Being in the hot spot: A phenomenological study of two beginning teachers experiences enacting inquiry science pedagogy

Oliver Dreon, Scott P. McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


This phenomenological study demonstrates the influence that affective factors have on beginning teachers ability to enact inquiry science pedagogy. Through narratives shared in interviews and weblog postings, two beginning science teachers emotional engagement with their teaching practices, especially that of implementing inquiry-based instruction, and the resulting impact these emotions had on pedagogical choices were evidenced. Anxiety emerged as the emotion most significantly impacting participants. Through their stories, the two participants describe how their emotions and views of self-influence whether they choose to continue using inquiry pedagogy or alter their lesson to adopt more didactic forms of teaching. These emotions arise from their feelings of being comfortable teaching the content (self-efficacy), from the unpredictability of inquiry lessons (control beliefs), from how they perceive their students as viewing them (teacher identity). This research also demonstrates how intertwined these factors are, informing each other in a complex, dialectical fashion. By providing descriptions of teachers experiences enacting inquiry pedagogy, this study expands our understanding of factors influencing teachers pedagogy and provides a basis for reforms in science teacher preparation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-313
Number of pages17
JournalTeachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2012


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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