Understanding science teachers' enactments of a computer-based inquiry curriculum

Su Chi Fang, Ying Shao Hsu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In order to spread and encourage the use of innovative computer-based inquiry curricula in classrooms, it is fundamental to understand how teachers enact the curricula. It is also essential to study what kinds of teaching practices can enhance students' science learning. Based on a two-dimensional framework, the case study explored teachers' enactments of a computer-based inquiry unit on the topic of plate tectonics, and examined how the enactments might impact students' conceptual understanding and inquiry abilities. Two secondary teachers and a total of 62 students participated in the study. Data included students' performance during the unit, pre- and post-unit tests, videos of the lessons, and teacher interviews. The findings showed that during the unit, the two classes' performances were significantly different. The unit test results indicated that there were also significant differences in the conceptual item scores of the two classes, but not in the inquiry item scores. The video analysis showed that the two teachers had distinct enactments in terms of the cognitive and guidance dimensions. Both of the teachers' discourse was focused on the conceptual domain. However, the teaching strategies involved and the classroom social norms being shaped were diverse. Regarding the guidance dimension, one teacher provided a highly-structured, step-by-step approach in contrast with the other teacher's more freely–structured, segmented approach. By associating different teaching enactments with students' learning both during and after the unit, we discuss how the pedagogical features presented in the teacher enactments might contribute to students' conceptual and inquiry learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-82
Number of pages14
JournalComputers and Education
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sept
Externally publishedYes


  • Improving classroom teaching
  • Pedagogical issues
  • Secondary education
  • Teaching/learning strategies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Education


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