Collaborating to Study Science Teaching: A Case Study

Frank E. Crawley , Jon E. Pedersen

Abstract



The purpose of this study was to form a science teacher and graduate-student researcher team in which its members engaged in a study of science teaching, and to examine the progress of the team's work through the creation of a case study. A graduate student and science teacher team was formed in one high school, and used collaborative action research methods to investigate students' learning in a general education biology course. As well, the action research project was used to examine the attempt of the research team (graduate student and teacher) to change instructional patterns in the teacher's classroom. Records were maintained throughout the project and examined to arrive at the study results, which revealed mixed success in improving learning and making change within the context of the classroom. Three tentative conclusions were warranted from an examination of the results of the case study:
1. A chain of reasoning exists that inhibits reform of existing teaching practices in ways that engage students,
2. Formation of a science teacher-graduate student team facilitates the adoption of a critical perspective on instruction, and
3. Beliefs about science teaching are firmly established and difficult to alter.

Keywords


Science; Education;Teaching; Collaborating

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