Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Rivero, A. & Lewis, E. (2020). Reflection and Inquiry-based Teaching: Exploring Reflective Practices in Beginning Secondary Science Teachers. In Levrini, O. & Tasquier, G. (Eds.), Electronic Proceedings of the ESERA 2019 Conference. The beauty and pleasure of understanding: engaging with contemporary challenges through science education, Part 3, Strand 3 Science Teaching Processes (co-edited by Sabine Fechner & Roald Verhoeff), (pp. 320-329). Bologna, Italy: Alma Mater Studiorum- University of Bologna. ISBN 978-88-945874-0-1.


Conference proceedings paper


Science teachers’ reflections can be used as an opportunity to improve teaching through inquiry-based instruction (White, Frederiksen, & Collins, 2009), especially during their first years as teachers. Yet more work is still needed to support the development of beginning teachers’ reflective practices (Russell & Martin, 2014). The purpose of this exploratory multi-methods study was to describe: (a) beginning secondary science teachers’ reflective practices up to 4 years after completing their teacher education program, (b) the factors that might have an effect on these practices for participants, and (c) the connection (if any) between their inquiry-based instruction and reflective practices. We used open-ended interviews to describe the participants’ reflective practices, applying Cartwright (2011) levels of reflection, and to determine factors that could support or limit their reflective practices. Additionally, we analyzed classroom observations coded using EQUIP to understand the teachers’ inquiry-based teaching. We found that novice teachers can develop all levels of reflection, but they tended to be more unconscious when they teach a new course or teach out-of-field. Teaching experience, collaboration among teachers, and whole-school professional development can support science teachers to engage in higher levels of reflective practices. Finally, higher levels of reflection seemed to have a connection to more proficient use of inquiry-based instruction.