"Information at Their Hands": Applying Sociocultural Theory to an Analysis of the Pedagogical Moves of Pre-Service Science Teachers During a Science Lesson
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The National Science Education Standards (NSES) state that students must "experience scientific inquiry directly to gain a deep understanding of its characteristics" (Olson & Loucks-Horsley, 2000, p. 14). The standards also emphasize the use of technology to help students collect, organize, analyze, interpret and present data in ways similar to scientists. This means that pre-service science teachers must be prepared to teach science with inquiry and technology. This bounded case study examined the narratives associated with the science lessons taught by seven pre-service science teachers (PSTs) and uncovered the hidden dialogicality linked to the pedagogical moves they mediated during these science lessons. A sociocultural approach was used to study their pedagogical actions because their actions took place in the socially situated environment of a school classroom (Wertsch, 1993). Through a series of narratives told and constructed by each PST, I examined how they learned science as students, how they learned how to teach science and how they eventually taught a science lesson. Their narratives enabled me to see why the PSTs made the pedagogical choices they did when given the opportunity to teach with technology and to identify the key events in their stories that they felt compelled to tell me about the science experiences in their lives. I specifically looked at the tools and signs (Vygotsky, 1978) used during their lesson, how they spoke about these tools in their narratives and the hidden dialogicality (1993) contained in those narratives. Results showed that pre-service science teachers who grew up in an era of science education reform did not learn science using inquiry supported with technology, nor did they have student teaching placements that would have enabled them to learn how to teach with inquiry supported by technology. Results also indicated that pre-service science teachers could successfully integrate a lower level of inquiry (Windschitl, 1993) supported by technology into a science lesson. The sociocultural analysis revealed that many historical, cultural and institutional factors contributed to the use of lower levels of inquiry use.