This study investigated small-group discussions in an inquiry-based middle school science classroom. The purpose of the study was to determine the teacher and curriculum factors that provide support (or not) for students' sense-making discussions. To do this, two student groups were videotaped as they participated in force/motion activities. Analysis revealed that sense-making discussion was influenced by an occasional lack of teacher adherence to the curriculum philosophy, particular types of discussion prompts, the drawing of free-body and energy diagrams, and other teacher and curriculum factors.
Published August 4, 2004
Last Modified May 9, 2012
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