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Given reform recommendations emphasizing scientific inquiry and empirical evidence pointing to the difficulties beginning teachers face in enacting inquiry-based science, this study explores a well-started beginning elementary teacher’s (Sofia) beliefs about inquiry-based science and related instructional practices. In order to explore Sofia’s beliefs and instructional practices, several kinds of data were collected in a period of 9 months: a self-portrait and an accompanying narrative, a personal philosophy assignment, three interviews, three journal entries, ten lesson plans, and ten videotaped classroom observations. The analysis of these data showed that Sofia’s beliefs and instructional practices were reform-minded. She articulated contemporary beliefs about scientific inquiry and how children learn science and was able to translate these beliefs into practice. Central to Sofia’s beliefs about science teaching were scientific inquiry and engaging students in investigations with authentic data, with a prevalent emphasis on the role of evidence in the construction of scientific claims. These findings are important to research aiming at supporting teachers, especially beginning ones, to embrace reform recommendations.
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- A well-started beginning elementary teacher’s beliefs and practices in relation to reform recommendations about inquiry-based science
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