Date of this Version
Lucas, L. & Lewis, E.B. (2018). Modeling Inquiry-oriented Instruction of Beginning Secondary Science Teachers. In Finlayson, O., McLoughlin, E., Erduran, S., & Childs, P. (Eds.), Electronic Proceedings of the ESERA 2017 Conference. Research, Practice and Collaboration in Science Education, Part 13 Pre-service Science Teacher Education (co-ed by Maria Evagorou & Marisa Michelini), (pp. 1742-1752). Dublin, Ireland: Dublin City University. ISBN 978-1-873769-84-3.
New national science education standards, the Next Generation Science Standards, in the United States (US) promote inquiry-based instruction through an integrated emphasis on scientific practices and disciplinary content. Thus, it is important for beginning science teachers to reach proficient implementation of reformed teaching practices by the end of their induction phase in order to become effective science teachers. Yet, extant science education research studies on development of beginning teachers’ classroom practices is rare. In this study, we collected data from a longitudinal study of science teachers from two teacher preparation programs - a bachelor’s program with teacher candidates who had less than a major in science and a 14-month master’s degree program with candidates who had at least a major in science - in a large, Midwestern university in the US. These data were used to examine the impact of observation-level and teacher-level characteristics on the likelihood of an observed science lesson being at or below a proficient inquiry level on the Electronic Quality of Inquiry Protocol (EQUIP) instrument. Using observation-level and teacher-level data, two-level hierarchical generalized linear models were built to investigate the relationship between proficiency in inquiry-oriented instruction and the predictor variables at both levels. The parameters estimated in the best fitting model for the data indicate that observation-level variables do not significantly predict the likelihood of an observed science lesson being at or below a proficiency level on the EQUIP scale. Among the teacher-level characteristics, only the teacher preparation program was found to be statistically significant. Controlling for all other variables in the best-fitting model, the likelihood of an observed lesson being taught at the proficient inquiry level was significantly higher for teachers with a stronger science background who graduated from the master’s program. Limitations of the study and future research directions are discussed.