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Reflections on Discourse Practices During Professional Development on the Learning Cycle

Clare Valerie Bell and Arthur Louis Odom
Journal of Science Teacher Education
Vol. 23, No. 6 (2012), pp. 601-620
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43156665
Page Count: 20
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Reflections on Discourse Practices During Professional Development on the Learning Cycle
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Abstract

While much is known about K-12 teachers' participation in professional development (PD) on inquiry-based science instruction, how professors facilitate such PD is not as well documented. This reflective, descriptive study documents the pedagogical practices of three professors during a two-week summer PD program on inquiry-based science instruction. Twenty teachers of fourth-through ninth-grade students in a Midwestern city engaged in lessons based on the learning cycle (Lawson in Science teaching and the development of thinking. Wadsworth, Belmont, CA, Lawson 1995). Data sources included video-recorded observations with transcripts, videorecorded post-observation interviews with transcripts, and audio-recorded follow-up interviews with transcripts. Data were analyzed to create descriptive narratives around excerpts of discourse from PD sessions and interviews. Analyses indicated that implementation of the learning cycle lessons varied among the professors. These findings led to further questions concerning the professors' beliefs about the learning cycle and the ways that teachers were positioned as learners during PD.

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