Transforming assessment and teaching practices in science inquiry

Serret, N. ORCID: 0000-0002-8105-1699, Harrison, C., Correia, C. and Harding, J., 2017. Transforming assessment and teaching practices in science inquiry. Journal of Emergent Science (JES) (12), pp. 48-54. ISSN 2046-4754

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ASSISTME (Assessing Inquiry in Science, Technology, and Mathematics Education) is an EU FP7 research project. In collaboration with 8 European countries, this fouryear (20132017) project aims to find out how to support primary and secondary teachers in the formative assessment of inquirybased learning in science, technology and mathematics.
Within this context, we developed a professional development programme that aimed to support primary teachers in their teaching and assessment of science inquiry. Our research aims to investigate how teachers transform their teaching of science inquiries and the assessment conversations that they have during classroom inquiries. This paper begins to identify what kinds of professional development experiences enable this transformation to take place.
Our data sources include written teacher reflections, audiorecordings of the professional development meetings and observed lessons and semistructured postlesson interviews. We draw from a multistep, opencoding analysis of selected transcripts of the audiorecordings of classroom talk made during lesson observations. We substantiate this with teacher reflections, arising from the professional development sessions, to extend our understanding of effective ways to guide teachers in transforming their teaching and assessment practices in scientific inquiry.
Our preliminary analysis suggests that transforming the assessment and teaching of science inquiry requires some specific professional development opportunities. Sharing some examples of classroom inquiries that were bounded, initially, and then later open (Wenning, 2005) gave teachers the confidence to incorporate inquiry within their existing practice. This was introduced in conjunction with regular professional reading (Turner et al, 2011) and a focus on discrete inquiry skills (e.g. making predictions).
Collectively, this allowed teachers to sharpen their professional understanding of classroom inquiry. The critical teacher reflections, made during professional development days, supported teachers in refining their formative practice. Their assessment conversations went beyond accepting or rejecting answers and, instead, facilitated a more open and formative discussion that encouraged children to share their ideas with others.

Item Type: Journal article
Description: Special edition
Publication Title: Journal of Emergent Science (JES)
Creators: Serret, N., Harrison, C., Correia, C. and Harding, J.
Publisher: Association for Science Education
Date: 2017
Number: 12
ISSN: 2046-4754
Divisions: Schools > School of Education
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 25 Sep 2017 14:15
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2017 13:38

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