Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education & Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Jody S. Piro, EdD

Second Advisor

Stephanie Bell, EdD

Third Advisor

Frank LaBanca, EdD

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the perspectives of practitioners of inquiry-based instruction from 35 Connecticut school districts. The source of the participants, Connecticut State Science Assessment Advisory Committee members, and their involvement in science education acted to bound the research.

Using a multiple case study design, data were gathered from 28 participants: teachers n = 21, curriculum leaders n = 4, professional development experts n = 2, and state education advisor/ teacher preparation expert n = 1 involved with Connecticut schools. Each participant was asked to complete an online demographic and inquiry utilization questionnaire. From the results of the questionnaires, a cadre of 11 participants was selected to participate in semi-structured interviews. A round of follow-up interviews of five key participants was conducted to further clarify the phenomenon. Two of the follow up interviewees were observed using the EQUIP rubric to assess inquiry implementation. Artifacts such as minutes, PowerPoint presentations, and a reflexive journal were collected throughout the study.

An inductive approach to content analysis of data from the survey and interviews was used to explore constructs, themes, and patterns. After segmentation took place, the data were categorized to allow patterns and constructs to emerge. The data were reduced based on the emergent design and those reductions, or themes, were informed by ongoing data collection using constant comparison as different levels of codes emerge. Data collection further informed data analysis and future data collection. Initial coding of patterns was reduced until theoretical saturation occurred and the data allowed five thematic findings to emerge from the data. The five themes were: teach, process, impasse, develop, and support. The significance of each theme and its implication for practitioners and researchers were discussed and offered, respectively.

Share

COinS