Journal of Science Teacher Education

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 573–588 | Cite as

Exploring Exemplary Elementary Teachers’ Conceptions and Implementation of Inquiry Science

  • Judith A. Morrison


This study was an exploration of the conceptions of inquiry science held by exemplary elementary teachers. The origins of these conceptions were explored in order to establish how best to improve elementary teachers’ understanding and implementation of inquiry science teaching. Four focus group sessions were held as well as classroom observations. Data were also collected through surveys and interviews. The six exemplary teachers in this study held ideas about inquiry as “finding things out” and all described themselves as having been children who explored and experimented with the world around them. The teachers provided information about successful classroom environments and attitudes that they use to achieve strong inquiry science learning. The teachers had a number of recommendations for helping other teachers become inquiry science teachers and suggestions for professional development for teachers are made based on these recommendations.


Inquiry science teaching Elementary science teaching Teachers’ conceptions about inquiry science 


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Copyright information

© The Association for Science Teacher Education, USA 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Teaching and LearningWashington State University Tri-CitiesRichlandUSA

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