that significantly impact teacher enactment - their conceptions of authenticity (authentic learning/authentic science) and their view of science (descriptive/inferential). The results suggest that disentangling the common conflation of these two elements supports a broader definition of inquiry science teaching that is more sensitive to context and individual teacher enactment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)973-993
Number of pages21
JournalScience Education
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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