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Budding Biology Teachers: Pre-service Secondary Biology Teachers' views of Inquiry Learning when visiting a Botanical Garden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-293
JournalJournal of Biological Education
Volume52
Issue number3
Early online date9 Aug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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King's Authors

Abstract

Teachers conceptualize inquiry learning in science learning differently. This is particularly evident when teachers are introduced to inquiry pedagogy within a new context. This exploratory study draws on semi-structured interviews conducted with eight pre-service secondary biology teachers following a day visit with university tutors to the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew. Emerging findings were: first, pre-service biology teachers’ views of inquiry learning range in sophistication from simple notions of ‘learning from doing’ to complex multi-notions such as student generated questions, developing curiosity and encouraging authentic scientific practices. Second, similarly their views of inquiry learning opportunities in botanical gardens ranged from simply places that offered ‘memorable experiences’ to enabling autonomous learning due to the organism diversity and multiple climates. Pre-service teachers categorised as having unsophisticated views of inquiry learning had limited expectations of botanical gardens as productive learning environments. Third, the majority of pre-service teachers were concerned about managing inquiry learning. A tension was identified between how open-ended an inquiry activity could be whilst ensuring student focus. Further, participants were concerned about the practical management of inquiry learning. We discuss implications for teacher educators and botanical garden educators and the requirement for curriculum development and promotion.

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