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Title: Eliciting and Developing Students' Ideas and Questions in a Learner-Centered Environmental Biology Unit
Authors: Harris, Christopher J.
Phillips, Rachel S.
Penuel, William R.
Issue Date: Jun-2010
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS)
Citation: Harris, C. J., Phillips, R. S., & Penuel, W. R. (2010). Eliciting and Developing Students' Ideas and Questions in a Learner-Centered Environmental Biology Unit. In Gomez, K., Lyons, L., & Radinsky, J. (Eds.), Learning in the Disciplines: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2010) - Volume 1, Full Papers (pp. 261-268). Chicago IL: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: An important instructional practice for teachers in learner-centered science classrooms is to be able to work productively with students' ideas and questions. Eliciting and thoughtfully attending to students' thinking in order to help them advance in their learning is no easy matter, however. This study examined how teachers enacted instruction to elicit, connect, and build upon their elementary students' ideas and questions during an innovative twelve-week learner-centered environmental biology unit. The purpose of the study was to identify and describe successes, issues, and challenges related to incorporating students' ideas and questions into science instruction. Primary data sources included field notes taken during classroom observations and teacher interviews. We present three contrasting cases of teachers to highlight evidence that shows teachers' differing strategies for eliciting students' ideas and questions, and for developing students' ideas, questions and questioning skills. We discuss practical implications for designers of inquiry-based science curricula and professional development.
Appears in Collections:ICLS 2010

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