Secondary science teachers’ selective traditions and examples of inquiry-oriented approaches

  • Gyllenpalm J
  • Wickman P
  • Holmgren S
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This paper describes aspects of the existing tradition of practical work in secondary science education in Sweden, with a focus on inquiry-oriented teaching approaches. Twelve secondary science teachers were interviewed and asked to describe examples of their own teaching practices that they believed constituted inquiry-oriented teaching. The descriptions are analysed in relation to key components of inquiry as conceptualised in the science education literature. In addition, the teachers’ way of talking about their own teaching in relation to inquiry is described and analysed. The results show a wide variety of teaching approaches that are associated with inquiry in different ways. Although inquiry is valued by many teachers, it is also problematic. We discuss the nature of the problems associated with inquiry by the teachers and the possible consequences of these for teacher education, in-service training and curriculum development.




Gyllenpalm, J., Wickman, P.-O., & Holmgren, S.-O. (2017). Secondary science teachers’ selective traditions and examples of inquiry-oriented approaches. Nordic Studies in Science Education, 6(1), 44.

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