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Conference Proceeding

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Influenced by the science standards, the inquiry approach of engaging students in conducting scientific investigations to foster their conceptual understanding is not new. However its benefit may be limited if teachers are unable to support learners to make connections among concepts and investigation data as students often have scattered, disconnected pieces of understanding about a topic. In this paper, we focus on teachers’ practices for students to conceptually interact with scientific concepts, ideas, and investigation data when they are asked to seek the data patterns and draw conclusions. We operationalize this practice as four dimensions with varying levels of openness and cognitive demands. Thirteen 5th grade teachers and their students participated in the study in which the video of lessons from two science modules were collected and coded and assessments differing in instructional sensitivity were administered to students before and at the end of the module. We found a significant relationship between the video data and the learning gain of students in their conceptual understanding.


Presented as part of the Paper Set: Beyond Student Test Scores: A More Comprehensive Look at Quality of Teaching Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching - March, 2012 Indianapolis, IN