The role of teachers' epistemologies in facilitating higher-level thinking using a computerised scientific database
Maor, D. and Taylor, P. (1993) The role of teachers' epistemologies in facilitating higher-level thinking using a computerised scientific database. In: 66th Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), 15 - 19 April 1993, Atlanta, Georgia
The purpose of this session is to discuss the results of a study which investigated students' development of higher-level thinking skills in a computerized learning environment which was designed to facilitate an inquiry-based approach to learning. The study involved an interpretive research approach which was supplemented by the analysis of quantitative data obtained from questionnaires. The original theoretical framework of the study, which was based on the field of inquiry learning, was extended to include constructivist perspectives. Interpretive analyses of data were conducted from personal and social constructivist perspectives, and led to the formulation of four assertions. In particular, the session will focus on the third and fourth assertions which address the social interactions and the influence of teachers' epistemologies on the development of students' higher-level thinking skills. In the class where the teacher implemented a constructivist-oriented approach to teaching that emphasized both the personal and social construction of students' knowledge, most students developed higher-level thinking skills. The results of this study suggest that it is not the computer itself which facilitates inquiry learning; the facilitative role of the teacher is essential for students to be able to utilize the computer as a tool of scientific inquiry.
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