Kirch, S. A. (2009). Identifying and resolving uncertainty as a mediated action in science: A comparative analysis of the cultural tools used by scientists and elementary science students at work. Science Education, 95, 308–335.
This study compares scientific practices in a research laboratory and a second grade classroom. Through conversation analysis, the author found that in both settings similar processes were followed to establish a mutual understanding about what was seen, done and concluded in a collaborative investigation. The author shows how “mutual understanding” differs from “agreement,” and suggests ways to structure science inquiry activities that can engage young children with the tentative nature of science while helping them to resolve discrepant procedures, observations or interpretations.
Anderson, D., Thomas, G. P., & Nashon, S. M. (2009). Social barriers to meaningful engagement in biology field trip group work. Science Education, 93(3), 511–534.
Students working in small groups during a field trip to a nature center prioritized the maintenance of social roles within groups of friends rather than exhibiting the behaviors that educators might desire a well-functioning group to engage in for science learning. ISE professionals may consider teaching strategies to help students learn to work through disagreements and discussion within a group, which students perceive as having long-lasting negative social consequences.
Garcia-Mila, M., Anderson, C., & Rojo, N. E. (2011). Elementary students’ laboratory record keeping during scientific inquiry. International Journal of Science Education, 33(7), 915–942.
When engaging in inquiry, learners find it difficult to control variables, design appropriate experiments, and maintain continuity across inquiry sessions. To support learners, researchers developed an inquiry task that promoted record keeping. The aim was to highlight the role that record keeping can play in metacognition and, ultimately, in successful inquiry.
Sandoval, W. A., & Reiser, B. J. (2004). Explanation-driven inquiry: Integrating conceptual and epistemic scaffolds for scientific inquiry. Science Education, 88(3), 345–372. doi:10.1002/sce.10130
The past 50 years have seen a change in how science is perceived, from an “unproblematic accumulation of facts that describe the world” to a much messier enterprise involving building and revising models and theories. In an effort to bring this new understanding to science teaching and learning, this foundational article presents a conceptual framework of how inquiry can be driven by cognitive tools that support disciplinary knowledge. The authors use rubrics to help students gain a deeper understanding of their work and of the inquiry process.
Dorion, K.R. (2009). Science through drama: A multiple case exploration of the characteristics of drama activities used in secondary science lesson. International Journal of Science Education, 31(16), 2247–2270.
Dorion’s research, exploring the use of drama in science teaching, puts forth the concept of mime and role-play to help students to explore abstract scientific models. In addition, drama may support visualization of complex models. Drama can also change the dynamics within classroom talk and support a sense of community amongst students fostered by collaboration, social interaction, and fun.