Enacting classroom inquiry: Theorizing teachers' conceptions of science teaching

Scott McDonald, Nancy Butler Songer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


Translating written curricular materials into rich, complex, learning environments is an undertheorized area in science education. This study examines two critical cases of teachers enacting a technology-rich curriculum focused on the development of complex reasoning around biodiversity for fifth graders. Two elements emerged that significantly impact teacher enactment - their conceptions of authenticity (authentic learning/authentic science) and their view of science (descriptive/inferential). The results suggest that disentangling the common conflation of these two elements supports a broader definition of inquiry science teaching that is more sensitive to context and individual teacher enactment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)973-993
Number of pages21
JournalScience Education
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2008


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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