Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Degree

Summer 2013

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Science Education

First Advisor

Brian Hand

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the shift of Thai teachers' views of learning and their pedagogical practices from the traditional approach to be more centered on an argument-based inquiry approach (ABI) in Thai classrooms, where teachers and learners have long been familiar with the lecture-based tradition. Other than examining the changes, the study further explored the relationship throughout the ABI implementation phase with a specific focus on driving questions, problem solving and reasoning, and establishing a supportive learning environment.

The study was conducted in Thailand with five physics teachers. Data collection involved classroom observations and teacher interviews. The constant comparative method was employed throughout the data analysis process. The research questions that guided this study were: (1) What changes occurred in teachers' pedagogical practices and views of learning throughout the implementation phase of the argument-based inquiry approach? (2) If change did occur, what was the relationship of the change among the observed criteria (questioning, problem solving, and the establishing of a supportive learning environment)?

The results revealed that after fourteen weeks, the three teachers who expressed a positive attitude toward the ABI approach and expressed their willingness to practice started to shift their practices and views of learning toward a student-centered model. Although each teacher exhibited a different starting point within the three observed criteria, they all began to shift their practices first, before reflecting on their beliefs. In contrast to these teachers, the other two teachers were impeded by several barriers and therefore failed to implement the approach. These positive attitude, willingness, and shift of practice appear to be connected and necessary for change.

The study highlights that in order to support the implementation of the ABI approach, especially in a large class size cultural setting, opportunities for teachers to be challenged in both classroom and cognitive spaces, where they are immersed in authentic practices and be able to reflect on their own actions as well as their existing beliefs, are crucial. However, to advance the dimensions of this issue, long-term professional development and a longitudinal study observing a large class size cultural settings are suggested.

Keywords

Argument-based Inquiry, Belief and Practice, Implementation, Thailand

Pages

xii, 240 pages

Bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 223-240).

Copyright

Copyright 2013 Nattida Promyod

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