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See detailStudent-driven Inquiry-based Science Education in Luxembourg Primary School Contexts
Wilmes, Sara UL

Doctoral thesis (2017)

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 ... [more ▼]

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. [less ▲]

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See detailMultimodal Wonderings
Siry, Christina UL; Wilmes, Sara UL

Presentation (2017)

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See detailExamining children’s agency within participatory structures in primary science investigations
Siry, Christina UL; Wilmes, Sara UL; Haus, Jana Maria

in Learning, Culture and Social Interaction (2016), 10

This research examines the use of participatory structures with children in a fourth grade classroom as they engage in an inquiry-based science unit. The dialectical relationship between structure and ... [more ▼]

This research examines the use of participatory structures with children in a fourth grade classroom as they engage in an inquiry-based science unit. The dialectical relationship between structure and agency is central to exploring these children's investigation, as children engaged in an investigation designed partly by themselves, in collaboration with their teachers and each other. We consider to what extent participatory structures mediated children's agency in science investigations. Using a combination of ethnographic and design experiment methods, we zoom in on a case study of one child and his collaborative activities with peers, to contextualize the process and underscore the claim that participatory structures created spaces for children to take agency in different ways. Specifically we demonstrate how open-ended structures and participatory curricular design mediated his agentic participation and also transformed the structures of the class, as teachers and students were positioned in new ways. [less ▲]

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See detailEngaging students in being/becoming scientists
Wilmes, Sara UL

Presentation (2016)

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Peer Reviewed
See detailInquiry identity and science teacher professional development
Wilmes, Sara UL; Bryce, Nadine; Bellino, Marissa

in Cultural Studies of Science Education (2016), 11(2), 235-251

An effective inquiry-oriented science teacher possesses more than the skills of teaching through investigation. They must address philosophies, and ways of interacting as a member of a group of educators ... [more ▼]

An effective inquiry-oriented science teacher possesses more than the skills of teaching through investigation. They must address philosophies, and ways of interacting as a member of a group of educators who value and practice science through inquiry. Professional development opportunities can support inquiry identity development, but most often they address teaching practices from limited cognitive perspectives, leaving unexplored the shifts in identity that may accompany teachers along their journey in becoming skilled in inquiry-oriented instruction. In this forum article, we envision Victoria Deneroff’s argument that ‘‘professional development could be designed to facilitate reflexive transformation of identity within professional learning environments’’ (2013, p. 33). Instructional coaching, cogenerative dialogues, and online professional communities are discussed as ways to promote inquiry identity formation and collaboration in ways that empower and deepen science teachers’ conversations related to personal and professional efficacy in the service of improved science teaching and learning. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 128 (2 UL)