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Changes in a science teacher’s pedagogical practices and beliefs following ABI: onsite ongoing professional support

Erdal, Fatma Nur
The purpose of the current study was to investigate how a middle school science teacher’s pedagogical practices and beliefs about teaching and learning has changed during implementation of argument-based inquiry (ABI). In this context, one-on-one onsite ongoing professional support was provided to the teacher by considering teacher’s needs. The participant of this study was one middle school science teacher. The multiple data sources were collected as part of the research: video records of teacher’s classroom implementations, teacher interviews, audio records of briefings and informal conversations, researcher’s field notes and onsite observations. The video-recorded lessons and the semi structured interviews were two main data sources. Data analysis was conducted by using RTOP scores and constant comparative method. The results indicated that ongoing-onsite support contributed to teacher’s advancement in her ABI practices in the classroom. The participant teacher shifted her pedagogical practice from traditional teacher centered teaching to a more student-centered approach. Additionally, the teacher’s beliefs about teaching and learning shifted. There is a change in teacher’s beliefs to a more student-focused pedagogy over the professional development period. The present study showed that the teacher’s beliefs about learning is the central belief which is the reference point of the other beliefs. Furthermore, the results showed that there is a bi-directional relationship between beliefs and practice which confirms Thompson's (1992) theoretical model that there is a dialectic relationship between beliefs and practice. At the end, this study provided recommendations for teacher professional development.