Discourse of Inquiry in the Secondary Chemistry Classrooms
Nantana Taptamat, University of Queensland (Australia)
The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the modes of reasoning, task focus, and levels of cognitive processing that characterized students’ discourse of inquiry during learning Rate of Chemical Reaction taught by two teachers using different teaching approaches. In this study, discourse of inquiry referred to the ways of thinking, using language and acting during scientific inquiry process in the Year 11th chemistry classrooms. The data were collected from two chemistry classes in two secondary schools from June to August of 2016. One participating school is a girl school located in an urban area while another is a coeducational school located in a rural area. However, both schools are located in the northeast of Thailand, which is considered least developed compared to other regions. In collaboration with the researcher, the urban teacher used explanation-based model of teaching while the rural teacher used problem-based approach. However, both teachers put an emphasis on promoting discourse of inquiry. In addition, teaching and learning activities, in both classrooms, anticipated the classroom culture necessary to support whole-class and small group talk and how to engage students in productive scientific discourse. The empirical data were gathered through video and audio taping, interviews, field observation, students’ written responses, and researcher’s journal. Additionally, the primary data including video and audio recordings were transcribed and translated from Thai to English. The transcribed data were analyzed through a three-dimensional analysis framework which focused on the functions of language, the reasoning mode, and social mode. The results discussed how task focus based on different teaching approaches produced classroom discourse which demonstrated modes of reasoning and cognitive processing that students engaged verbally.
Keywords: discourse of inquiry in chemistry classrooms