Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Brian M. Hand

Second Advisor

Michael P. Clough


One of the critical issues in reforming science education is that despite nearly a century of efforts to promote inquiry as a means for students to learn science, teachers often do not effectively implement inquiry-based instruction. In order to provide inservice teachers with assistance in making the necessary changes in their practice by developing new skills, knowledge and beliefs, a variety of professional development programs have been created.;This study was conducted to examine a group of teachers for changes in their practice and beliefs as they implemented the Science Writing Heuristic (SWH) approach to inquiry instruction while receiving long-term in-class support. In addition, the relationship between the teachers' beliefs and the extent that their practice changed was also explored.;The results of this study suggest several emerging themes. Although a number of barriers relating to the teachers' skills, knowledge and beliefs were identified, two of the three teachers did make progress towards more effective implementation of the SWH approach. The teachers' beliefs appeared to play a significant role in the effective implementation of inquiry and the extent that their practice changed. The time that the teachers' invested into enacting the SWH approach in their classroom also appeared to play an important role in the extent to which change in practice occurred. Finally, the results of this study suggest that professional development may better help meet current educational goals if the focus is on assisting well-trained teachers in refining their practice rather than attempting major changes in those who lack the basic skills, knowledge and beliefs required to implement inquiry effectively.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Mark Edmund Williams



Proquest ID


OCLC Number




File Format


File Size

187 pages