Summary of Research Study
The researchers, Jennifer Fischer-Mueller and Dana Zeidler, in their article A Case Study of Teacher Beliefs in Contemporary Science Education Goals and Classroom Practices, conducted a case study involving science teachers and students in a classroom setting. Fischer-Mueller and Zeidler tried to determine if teachers who believed that science should be taught as inquiry (Constructivism) rather than instruction based (Cognitivism), actually practiced their belief in the classroom. The researcher (Fischer-Mueller), teachers, and students in the case study were from Souhegan High School in New Hampshire. The researchers used a qualitative research ...view middle of the document...
Are the teachers’ beliefs in line with their practices? While the teachers are the essential participants in the case study, the students are integral to the observations. The students’ learning is the foundation on which the instructor bases their belief in the effectiveness of the contemporary goals (Fischer-Mueller & Zeidler, 2002).
As stated, nine teachers participated in the original survey from which the research used purposeful sampling to select the three teachers that would participate in the case study. Fischer-Mueller conducted multiple observations and interviews. The observations allowed the researchers to observe the practices of the teachers, which were videotaped and accompanied by field notes; however, the research does not state if the observations were random or by appointment. If the teachers had knowledge of the purpose of the case study they could have planned their lesson on the contemporary goals, which could reflect bias in the results. If the observations were random the case for bias would be unfounded. In addition to observations, the researchers conducted multiple, semi-structured, audiotaped interviews with the teachers.
The research design approach used by the researchers was a qualitative case study. It is qualitative in its approach because the researchers used observations and interviews as a means of collecting data. It is a case study because it is in in depth look at the practices of science teachers in the classroom and their beliefs of the effectiveness of the contemporary goals. Fischer-Mueller used a survey of nine teachers to aid in purposeful sampling. A survey is a quantitative research design approach.
Data Collection Procedures and...