Doctoral thesis (Dissertations and theses)
Student-driven Inquiry-based Science Education in Luxembourg Primary School Contexts
Wilmes, Sara


Full Text
DOMBKOWSKI WILMES Dissertation 2017 final revised.pdf
Author postprint (4.41 MB)

All documents in ORBilu are protected by a user license.

Send to


Keywords :
Science education; inquiry-based; multilingual; Luxembourg; primary school science education; heteroglossia; plurilingual; student voice as resource; student-driven; sociocultural theoretical frameworks
Abstract :
[en] This study examined the use of a student-driven inquiry-based science education instructional approach designed specifically to meet the contextualized needs of Luxembourg primary schools. The key issues, namely an increasing linguistically diverse student population and limited instructional time for science, were considered in the design of the instructional approach. Drawing on theories of dialogic inquiry, the instructional approach engages students in asking questions and designing investigations to build their science understanding. This interpretive qualitative study utilized a multi-perspective approach to analyse how teachers used the instructional approach in their classrooms and explored two overarching research questions, first, what instructional opportunities does Science Workshop, an inquiry-based student-driven science instructional approach, afford when used in Luxembourg primary classrooms? And second, what does analysis of interactions in these contexts reveal about inquiry-based science instruction in multilingual classrooms? Qualitative methodologies, specifically case studies of classroom implementation, were used to examine the use of the program teachers’ adaptations of the program in their classrooms. Bakhtinian notions of heteroglossia and dialogic pedagogies were used as lenses to examine the instructional opportunities afforded. Interaction analysis was used to examine instruction in a focal classroom when the inquiry-based approach was used. Analyses rooted in sociocultural theoretical frameworks of science and language learning revealed three key contributions toward the use of IBSE in Luxembourg primary schools. First, the key characteristics of teacher professional learning opportunities that supported teachers’ use of the program in Luxembourg, which included workshops, material support, and opportunities to share implementation cases were identified. Second, the ways in which ritualized instructional components afford students spaces to engage on micro-scales in building synchronous interactions during science investigations were revealed. Third, that the science notebooks can position students to engage in dialogic discussions surrounding science investigations was shown through detailed analysis. Taken together, these interrelated points contribute to an understanding of the use of student-driven instructional approaches in multilingual science classrooms in general, while revealing implications for the use of inquiry-based science instructional approaches in Luxembourg primary schools specifically.
Disciplines :
Education & instruction
Author, co-author :
Wilmes, Sara ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Education, Culture, Cognition and Society (ECCS)
Language :
Title :
Student-driven Inquiry-based Science Education in Luxembourg Primary School Contexts
Defense date :
13 June 2017
Institution :
Unilu - University of Luxembourg, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg
Degree :
Docteur en Science de l'Education
Jury member :
de Saint-Georges, Ingrid 
Espinet, Mariona Blanch
Otrel-Cass, Kathrine
Focus Area :
Educational Sciences
Funders :
FNR - Fonds National de la Recherche [LU]
Available on ORBilu :
since 12 September 2017


Number of views
235 (33 by Unilu)
Number of downloads
250 (16 by Unilu)


Similar publications

Contact ORBilu