WWW Site for John Lawrence Bencze, Associate Professor, Science Education, OISE/University of Toronto

Curriculum Vitae

Bencze, J.L., & Bowen, G.M. (2009a). Student-teachers' dialectically-developed motivation for promoting student-led science projects. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 7(1), 133-159.

School science systems tend to emphasize teaching and learning about achievements of science (such as laws and theories) at the expense of providing students with opportunities to develop realistic conceptions about science and science inquiry and expertise they could use to conduct their own science inquiry projects. Among reasons for such an emphasis, teachers’ lack of experiences with realistic science inquiry appears to be particularly problematic. Accordingly, we engaged student-teachers in a university-based course that attempted to balance instruction about science and science inquiry with student-teachers’ own theorization about science and science inquiry. Qualitative data collected mainly from nine student-teachers in four focus groups indicate that these student-teachers’ motivation for promoting student-led science inquiry projects in schools significantly increased by the end of the course. Analyses suggest that this outcome was influenced by changes in their conceptions about the nature of science, changes in how they associated science inquiry with student learning, and the inductive-deductive dialectic immersion that was built into their pre-service methods course. Implications of these
findings for science teacher education are explored in this paper.

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