Ways of knowing beyond facts and laws of science: An ethnographic investigation of student engagement in scientific practices

Teresa Crawford, Gregory J. Kelly, Candice Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, an anthropological perspective informed by sociolinguistic discourse analysis was used to examine how teachers, students, and scientists constructed ways of investigating and knowing in science. Events in a combined fourth- and fifth-grade elementary class were studied to document how the participating teacher provided opportunities for students to diverge from the intended curriculum to pursue their questions concerning the behavior of sea animals in a marine science observation tank. Analysis of the classroom discourse identified ways that particular teaching strategies provided opportunities for student engagement in scientific practices. Implications of this study for the teaching of science in elementary classrooms include the value of student-initiated science explorations under the conditions of uncertainty and for topics in which the teacher lacked relevant disciplinary knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-258
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Research in Science Teaching
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education

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