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Utilizing an early childhood science curriculum

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Utilizing an early childhood science curriculum factors influencing implementation and how variations affect students' skills and attitudes
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Shamas-Brandt, Ellen
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Early childhood education ( lcsh )
Science -- Study and teaching (Early childhood) ( lcsh )
Early childhood education ( fast )
Science -- Study and teaching (Early childhood) ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
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Early childhood is a ripe time for students to begin learning science, but due to certain constraints, this instruction is not happening as frequently as it should. This mixed-methods, multiple case study examined how two teachers implemented an early childhood science curriculum, the Young Scientist Series. The teacher participants were two early childhood teachers, and student participants were three groups of 4 to 6-year-olds they taught for eight weeks. The study investigated how the teachers' pedagogical decisions affected their students' process skills acquisition and attitudes toward science. It specifically examined how the teachers made choices about what to include, change, omit, and add to the lessons. It also analyzed the levels of inquiry present in the lessons (structured, guided, or open). Quantitative data were collected from the teachers through questionnaires, checklists, and observations, and qualitative data were gathered through interviews. Student data were quantitative. Their science process skills and attitudes towards science were assessed with two age-appropriate instruments, the Science Learning Assessment and the Puppet Interview Scale for Competence in and Enjoyment of Science. Findings showed that the students of the teacher who followed the curriculum more closely and employed more structured inquiry did not grow in their process skills, and their attitudes followed a normal distribution. The students of the teacher who followed the curriculum more leniently and employed more guided inquiry grew in their process skills in significant ways. Their attitudes followed a negatively skewed distribution, reflecting that a majority of the students scored very highly on the attitude assessment.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Ellen Shamas-Brandt.

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Full Text
UTILIZING AN EARLY CHILDHOOD SCIENCE CURRICULUM:
FACTORS INFLUENCING IMPLEMENTATION AND HOW VARIATIONS
AFFECT STUDENTS SKILLS AND ATTITUDES
by
Ellen Shamas-Brandt
B.M., University of Colorado, 1987
M.Ed., Vanderbilt University, 1988
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Educational Leadership and Innovation
2012


2012 Ellen Shamas-Brandt
All rights reserved


This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy degree by
Ellen Shamas-Brandt
has been approved for the
Educational Leadership and Innovation Degree
by
Michael P. Marlow, Chair
Karen Johnson
John Pauli
Robert Talbot
Donna Wittmer
Date
m
March 26, 2012


Shamas-Brandt, Ellen (Ph.D., Educational Leadership and Innovation)
Utilizing an Early Childhood Science Curriculum: Factors Influencing Implementation
and How Variations Affect Students Skills and Attitudes
Thesis directed by Associate Professor Michael P. Marlow.
ABSTRACT
Early childhood is a ripe time for students to begin learning science, but due to certain
constraints, this instruction is not happening as frequently as it should. This mixed-
methods, multiple case study examined how two teachers implemented an early
childhood science curriculum, the Young Scientist Series. The teacher participants were
two early childhood teachers, and student participants were three groups of 4 to 6-year-
olds they taught for eight weeks. The study investigated how the teachers pedagogical
decisions affected their students process skills acquisition and attitudes toward science.
It specifically examined how the teachers made choices about what to include, change,
omit, and add to the lessons. It also analyzed the levels of inquiry present in the lessons
(structured, guided, or open). Quantitative data were collected from the teachers through
questionnaires, checklists, and observations, and qualitative data were gathered through
interviews. Student data were quantitative. Their science process skills and attitudes
towards science were assessed with two age-appropriate instruments, the Science
Learning Assessment and the Puppet Interview Scale for Competence in and Enjoyment
of Science. Findings showed that the students of the teacher who followed the
curriculum more closely and employed more structured inquiry did not grow in their
process skills, and their attitudes followed a normal distribution. The students of the
teacher who followed the curriculum more leniently and employed more guided inquiry


grew in their process skills in significant ways. Their attitudes followed a negatively
skewed distribution, reflecting that a majority of the students scored very highly on the
attitude assessment.
Keywords: early childhood, science, curriculum, inquiry, process skills, attitudes
The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.
Approved: Michael P. Marlow
v


DEDICATION
I dedicate this work to William L. Goodwin, a man whose intelligence,
humor, love of learning, support, kindness, and perseverance have continued to inspire
me to achieve my goals.
vi


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I would like to thank many people for their support during my Ph.D. program. To
start, I want to express my appreciation to my Dissertation Committee. Many thanks to
Mike Marlow, who took me on as an advisee very late in my program, offered me
support, and always made me feel confident in my ability to finish. I am so thankful for
his willingness to become my advisor at a time when I needed it most, both academically
and emotionally. His suggestions for others to round out my committee were
thoughtfully considered and helpful to me. Donna Wittmer, who has been a mentor from
the very beginning of my academic program, has also been instrumental in helping me in
my focus on early childhood education. Donnas focus on young children has always
inspired me to look towards a project that I felt would help children in the process of
conducting research. Bud Talbot has been tremendously helpful to me in terms of
working on data collection and analysis, as well as offering constructive feedback
through the drafts of my dissertation. His willingness to meet with me anytime I needed
assistance was so appreciated. John Paulis sense of humor and encouragement have
often helped lighten the moments. I also felt, through him, the presence of someone else
who has been greatly missed. Karen Johnson has offered another perspective in this
process. It has been helpful to have a person on this committee who teaches in the public
schools system, someone who understands the competing demands so well. Karens
dissertation has also provided me with a strong example to follow when trying to write a
dissertation with meaning. Last of all, I want to thank Bill Goodwin for his incredible
support through the years of my program. He was one of the first I ever met, and I will
Vll


never forget him. Bills interest in love of learning was a factor in deciding what I
wanted to consider as one of my research questions.
I also need to thank my colleagues from my school system and elementary school.
My principals supported my development through the program and understood the
importance of learning to me. I am forever indebted to them for allowing me to take an
educational sabbatical to complete my program. The teammates who worked with me
and the long term substitutes who covered for me were also important players in this
program completion. It was a team effort, even if some of them didnt realize it.
I thank the preschool directors, staff members, and students who were involved in
this study. I especially thank the two teachers who fully participated and their students.
They gave time, energy, and enthusiasm to this project, and I could not have done it
without them.
I also must thank several organizations for their financial support. Huge thanks
go to the Chickasaw Nation, who provided me with scholarship and grant funding for the
program. The laptop grant was especially helpful to me, as I used it for most of my
dissertation work. I also want to thank Steven Rhoden at Redleaf Press for providing
curriculum and training materials to me for this study. Jennifer Selby at Delta Education
provided additional book sets for the classrooms, which were very much appreciated. I
also want to thank the professionals in the field of early childhood science education who
allowed me to use their instruments and diagrams.
Last of all, I want to thank my family members for their support. My siblings,
Laura and Huck, always supported and believed in me. Laura was especially inspiring to
me, because she helped me realize that I, too, could work towards a Ph.D. She has been,
viii


and always will be, a primary role model in my life. My husband, George, has realized,
from the moment we met, that this program was so important to me. He was a patient
listener to my tales of inter-rater reliability and curriculum implementation. He also held
down the fort at home when I had to solely focus on the dissertation. My parents,
Annawyn and Jimmy Shamas, have been amazing through this process. They have
helped me with child care, support, and always a belief that I could do this. I dont think
enough words exist to thank them appropriately. Last of all, I want to thank my
wonderful daughters, Kaylene and Annamarie, for their support of my involvement in
this program. Even as young children, they realized how important it was. Ill never
forget mentioning to someone how I was tempted to give up several years ago, and
Kaylene overheard me. She stated, Mom, if youre ever tempted to quit again, you
come and talk to us. These words were stated from the mouth of a child. My interest in
early childhood emerged when I became a mother to these girls, and I am so grateful for
their flexibility and adaptability. Many thanks to all of the people who helped me, in
ways large and small, complete this Ph.D. program. I could not have done it without the
support of an incredible team of people.
IX


TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. INTRODUCTION.............................................................1
Introduction..........................................................1
Importance of Early Childhood Science.................................2
The Problem...........................................................3
Standards and Accountability..........................................4
Early Childhood Science Curriculum....................................5
Curriculum Implementation.............................................6
Inquiry...............................................................7
Theoretical Framework................................................10
Research Questions and Hypotheses....................................12
Overview of Methodology..............................................13
Structure of the Dissertation........................................15
II. LITERATURE REVIEW...................................................... 17
Introduction.........................................................17
Historical Background................................................17
Teacher Beliefs......................................................18
Teacher Identity.....................................................21
Constructivism.......................................................25
Inquiry..............................................................27
Levels of Inquiry....................................................29
Curriculum Implementation............................................32
Concems-Based Adoption Model..........................................34
x


Decisions
36
Student Attitudes........................................................37
Conclusion...............................................................39
III. RESEARCH DESIGN............................................................41
Overview of the Methods..................................................41
Phase 1: Pre-Curriculum Implementation...................................42
Sites................................................................42
Wright Elementary School and Preschool............................44
Burris Elementary School and Preschool............................45
Comparison of the Schools.........................................46
Participants.........................................................47
Phase 1 Teacher Data.................................................50
Quantitative Teacher Data.........................................50
Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument....................50
Attitudes and Beliefs About Science Questionnaire Inquiry Teaching
sub scale......................................................51
Preschool Classroom Science Materials/Equipment Checklist......52
Qualitative Teacher Data: Interviews..............................53
Phase 1: Quantitative Student Data...................................53
Teacher Training.....................................................55
Phase 2: Curriculum Implementation.......................................57
Teaching Expections..................................................57
Preschool Science Lesson Observational Scale.........................58
Students: Preschool Student Interest Assessment......................63
Training.............................................................64
Focused Exploration ..................................................64
xi


Phase 3: Post Curriculum Implementation.....................................67
Teacher Data............................................................67
Student Data............................................................68
Data Analysis........................................................69
Qualitative: Constant Comparative Analysis.......................69
Qualitative: Domain Analysis.....................................71
Qualitative: Taxonomic Analysis..................................72
Qualitative: Preschool Science Lesson Observational Scale........74
Quantitative Data Analysis.......................................74
Looking Ahead...............................................................76
IV. CASE STUDY OF MRS. KENNEDY....................................................77
Structure of the Chapter....................................................77
Mrs. Kennedy: Description of the Classroom..................................78
Beliefs.....................................................................80
Beliefs About Science Teaching.........................................80
Beliefs About Inquiry..................................................85
Materials Checklist.....................................................90
Beliefs About Curriculum...............................................92
Beliefs About The Young Scientist Series...............................92
Observational Scale.....................................................94
Decisions Made.........................................................100
Scheduling..........................................................100
Student Choice......................................................101
How Soon to Move From Open Exploration to Focused Exploration ... 102
Focused Exploration: Plants or Animals..............................103
xii


What to Cover During Focused Exploration..........................104
Student Questions....................................................105
Overall Levels of Inquiry............................................107
Connections Between Levels of Inquiry and Prestudy Attitudes on STEBI,
Inquiry Teaching Subscale, and Materials Checklist...................109
Student Data.........................................................109
Pre and Post SLA..................................................Ill
PISCES............................................................112
Conclusion...............................................................115
V. CASE STUDY OF MRS. BENEDICT.................................................117
Structure of the Chapter.................................................117
Mrs. Benedict: Description of the Classroom..............................118
Beliefs..................................................................120
Beliefs About Science Teaching......................................120
Beliefs About Inquiry...............................................123
Materials Checklist..................................................129
Beliefs About Curriculum............................................130
Beliefs About The Young Scientist Series............................132
Observational Scale..................................................133
Decisions Made.......................................................138
Scheduling........................................................138
Whole Group Versus Small Group....................................139
Student Choice....................................................139
How Soon to Move From Open Exploration to Focused Exploration ... 140
Focused Exploration: Plants or Animals............................140
What to Cover During Focused Exploration..........................141
xiii


Student Questions.......
Overall Levels of Inquiry
142
143
Connections Between Levels of Inquiry and Prestudy Attitudes on STEBI,
Inquiry Teaching Subscale, and Materials Checklist..................144
Student Data........................................................145
Pre and Post SLA.................................................145
PISCES...........................................................148
Conclusion..............................................................150
VI. COMPARISONS AND CONCLUSIONS...............................................153
Structure of the Chapter................................................153
Efficacy and Science Teaching.......................................153
Inquiry Subscale: Pre and Post .....................................156
Materials Checklist ................................................158
Beliefs About Curriculum............................................159
Young Scientist Series .............................................160
Observations .......................................................161
Student Questions................................................163
Inquiry..........................................................163
Decisions...........................................................164
Student Data........................................................167
Revisit Research Questions..............................................169
Limitations of the Study................................................171
Future Research.........................................................174
Synthesis...............................................................175
Conclusion..............................................................183
xiv


APPENDICES..............................................186
REFERENCES..............................................276
xv


LIST OF TABLES
Table
IE. 1 Overview of the Three Phases of the Study.................................43
IH.2 Burris Preschool Tuition Rates.............................................46
in.3 Data Collection Instruments Used During Each Phase of the Study............49
in.4 Science Materials Provided to Each Classroom During Phase 1..................56
IE.5 Science Materials Provided to Each Classroom During Phase 2..................66
in.6 Teacher Statements on Science Instruction and Codes Assigned to Them.......70
IV. 1 STEBI Scores for Teachers................................................81
IV.2 Mrs. Kennedy's Pre STEBI to Post STEBI Response Shifts.....................84
IV.3 Mrs. Kennedy's Observational Data..........................................95
IV.4 Student Questions During Mrs. Kennedy's Lessons............................106
IV.5 Levels of Inquiry in Mrs. Kennedy's Lessons................................108
IV.6 Descriptive Statistics Burris Preschool SLA Pretest and Posttest............110
IV. 7 Descriptive Statistics Burris Preschool PISCES............................114
V. l STEBI Scores for Teachers................................................121
V.2 Mrs. Benedict's Pre STEBI to Post STEBI Response Shifts.....................123
V.3 Mrs. Benedict's Pre Inquiry Teaching Subscale to Post Inquiry Teaching Subscale
Response Shifts..................................................................127
V.4 Mrs. Benedict's Observational Data...........................................134
V.5 Student Questions During Mrs. Benedict's Lessons............................143
V.6 Levels of Inquiry in Mrs. Benedict's Lessons................................144
V.7 Descriptive Statistics Wright Preschool SLA Pretest and Posttest............146
V.8 Descriptive Statistics Wright Preschool PISCES...............................150
xvi


VI. 1 Comparison of Teacher Data...........................
VI.2 Student Data for Mrs. Kennedys and Mrs. Benedicts Classes
XVII


LIST OF FIGURES
Figure
1.1 Young Childrens Inquiry. (Chalufour & Worth, 2003, p. 116). Reproduced with
permission of Karen Worth.........................................................9
1.2 Theoretical Framework for the Study...........................................11
m.l Taxonomy of Mrs. Benedicts responses regarding curriculum implementation.... 73
IV. 1 Diagram of Mrs. Kennedys classroom.........................................79
IV.2 Taxonomic analysis of Mrs. Kennedys views of inquiry science prestudy.........87
IV.3 Taxonomic analysis of Mrs. Kennedys views on inquiry science poststudy........89
IV.4 The SLA pretest total distribution...........................................110
IV.5 The SLA posttest total distribution..........................................Ill
IV. 6 The PISCES total distribution...............................................113
V. l Diagram of Mrs. Benedicts classroom.......................................119
V.2 Taxonomic analysis of Mrs. Benedicts views on inquiry science prestudy.......125
V.3 Taxonomic analysis of Mrs. Benedict's views on inquiry science poststudy......128
V.4 The SLA pretest total distribution............................................146
V.5 The SLA posttest total distribution...........................................147
V.6 The PISCES total distribution.................................................149
A.l Demographic breakdown of Burris and Wright Elementary Schools.................187
xviii


LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
C-BAM
ECHOS
Inquiry Teaching subscale
Materials Checklist
NCLB
Observational Scale
PISCES
PrePS
PreSLA
PostSLA
PSTEB
SLA
SPSS
STEBI
STEM
SWEPT
STOE
Concems-Based Adoption Model
Early Childhood Hands On Science
Attitudes and Beliefs About Science Questionnaire
Inquiry Teaching sub scale
Preschool Science Materials/Equipment Checklist
No Child Left Behind
Preschool Science Lesson Observational Scale
Puppet Interview Scale for Competence In and
Enjoyment of Science
Preschool Pathways to Science
Prestudy Science Learning Assessment
Poststudy Science Learning Assessment
Personal Science Teaching Efficacy Belief
Science Learning Assessment
Statistical Package for the Social Sciences
Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument
Science, Technology, Engineering, and
Mathematics
Scientific Work Experiences Programs for Teachers
Science Teaching Outcome Expectancy
xix


CHAPTER
I. INTRODUCTION
Introduction
The subject of science has received more attention in the educational arena during
the past decade. As a result of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, commonly
known as No Child Left Behind (No Child Left Behind Act, 2001), science has generated
interest in educators of even the youngest children. No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
requires that states administer a science test in each of three grades (3-5, 6-9, 10-12), a
requirement that began in 2007-2008 (New Science Software, 2007). NCLB has
evolved since its initial implementation, and the federal government has granted some
states waivers from NCLB requirements. Despite these changes, the federal government
still requires states to account for their students learning through high-stakes
assessments. Since younger children are being tested on their science knowledge,
concerns about science proficiency have surfaced (Penuel, Fishman, Gallagher, Korbak,
& Lopez-Prado, 2009).
President Barack Obama has stressed the importance of science education, not
only in his 2008 presidential campaign ("A World Class Education," 2008) but in his
2011 State of the Union Address. In that Address, he advocated for more scientific
innovations in our society ("State of the Union 2011," 2011). He also expressed concern
that the quality of our math and science instruction lags behind many other nations. On
July 18, 2011, President Obama announced four major commitments to education. One of
them was termed the Educate to Innovate campaign, created to accomplish the
following:
1


Improve the participation and performance of Americas students in science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and includes efforts from the
federal government and from leading companies, foundations, non-profits, and
science and engineering societies to work with young people across America to
excel in science and math (Education, 2011).
As a result of these political and societal pressures, educators of all levels are
beginning to reexamine science education. Rowena Douglas, the past program director
for K-8 science at the National Science Foundation, acknowledged that interest in
science was growing even in the preschool community (Jacobson, 2002). This renewed
interest in science makes the topic of early childhood science curriculum a timely one.
Importance of Early Childhood Science
Childrens foundations for learning begin in early childhood, and the subject of
science is no exception. Research has shown that the foundation for educational
opportunities in science can help promote childrens learning in the subject (Saracho &
Spodek, 2008). During the preschool years, children begin to construct science concepts
of more complexity (Lind, 1998). Critical spans for knowledge attainment in young
children occur between the ages of four and six, and for some subjects this critical
window closes early (Begley & Hager, 1996). According to Eshach and Fried (2005),
science is one of those subjects.
One of the most important reasons for including science in early childhood
education is because science taps into childrens natural curiosity (Eshach, 2006; Eshach
& Fried, 2005; French, 2004; Rillero, 2005; Worth & Grollman, 2003). Children are also
more capable of reasoning in scientific ways than previously thought (Eshach & Fried,
2


2005), and are able to create theories about the world and how it works (Conezio &
French, 2002). These skills and ways of thinking are important to learning throughout life
(Worth & Grollman, 2003).
The Problem
Despite the importance of starting science instruction early (Brenneman & Louro,
2008; Kallery, Psillos, & Tselfes, 2009; Tsunghui, 2006; Yoon & Onchwari, 2006), many
young children are not receiving science instruction (Chaille & Britain, 2003; Ginsburg
& Golbeck, 2004). The reasons are many. One of the most important reasons is that
early childhood teachers do not feel equipped to teach science (Friedl & Koontz, 2005;
Watters, Diezmann, Grieshaber, & Davis, 2001). Many feel they lack the content
knowledge needed to teach science (Forbes & Davis, 2008; Gilbert, 2009; Kallery, 2004;
Kallery et al., 2009; Lewthwaite & Fisher, 2005; Start Science Sooner, 2010). In
Gilberts (2009) study, approximately 60% of the participants felt uncomfortable with
science content. Even though early childhood teachers have informal science knowledge
acquired through their hobbies, interests, and classes, they do not realize this type of
knowledge can enable them to teach science (Fleer, as cited in Fleer, 2009). This
insecurity makes them hesitant to include science in their schedules.
Another factor impeding early childhood science instruction is time (Burgess,
Robertson, & Patterson, 2010; Penuel, Fishman, Gallagher, Korbak, & Lopez-Prado,
2009). Teachers often feel that they do not have the time needed to include science in
their schedules (Henning & King, 2005; Pell & Jarvis, 2001; Varelas, House, & Wenzel,
2005). Although one would expect early childhood teachers to have more flexibility in
their schedules, such a strong focus on early literacy and numeracy skills exists that many
3


teachers have a difficult time fitting subjects that are considered less essential into their
school day (Forbes and Davis, 2008; Mantzicopoulos, Patrick and Samarapungavan,
2008; New Science Software, 2007; Worth & Grollman, 2003). As one teacher stated,
Seeing that science was the last thing that we did do for the day. ..Sol mean I think time
was a big factor. I didnt spend enough time on teaching science (Varelas et al., 2005, p.
510). In one study, only 13% of first grade students learned science from their teachers
on a daily basis. (National Center for Education Statistics, 2006).
Because science is not prioritized in early childhood, studies have shown that
young children often show lower readiness and knowledge of science (Start Science
Sooner, 2010). Additionally, children may form negative attitudes about science at an
early age (Start Science Sooner, 2010).
Standards and Accountability
Accountability concerns have been pushed down to an even younger age (Hatch
& Grieshaber, 2002). The science standards created by the National Committee on
Science Education Standards and Assessment begin in the kindergarten years (as cited in
Helm & Gronlund, 2000), years included in the definition of early childhood education.
As of 2009, preschool science standards had been written in 12 states (Sackes, Trundle,
& Flevares, 2009) as well. In Colorado, the Colorado Department of Education
included six standards related to science in its preschool standards (New Colorado P-12
Academic Standards, 2012). They are as follows:
Objects have properties and characteristics.
There are cause-and-effect relationships in everyday experiences.
Living things have characteristics and basic needs.
4


Living things develop in predictable patterns.
Earths materials have properties and characteristics that affect how we use those
materials.
Events such as night, day, the movement of objects in the sky, weather, and
seasons have patterns (Colorado Preschool Program Staff, 2011, p. 3).
With the focus on accountability, how can preschool teachers ensure children are
given a solid science learning foundation before they begin elementary school?
Early Childhood Science Curriculum
When studying preservice teachers, Forbes and Davis (2008) found that curricular
materials could help support them with their science content deficits. During the past
decade, several science curricular packages for the early childhood years have been
created. Preschool Pathways to Science (Gelman, Brenneman, Macdonald, & Roman,
2010 ), A Head Start on Science (Ritz, 2007), ScienceStart! (French, 2004; Peterson &
French, 2008), Early Childhood Hands On Science (Brown & Greenfield, 2010), The
Creative Curriculum Study Starters (Heroman, 2005), the GLOBE Program (Penuel et
al., 2009), the Scientific Literacy Project (Mantzicopoulos et al., 2008; Start Science
Sooner, 2010) and the Young Scientist Series (Chalufour & Worth, 2003; Chalufour &
Worth, 2005) are all programs designed for early childhood. Many of these programs
utilize an inquiry approach, but the levels of inquiry reflected in them vary. Additionally,
a teachers beliefs about inquiry, science instruction, and utilization of packaged curricula
can heavily impact how the programs are delivered.
5


In this age of accountability, standards, and a push-down model of curriculum,
packaged curricular programs have been embraced by school districts. In one major
metropolitan area, the Goodwin Public Schools system has implemented several curricula
for different subject areas: Everyday Mathematics for math, Units of Study for writing,
and the Houghton Mifflin reading series for reading. Implementation of these curricula
vary according to the teachers using them. It is vital to examine what choices teachers
make when implementing curricula, as those choices can impact the students and their
learning.
Curriculum Implementation
The concept of fidelity of implementation reflects that teachers need to implement
a curriculum as it is intended to be used by its developers. It is also referred to as fidelity,
adherence, and quality of program delivery. It includes both the proportion of content
attempted and the modifications to the content (Jackson-Newsom, as cited in Ringwalt et
al., 2010). Some feel that teachers should use a curriculum as it is intended to be used;
others feel that effective teachers adapt and change curricula to accommodate the
different needs of their students. Some teachers may feel disempowered by the presence
of a scripted program, thinking it stifles their creativity and professional judgment
(Bolman & Deal, 2008; Crawford, 2004). Others may see a packaged curriculum as a
relief, helping save them time and reducing the number of decisions they need to make.
No matter how a teacher approaches a packaged curricula, she or he makes decisions
regarding its use. Will the teacher implement it exactly as proposed? If not, on what
basis will that teacher change, omit, or add components to it? These are questions all
teachers answer, even if they are not cognizant of them. Studies need to examine how
6


teachers implement curricula and how the variations in their implementation affect their
own attitudes, their students learning, and their students attitudes.
Inquiry
Yet another decision teachers must make when teaching science is how much
inquiry to incorporate in their lessons. Inquiry has been defined in various ways, with
some definitive aspects being consistent (hands-on, experiential learning) and some
varying (the degrees of teacher and student control in the lesson). Engaging in inquiry-
based science allows children to conduct investigations, use tools and techniques for data
collection, think critically and logically about relationships between evidence and
explanations (Kallery et al., 2009, p. 1189), and communicate scientific arguments
(Kallery et al., 2009). Participation in inquiry learning helps young children engage in
genuine science activities, making their learning more meaningful (Hogan, as cited in
Kallery et al., 2009). Worth created a diagram titled Young Childrens Inquiry (see
Figure II). In this framework, it appears that one stage follows the previous one.
However, inquiry is not always a linear process. Children can move back and forth
through the process as they experience the world around them (Chalufour & Worth,
2003).
Often three levels of inquiry (Nadelson, Walters, & Waterman, 2010; Yager,
Abd-Hamid, & Akcay, 2005) and sometimes up to four (Mumba, Chabalengula, &
Hunter, 2007) have been defined. Even though the number of levels may vary, the
criteria for defining them is similar. Most move from one end of a continuum with open
inquiry, where the student has input into most, if not all aspects of the science experience,
to a more structured inquiry, where the teacher directs most of the activities. Teachers
7


comfort levels vary in how much control they want to have in their classrooms. For
instance, one teacher wrestled with the dilemma of messiness versus structure (Varelas
et al., 2005, p. 504). Others feel that inquiry-based teaching is too difficult to implement
(Gilbert, 2009) and may feel overwhelmed by the process of changing their practices
(Rogan, 2007). Therefore, teachers may favor a certain level of inquiry depending upon
their overall philosophies. Examining how teachers make decisions regarding different
levels of inquiry is important knowledge to contribute to science research.
When examining teachers curricular decisions regarding implementation and
inquiry, the most important question should be, how do these factors affect the students?
First, it is critical to ascertain how much learning students gain from the programs.
Second, it is vital to determine how these curricular packages influence childrens
attitudes towards science. Attitudes towards academic subjects affect childrens learning
in those subjects. Additionally, students attitudes directly impact how likely they will be
to continue to study those topics as they get older. (Mantizicopoulos et al., 2008).
Teachers views about these programs are important, too. In the 1970s, Harlen
stated that active teacher participation in curriculum development is crucial (as cited in
Pell & Manganye, 2007). Considering teachers feelings about curricular programs is
essential. If they dislike the curriculum, they are unlikely to use it even if it yields
positive results for their students knowledge and attitudes.
8


Inquiry
Engage, notice, wonder, question
Focus observations, clarify questions
Plan, predict,
take action
Ask new Observe
questions Explore, investigate closely
Reflect on experience, Collect, record, represent
explore patterns and experiences and data
relationships, construct
reasonable explanations
Share, discuss, and reflect with group;
draw conclusions; formulate ideas
and theories
Figure 1.1 Young Childrens Inquiry. (Chalufour & Worth, 2003, p. 116).
Reproduced with permission of Karen Worth.


Theoretical Framework
Several theories are incorporated in the theoretical framework of this study.
Figure 1.2 shows a visual diagram demonstrating this model. Teacher beliefs are at the
top of the model, as what a teacher believes impacts all aspects of her or his teaching.
For this study, three important foci related to teacher beliefs are present. First, the
teachers beliefs about her or his identity as a teacher, specifically as a science teacher, is
vital information. Second, the teachers beliefs about inquiry and how inquiry should be
incorporated into science instruction is also important. Last, a teachers views of
curriculum, specifically a packaged curriculum, impact how that teacher instructs the
students.
The second level of the model is the decision-making step in the sequence of
teaching. A teachers beliefs about her or his identity as a science teacher, the teachers
beliefs about inquiry instruction, and the teachers beliefs about curriculum
implementation will affect how that teacher makes choices in teaching science. For this
level, identity theory, constructivism, and fidelity of curricular implementation play an
important role. A theory related to curriculum implementation is the Concerns-Based
Adoption Model, a framework developed by Hall and Hord (1987) (as cited in Ringwalt
et al., 2010). This model offers six levels of curriculum implementation, from Level I
(initial orientation) to Level VI (mastery). This theory resonates with my belief that
teachers do not have to read the script to utilize a curricular package effectively.
10


Figure 1.2 Theoretical Framework for the Study.
The last level of the model is how teacher decisions affect the students. The
decisions teachers make regarding how much inquiry to include in the lessons and how
closely they follow the prescribed curriculum will impact the students learning and
attitudes. At this level, the students process skills acquisition and their attitudes are
interconnected, so there is a two-sided arrow between those two.
This framework shows that teachers beliefs about their identities as science
teachers, inquiry instruction, and curriculum implementation impact the types of
decisions the teachers make. These decisions, in turn, affect the students process skills
acquisition and attitudes towards science.
11


Research Questions and Hypotheses
This study will examine how two preschool teachers implement the Young
Scientist Series preschool science curriculum. This curriculum was selected for several
reasons. First, the program is highly experiential with a strong inquiry base. The inquiry
level of this curriculum as a whole falls into the guided inquiry category, in between
structured and full inquiry. Second, the Young Scientist Series, while a packaged
program, offers many opportunities for the teacher to make different types of choices in
implementation. Last, this program is developmentally appropriate. It would not serve
the participants in this study to select a curriculum that offered a push down of content
more appropriate for older learners. The Young Scientist Series was developed for 3- to
5-year-olds, and the lessons and activities are appropriate for that age level (Chalufour &
Worth, 2003).
I developed two types of questions for the study, an overarching question and
several specific research questions. The overarching question of this study is the
following: How do two different preschool teachers implement a packaged science
curriculum? The specific research questions are as follows:
1. What variations exist in how the teachers implement the curriculum?
-In what ways do the teachers follow the directions of the program? In what ways
do they alter the directions of the program (attempts, changes, additions,
omissions)?
-What teaching choices do the teachers make in relationship to science inquiry?
2. How do variations in curriculum implementation affect student science process
skills (prediction, observation, investigation, using science tools) acquisition?
12


3. How do variations in curriculum implementation affect student attitudes
towards science?
Based upon the research questions, I made several hypotheses regarding what I
thought the outcomes of the study would be. I share them below:
Hypothesis 1:
Different preschool teachers will implement a packaged science curriculum in a variety
of ways, depending upon their comfort level teaching science and their philosophies
regarding science inquiry.
Hypothesis 2:
Teachers with an initial higher comfort level teaching science will implement the
curriculum making more personal teaching choices.
Hypothesis 3:
Teachers who value science inquiry will feel freer to make adjustments to the curriculum.
Hypothesis 4:
In classrooms where teachers utilize more inquiry activities, students will show more
gains in science process skills.
Hypothesis 5:
In classrooms where teachers utilize more inquiry activities (implement the curriculum
more freely, making their own choices when necessary), students will reflect more
positive views of science.
Overview of Methodology
This study used mixed methods, incorporating both quantitative and qualitative
measures to investigate how teachers implement an early childhood science curriculum
13


and how their choices impact their students. The qualitative component of the research
utilized a multiple case study design where I compared two teachers experiences
teaching the curriculum. Criteria for inclusion was determined by inviting all of the
preschools in a small suburban school district to participate and then including those
teachers willing to spend the time and effort necessary to fully implement the Young
Scientist Series curriculum. Student subjects were determined by selecting those students
in the two classrooms whose parents consented to the study and who assented to the
study themselves. Therefore, this was a volunteer sample.
This study utilized data from multiple sources. For the teacher data, quantitative
data were collected by using the Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument (Riggs &
Enochs, 1990), the Attitudes and Beliefs About Science Questionnaire Inquiry Teaching
subscale (Johnson, 2004), the Preschool Science Materials/Equipment Checklist
(Tsunghui, 2006) and the Preschool Science Lesson Observational Scale. Since the
sample sizes were small, I compared the teachers scores pre and posttest to themselves
and each other. I also compared their implementation of curriculum, student questions,
and levels of inquiry using the Preschool Science Lesson Observational Scale, looking at
total numbers and means. Qualitative data was gathered through audiotaped interviews.
Interviews were transcribed, chunked, and coded using constant comparative analysis.
Emergent theme statements were generated which consolidated the interview
information. Following the constant comparative analysis, domain and taxonomic
analyses were completed to determine relationships between the codes and ascribe
connections between ideas. Inductive coding was used throughout this process, with in
vivo coding used whenever possible.
14


Quantitative student data was gathered with the Science Learning Assessment
pretest, the Preschool Student Interest Assessment, the Science Learning Assessment
posttest, and the Puppet Interview Scale for Competence In and Enjoyment of Science
(Patrick, Manticopoulos, and Samarapungavan, 2009) posttest. The SPSS quantitative
computer program was used to generate descriptive statistics. In order to compare the
groups of students to themselves pre and posttest, paired t tests were run. Independent t
tests were run to compare the groups of students to each other.
Structure of the Dissertation
This first chapter has introduced and defined the research problem: Early
childhood students are not receiving science education at precisely the time it should be
introduced to them due to time and resource constraints. The research questions have
been defined, and several hypotheses have been presented.
The second chapter will present a review of the literature pertinent to the study. It
will offer a brief history of science education, specifically inquiry science methods and
how they have evolved through recent educational history. Topics to be addressed will
be teacher beliefs, teacher identity, inquiry, constructivism, curriculum, teacher decisions,
and student attitudes. This chapter will present the context of this study and show how
the study fits into the larger picture of science education.
The third chapter will present the research design in detail. This will include site
and participant selection, description of the studys three phases, data collection methods,
teacher quantitative instruments, teacher qualitative methods, student quantitative
instruments, and an overview of how the data will be analyzed.
15


Chapter Four and Chapter Five will each describe one case in the study. Chapter
Four will present results about the first teacher involved in the study. It will examine the
preimplementation surveys and interview, offering a snapshot of the teachers attitudes
toward teaching science, curriculum implementation, and inquiry science. It will then
discuss how that teacher implemented the curriculum, including the different choices the
teacher made in delivering the lessons. Last, it will look at how the students performed
on the process skills and attitudes toward science assessments. Chapter Five will follow
the identical organizational format as Chapter Four, but will cover the information
gathered from the second teacher involved in the study.
The final chapter will begin with a comparison of the two teachers. It will
investigate similarities and differences between them, examining all of the data. Part of
that comparison will involve examining the patterns between the teachers choices in
curriculum implementation and their students process skills and attitudes towards
science. Conclusions and inferences derived from the data will be shared and explored.
After that, I will revisit the hypotheses presented in this chapter and determine whether or
not they were realized. Limitations of the study will then be outlined, which will lead to
ideas for further research on the topic of early childhood science education. The
dissertation will conclude with a brief synthesis of the findings of the study.
16


CHAPTER
II. LITERATURE REVIEW
Introduction
In this chapter I will review the literature pertinent to this study. I will offer a
brief summary of the history of science education. Then I will summarize information on
teacher beliefs, teacher identity, constructivism, inquiry, curriculum implementation, the
Concems-Based Adoption Model, teacher decisions, and student attitudes. All of these
topics play a role in the conceptual framework presented in Chapter 1.
Historical Background
During our countrys history, the subject of science has gone through periods
when it was highly valued and times when it was subordinated to other content. In the
late 1950s, the Soviet space exploration prompted our country to reexamine science and
prioritize it in education (Ogawa, Loomis, & Crain, 2008; Yager, 2000). Reform efforts
in both the private sector and in public education began to emerge. At that time
interactive, hands-on museums such as the Exploratorium opened, reflecting a different
model for imparting knowledge from museums prior to that time (Ogawa et al., 2008).
Around the same time, the National Science Foundation started supporting the
development of science curricula, notably curricula that emphasized inquiry methods of
instruction. Although these programs were initially embraced, interest in them was not
sustained (Ogawa et al., 2008). During the 1970s, science took a backseat to other
subjects again. The Back to Basics movement propelled other subjects into the limelight.
17


In the past decade of massive educational reforms, however, people are recognizing the
importance of science education in our society.
Science programs developed in the 1960s and 1970s bear some striking
philosophical similarities to the programs created in the past decade. The Elementary
Science and Science: A Process Approach curricula both focus on inquiry as the primary
method to impart scientific knowledge to students (Rakow & Bell, 1998). Most reform
movements and studies contend that utilizing an inquiry science approach is the most
effective way to teach science (Lind, 1999). Reflecting this viewpoint, an emphasis on
inquiry science has been advocated by the National Research Council ("Start Science
Sooner," 2010).
Teacher Beliefs
Teachers beliefs often affect how they view themselves, their students, their
curriculum, and the subjects they teach. Teachers science knowledge and science
attitudes should concern researchers (Eshach, 2003) because early childhood teachers
attitudes are important factors influencing their success in teaching science (Yoo, 2009).
During the 1990s, research in teacher education examined teacher beliefs. These studies
looked at where the beliefs came from, how easy they were to change, and how they
impacted the teachers classroom teaching (Richards, as cited in Eick & Reed, 2002). In
order to help improve science instruction, researchers need to learn how teachers
feelings about science impact their instruction (Ginsburg & Golbeck, 2004).
Many teachers beliefs are deeply rooted in their prior experiences in science and
their educational endeavors. Luehmann (2007) found that a student teachers learning
background and prior work experiences impacted her or his views of science teaching.
18


Often teachers respond differently to phenomena depending upon their philosophies, the
strategies they learned, and their experience with previous reform movements (Cobum,
2004). Sometimes these prior learning experiences are at odds with effective, inquiry-
based science instruction (Luehmann, 2007). Zembylas stated, If we want progress in
science education, we need to look more carefully at the emotions of science teaching,
both negative and positive emotions, and use this knowledge to improve the working
environment of science teachers (Saracho & Spodek, 2008, p. 74). Gilberts (2009)
study followed the assumption that teachers actions are based on their belief systems,
and understanding those belief systems can help promote new science teaching
techniques (Simmons et al., 1999).
Although the affective component of teaching may be crucial to learning, it is
often not given consideration when planning preservice or inservice programs
(McPherson, 2009). Interest, motivation, and science teaching efficacy are important in
influencing teacher-leaders in science (Lewthwaite, 2006).
The way we feel intrinsically about a subject strongly influences our teaching of
the subjects. We devote more time to it and we teach it more passionately. I
dont think many of us are that intrinsically interested in it... we see it in many of
the children though.. .it all has a real effect on us by motivating us to teach
science (Lewthwaite & Fisher, 2005, p. 596).
When teachers do not feel they have science teaching efficacy or they have little support
from their colleagues, their development as science teachers is hindered (Lewthwaite,
2006).
19


As stated in Chapter 1, one problem facing science education today is the fact that
elementary teachers have negative attitudes towards science (Koballa & Crawley, as cited
in Eshach, 2003). Some teachers negative attitudes stem from a belief that they do not
have strong enough content knowledge in science to teach the subject effectively. These
attitudes can influence their students. Teachers emotions affect young children because
teachers can create a nurturing or discouraging atmosphere in the classroom for science
learning (Saracho & Spodek, 2008). According to Marilou Hyson, an Associate Director
for the National Association for the Education of Young Children, teachers interest
levels also can trickle down to their students (as cited in Jacobson, 2002). Because their
attitudes impact their students, we need to help early childhood teachers change their
attitudes towards science instruction (Yoo, 2009).
Studies regarding teachers attitudes have had mixed results. On one side, Eshach
(2003) found that marked changes in teachers beliefs systems in science instruction can
be achieved in a short time. Yoo (2009) shared that early childhood teachers who were
involved in Yoos case study developed a stronger interest in science education and
became more positive about science teaching. Additionally, using informal settings to
educate teachers can help teachers change their epistemologies of science teaching (Katz
et al., 2010) and benefit them affectively. Participating in the Scientific Work
Experiences Programs for Teachers enabled teachers to develop more positive views of
science teaching and more inquiry-based instructional methods (Dubner et al., 2001).
Woolhouse and Cochrane (2010) showed that teachers involved in the Science Additional
Specialism Programme developed a renewed interest in science, becoming enthusiastic
about the subject again.
20


Other studies are not so positive. Peoples beliefs can be difficult to change, and
they do not easily change their beliefs based upon arguments or reasoning (Enyedy,
Goldberg, & Welsh, 2006). Luehmann (2007) reported that, even when offered classes
and field experiences, many teacher candidates did not alter their views about themselves
as a science teacher. Sometimes teachers simply do not want to change, so they ignore
reform efforts (Sofou & Tsafos, 2010).
Regardless of whether or not teachers belief systems can be changed, their belief
systems impact how they teach science, which also affects how their students learn. In
this dissertation the teachers beliefs and their role in curriculum implementation will be
investigated.
Teacher Identity
Schwartz (2001) offers a historical view of identity theory, beginning with
Sigmund Freud, continuing with Erik Erikson, and moving towards more recent identity
theorists. Although Sigmund Freud (1930/1965) was one of the first theorists to discuss
the question of self-definition, Erik Erickson was the first to form a full-fledged identity
theory, publishing his first writings on identity in the 1950s (Schwartz, 2001). His
definition of identity considered both internal and social contexts (Schwartz, 2001).
After Erikson, Marcia was the first neo-Eriksonian identity theorist to generate significant
research writings (Schwartz, 2001).
Since the 1980s six additional theorists built upon the earlier work, presenting
new identity models. These six models were influenced by Erikson and Marcia
(Schwartz, 2001), and they either extended or expanded upon the earlier identity models.
They considered consideration of individual differences; the search for, discovery, and
21


utilization of innate potentials; critical problem solving skills, social responsibility;
integrity of character; social and cultural contexts; and all three levels of identity
introduced by Erikson (Schwartz, 2001, p. 48). Identity theory looks at the interplay
between how a person views him or herself and how that person is seen by others
(Luehmann, 2007).
A persons sense of identity, whether it is constructed internally or externally,
influences how he or she behaves. The identity to be considered in this dissertation is
how teachers view themselves as science teachers and curriculum implementers. Forbes
and Davis state that identity is a function of many interrelated factors: knowledge,
beliefs, self efficacy, and general dispositions toward teaching practice and the evolution
of these characteristics over time through classroom practice (Drake, Spillane, &
Hufferd-Ackles, 2001; Forbes & Davis, 2008, p. 911). Learning is a part of this (Hoveid
& Hoveid, 2008). Luehmann posited that identity is constituted in interpretations and
narrations of experiences (Luehmann, 2007, p. 827), meaning that a teachers personal
history and life stories impact her or his identity as a reform-based educator. Kagans
literature review (1992) examines studies whose results show the impact of life history on
the way a preservice teacher sees him or herself as a certain kind of teacher.
Hoveid and Hoveid (2008) state that peoples actions are closely connected to
their profession, stating that teachers are members of a group of teachers, but they are
also individuals. Teachers reveal themselves by their actions, and they project their
teacher-identity into the world. Luehmann builds upon Gees definition of identity,
stating that a teachers professional identity is being viewed by that teacher and other
people as being a certain type of teacher (as cited in Luehmann, 2007).
22


Studies have been conducted on preservice teachers and how their beliefs
influence how they begin to teach science (Eick & Reed, 2002; Katz et al., 2010).
Several researchers have looked at identity as a lens to look at how preservice teachers
see themselves as scientists and science teachers (Varelas et al., 2005). Katz et al. (2010)
used a professional identity development lens to figure out how teacher candidates
beliefs about science teaching and learning related to how they saw themselves as future
science teachers. They drew the following conclusions regarding science teacher
education: Teacher preparation should give preservice teachers the ability to be seen as
knowledgeable and confident in reform-based science teaching practices. Additionally,
training for preservice teachers should encourage those future teachers to be seen as
showing excitement for science and modeling that excitement to their students when they
teach science (Katz et al., 2010).
Woolhouse and Cochrane (2010) posited that teachers professional identities not
only cover how they view their subject and knowledge of teaching, but are an ongoing
story of how they develop a professional self over time. Eick and Reed (2002)
researched how identity influenced inquiry-teaching practices. In their study, they found
that preservice teachers who engaged in structured inquiry on a regular basis developed
stronger identities as inquiry-oriented teachers. The teachers past histories came into
play when developing these identities, including science courses and work experiences
(Volkman & Anderson, 1998). Luehmann (2007) felt that teachers need to develop
identities that align with inquiry-based reform practices in order to improve science
instruction. Identity is constantly changing, (Luehmann, 2007). Therefore, if beginning
23


teachers role identities can be shaped to identify more strongly with inquiry, reform in
science teaching can be promoted (Eick & Reed, 2002).
Luehmann (2007) believed that becoming a reform-based science teacher
involves creating a new identity as a reform-minded science teacher, one that challenges
the current norm of science instruction (Cochran-Smith, 1991). Likewise, when a teacher
has a greater role identity as a traditional teacher, that may hinder the teachers ability to
implement inquiry-based strategies (Luehmann, 2007). Gee also contends that
professional identity may play an important component in how teachers teach science (as
cited in Katz et al., 2010). Other researchers have examined the interplay between how
teachers see themselves and compared those views to their observed practices (Enyedy et
al., 2006; Johnson, 2004). Looking at how teachers implemented a curriculum titled
GLOBE helped researchers see if variations in teachers identities caused them to
implement the curriculum differently. Considering identity and practice at the same time
is important, as the two constructs are interconnected (Enyedy et al., 2006).
Identity has also been used as a way to examine curriculum implementation.
Forbes and Davis focused on those aspects of preservice elementary teachers role
identities specifically related to their use of curriculum materials for elementary science
teaching (Forbes & Davis, 2008, p. 912). The idea of curricular role identity offers a
zoom lens angle on role identity (Forbes and Davis, 2008, p. 912). In terms of science,
curricular role identity considers how preservice teachers view use of materials to
encourage inquiry, students questions, evidence, how explanations are developed, and
students ideas (Forbes & Davis, 2008). Forbes and Davis (2008) feel that preservice
teachers should be encouraged to create a curricular role identity where curricular
24


resources are valued as teaching tools. These identities can be influenced by education
and classroom contexts (Forbes & Davis, 2008). They also found that teacher
characteristics, such as how they utilize curricular materials, were important. (Forbes &
Davis, 2008).
Preservice elementary teachers will become actively involved in their own
curricular role identity when they work with science curriculum materials. (Forbes &
Davis, 2008). Furthermore, a teachers awareness of her or his identity as a science
teacher will help that teacher consider changes in practice in a more thoughtful way
(Enyedy et al., 2006).
Constructivism
The theory of constructivism has played an important role in informing inquiry-
based teaching practices. It is a developmental (Gelman & Brenneman, 2004), multi-
faceted approach to learning because it considers both theory and practice (Bush, 2006).
Constructivism examines learning with a cognitive lens. It posits that knowledge is
constructed by the learner through experience (Bush, 2006), thus focusing on the learner
as the main player in his or her learning (Lorsbach & Tobin, 2004). The learners mind is
actively involved in seeking and assimilating knowledge (Gelman & Brenneman, 2004).
In the 1970s, Jean Piaget recommended the use of active methods which give broad
scope to the spontaneous research of the child or adolescent and require that every new
truth to be learned be rediscovered or at least reconstructed by the students, and not
simply imparted to him (as cited in Doris, 1991, p. 3).
Some have recommended that hands-on science instruction should be utilized
when developing instructional programs (McKeown, 2003). A focus on hands-on
25


methods helps children become engaged in language (Rillero, 2005) and positive
interactions with peers (Conezio & French, 2002). The hands-on approach helps
elementary children learn science more effectively by using manipulatives to explore the
world (McKeown, 2003). When a teacher uses hands-on methods combined with
discussions about what is happening, childrens science skill development is increased
(Rillero, 2005). This method also helps improve their creativity and attitudes towards
science. (Rillero, 2005).
These hands-on classrooms may show children playing and experimenting with
different materials. Although this may be fun and may cause children to generate
questions, it is not enough of an activity to be considered constructivist (Chaille &
Britain, 2003; Eick & Reed, 2002). Just because a teacher uses hands-on activities does
not ensure that children are involved in meaningful inquiry (Saracho & Spodek, 2008).
Involvement in a task is desirable, but this involvement is not enough in itself to help the
students learn important concepts (Howes, 2008). Additionally, young children can
learn more than people previously thought, and that has helped us understand that early
childhood education should entail more than just play alone (Ginsburg & Golbeck, 2004).
Karen Worth stated that many preschool teachers plan isolated science activities,
setting up a science table and thinking that is sufficient for science instruction (as cited in
Jacobson, 2002). Such activities do not encourage attainment of a deeper scientific
knowledge base (Winnett et al., as cited in Gelman & Brenneman, 2004). Isolated
pockets of unconnected, fragmentary science activities (Kallery et al., 2009) will not
likely affect the development of childrens knowledge, skills, and motivation (Patrick,
Mantzicopoulos, & Samarapungavan, 2009). Children need adults to help them make
26


those deeper connections (Fleer, 2009; Howes, 2008). Teacher input can enable the
childrens experiences to be considered educative (Howes, 2008, p. 542). In order to
be effective teachers in a constructivist science classroom, teachers need to be able to
understand the subject of science and the nature of scientific inquiry (Saracho & Spodek,
2008).
Inquiry
When science reform movements have occurred, usually the term inquiry has
been at the heart of them (Aulls & Shore, 2008). In fact, one focus of a standards-based
curriculum is understanding inquiry (Flick & Lederman, 2005). The National Science
Education Standards have given great importance to inquiry-based science teaching
(Chiappetta, 2008). Inquiry is included in three of the six overarching science standards.
(Friedl & Koontz, 2005). The science teaching standards also state that teachers need to
be able to plan inquiry-based science programs (Friedl & Koontz, 2005).
Inquiry learning has many components. Defining inquiry concisely can be a
challenging task. One aspect of inquiry learning is the following, a shift of emphasis
from teachers imparting knowledge to students learning through engagement (Eick &
Reed, 2002; Friedl & Koontz, 2005; Rakow & Bell, 1998). Inquiry skills include asking
questions (Friedl & Koontz 2005;Worth & Grollman, 2003), making observations
(Conezio & French, 2002; Worth & Grollman, 2003), planning investigations (Conezio &
French, 2002; Flick & Lederman, 2005; Friedl & Koontz, 2005; Kallery et al., 2009;
Worth & Grollman, 2003), collecting data (Friedl & Koontz, 2005; Kallery et al., 2009;
Worth & Grollman, 2003), and communicating the findings (Conezio & French, 2002;
Flick & Lederman, 2005; Friedl & Koontz, 2005; Kallery et al., 2009; Worth &
27


Grollman, 2003). Developing these process skills is important in science (Kallery, 2004).
When scientists generate and answer questions about the world, they are engaged in the
process of inquiry (Chaille & Britain, 2003).
Inquiry helps children experience science in a meaningful way, which enables
them to improve their understanding of science (Omstein, 2006). It helps them engage in
scientific (Luehmann, 2007) and critical thinking (Kallery et al., 2009). These critical
thinking skills can help children develop deeper knowledge.
Inquiry teaching is an approach that many professional groups advocate
(Chiappetta, 2008; Eshach, 2006), including the Benchmarks for Science Literacy
(Saracho & Spodek, 2008) and National Research Council (Start Science Sooner,
2010). Some feel that inquiry-teaching is crucial to effective science instruction (Aulls &
Shore, 2008) and should be an integral part of science instruction instead of something
added on when time permits.
Chalufour and Worth (2003) write of inquiry with young children, describing it
as a circular process (see Figure 11 in Chapter 1). Children go through different stages
where different inquiry skills are used. Although it seems like one stage should logically
follow another, sometimes the process is not linear. Children will often move back and
forth from one stage of inquiry to another.
Inquiry teaching has shown positive results. Some feel that students at all levels
should be able to engage in scientific inquiry (Eshach, 2006; Ornstein, 2006), including
children in kindergarten through second grade (Eshach, 2006). It has shown affective
gains in students (Ornstein, 2006), and one group found that the gains were particularly
marked in females in terms of nurturing their enjoyment of science (Patrick et al., 2009).
28


When defining a term, it is sometimes useful to look at what the term is not.
Therefore, lessons that give procedures that are already determined with known results
are usually not considered inquiry (Eick & Reed, 2002). While the more traditional
lecture approach to teaching science has enabled teachers to cover many topics, the
student learning coming from them has been disappointing. Although students can
regurgitate what they have been told, they do not have a deep understanding of science
concepts (Rezba, 1996). Additionally, this approach to teaching often causes students to
lose interest in classes (Stipek, 2006) and stop taking science courses as soon as they can
(Rezba, 1996). Science teachers who transmit knowledge through didactic methods are
very different from ones teaching in constructivist classrooms (Pell & Manganye, 2007).
Levels of Inquiry
In most of the inquiry literature, different levels of inquiry are presented.
Determining the level of inquiry is based upon an interplay between how involved the
student is in the science experience and how involved the teacher is. Yager et al. (2005)
offer three different levels of inquiry; structured, guided, and full. These authors took a
lesson plan from the Exploratorium on making foam and adapted it to three different
levels of inquiry. For the structured inquiry, they provided a worksheet for students to
complete on how to make foam. The worksheet gave specific directions for the students
to follow. The guided inquiry experience followed the Exploratoriums initial lesson
plan. The full inquiry experience enabled the students to experiment freely without
mention at all of how to make foam. These authors looked at how engaging in different
levels of inquiry influenced teachers questions and actions in the classroom (Yager et al.,
2005).
29


The Exploratoriums website offered the foam activity mentioned above and
defined the three activities as Guided Activity, Challenge Activity, and Inquiry Activity
(Making Foam). The Guided Activity provided a worksheet for the students, the
Challenge Activity offered a challenge to build a tower of foam following certain
parameters, and the Inquiry Activity explored the materials and foam at the station. These
activities appear to be slightly different than the ones Yager et al. (2005) provided.
Mumba, Chabalengula, and Hunter (2007) used similar terms in their discussion
of inquiry levels, but they cited four levels of inquiry. Their definitions were based on
the work of Tafoya, Sunal, and Knecht (as cited in Mumba et al., 2007). These were
confirmation inquiry, where students are given an answer and asked to verify it. In
structured inquiry activities, students are given a problem and they have to figure out
how to complete the activity with instructions. Guided inquiry gives the students a
scientific problem, but they have to figure out how to solve it. The last level is open
inquiry, where students generate their own hypotheses and figure out how to test them
(Mumba et al., 2007).
Nadelson, Walters, and Waterman (2010) provided four levels of inquiry in their
definition, but used only three in their research implementation. Their research examined
how different levels of inquiry affected undergraduate students affective and cognitive
outcomes. The inquiry rubric presented by this team was based upon Schwabs work
(1962). Although Chiappetta & Adams (2004) also listed four levels of inquiry, they
were defined slightly differently. Their levels looked at the connections between process
and content. The first level was content, which was defined as an emphasis on presenting
and explaining ideas. The second level was termed content with process. In this level,
30


they emphasized using active learning methods to construct knowledge. The third level,
process with content, focused on learning how to investigate. The last level, process, was
a focus on acquiring science process skills (Chiappetta & Adams, 2004). Therefore, their
continuum had content on one end and process on the other, with an interplay between
the two in the middle (Chiappetta & Adams, 2004). Inquiry activities can be viewed as a
means to an end, the way students learn science knowledge in a meaningful context.
Like Nadelson et al. (2010), Fay and Bretz (2008) were also influenced by
Schwab. They offered a rubric which divided a laboratory activity into three parts. The
components were as follows: the problem or question, the procedure used, and the
solution of conclusion. For each of these areas, the rubric gave two different
possibilities, whether or not these activities were student or teacher generated. In the
lowest level (0), the teacher generated the problem, the procedure, and the solution, while
in the highest level (3), the student generated them. Levels 1 and 2 had different degrees
of student and teacher involvement.
Different levels of inquiry can impact student learning in different ways. One
study found that students in classroom with higher levels of inquiry had more positive
attitudes towards science than students in classes with lower levels of inquiry (Omstein,
2006). Inquiry activities can vary widely in the amount of structure they give to students
to make investigations, and different levels of inquiry can be appropriate (Fay & Bretz,
2008), depending upon the activity and age of the students.
31


Curriculum Implementation
Many opinions have been shared about the nature of curriculum implementation.
On one side are the people who feel that teachers must follow a curricular package
strictly in order to realize its full positive impacts on students. Others see implementation
as a continuum, with teachers in different stages adapting the curriculum (ODonnell,
2008). The characteristics of the individual teachers (teacher identity) may explain
differences in the teachers fidelity of implementation (Pence, Justice, & Wiggins, 2008).
Fidelity of implementation describes how closely a teacher follows the program
according to the directions of the developers (ODonnell, 2008; Pence et al., 2008).
ODonnell (2008) wrote a comprehensive review of fidelity of implementation. When
looking at curricular implementation fidelity, three areas are often considered. First,
program differentiation is the extent to which a teacher adheres to the crucial parts of a
program. Second, program adherence examines how closely a teacher delivers the
program components according to the manuals. Last, quality of program delivery looks
at how enthusiastic and prepared a teacher is when implementing a program (Pence et al.,
2008.) Some believe that teachers should teach the curriculum presented as closely to the
way it was intended to be used as possible (ODonnell, 2008), while others imply that
allowing teachers to make their own decisions regarding curriculum is important (Sofou
& Tsafos, 2010). Most feel that getting teacher input and buy-in is an effective way to
ensure effective implementation (Henning & King, 2005).
The reality is that most educators do modify the curriculum they have been asked
to utilize (Roach, Kratochwill, & Frank, 2009). Teachers taught only about three-fourths
of the curriculum steps the first time they used a drug prevention curriculum (Ringwalt et
32


al., 2010). Odom et al. (2010) found similar results when studying implementation of a
national early childhood curriculum. Teachers did not implement it in the way the
developers intended (Rogan, 2007). Even in studies where policy makers sought
curricular alignment, implementation rates disappointed them (Penuel et al., 2009).
Several factors can influence and hinder implementation of a new program. One
of them is lack of time to prepare for the implementation (Lewthwaite & Fisher, 2005;
Penuel et al., 2009; Wai-Yum, 2003), which is a factor presented in the problem section
of Chapter 1. Lambert and Capizzano (2005) stated that it is not easy to reach full
curriculum implementation: Sometimes it may take as long as two years. Early childhood
teachers also view curriculum differently. They see it as more flexibly implemented, and
many stated they are unable to utilize a curricular framework that has been dictated
(Sofou & Tsafos, 2010).
Teachers fidelity of implementation can affect student achievement, particularly
in schools with low initial achievement scores (Odom et al., 2010). Examining the
connections between variations in implementation and student outcomes should be a
focus of research (Ginsburg & Golbeck, 2004; ODonnell, 2008). In five studies cited by
ODonnell (2008) all of them showed higher outcomes when the curricular programs
were taught with greater fidelity.
Sometimes the type of curriculum was a component in how it was utilized. A
curriculum that is more prescribed with clear plans can be implemented more easily than
one that focuses more on instructional processes (Pence et al., 2008). Other studies found
that highly structured activities were rejected by the teachers, who figured out different
ways to address the goals of the curriculum (Burgess et al., 2010). Others stated that the
33


amount of the curricular content and the quality of the instruction were important factors
to consider when evaluating the impact of a curriculum (Odom et al., 2010).
Different researchers have used different instruments to help them evaluate how a
curriculum is delivered (Hahn, Noland, Rayens, & Christie, 2002; Odom et al., 2010;
Pence et al., 2008; Rogan, 2007). This has been done at many levels, including preschool
(Lambert & Capizzano, 2005; Odom et al., 2010; Pence et al., 2008). Studies have also
looked at changes teachers have made in curriculum implementation (Burgess et al.,
2010). Early childhood science curricula have also been evaluated (Patrick et al., 2009)
and have been shown to have positive effects on learning (French, 2004;
Samarapungavan Manticopoulos, & Patrick, 2008) and attitudes towards science
(Mantizicopoulos et al., 2008; Patrick, Mantzicopoulos, & Samarapungavan, 2009).
Concerns-Based Adoption Model
Hall and Hord created a curriculum implementation in the late 1960s as a result of
their research in schools and universities (Roach et al., 2009). This model has been used
by other researchers as a helpful framework for gaining insight into how teachers
questions and concerns during adaptation and implementation of teaching practices
develop (Christou, Eliophotou-Menon, & Philippou, 2004; Dass, 2001; Roach et al.,
2009). It has been called the most robust and empirically grounded theoretical model
for the implementation of educational innovations to come out of education change
research in the 1970s and 1980s (Anderson, 1997, p. 331). Within the model, three
frameworks examine and evaluate how teachers utilize new programs: Stages of Concern,
Levels of Use, and Innovation Configurations (Roach et al., 2009). This section will
focus on the Levels of Use framework. Instead of viewing curriculum implementation as
34


an all-or-nothing endeavor, C-BAMs Levels of Use framework looks at different stages
in a teachers implementation (ODonnell, 2008).
Hall and Ford determined eight levels of implementation. The first three levels
constituted non-use (Roach et al., 2009). The first, Level 0, constituted complete non-
use. The second, Level 1, involved orientation to the program. Level 2 was the
preparation phase, where the teacher learned about the program and made plans on how
to start using it (Ringwalt et al., 2010; Roach et al., 2009).
The last five levels of implementation employed varying degrees of
implementation (Roach et al., 2009). Level 3 was the stage where teachers started using
the program in a very mechanical, rote-like manner. When they got to Level 4a, teachers
moved towards routine use, making few changes. At Level 4b, they started making
changes to better address the needs of their students. Level 5, Integration, was the point
when teachers started to collaborate with their colleagues to make changes that would
benefit their students. Level 6 was the highest level in the model. It was characterized
by teachers reevaluating the curriculum, making major changes in the curriculum to help
their students, and setting new goals. (Ringwalt et al., 2010, Roach et al., 2009).
The C-BAM model implies that when teachers first utilize a curriculum, they will
follow it in a mechanical way, closely following the teachers guide. As they become
more familiar with the curriculum, they will then start to make changes (Ringwalt et al.,
2010). The implication is that a teachers use of the curriculum will evolve when that
teacher gains experience with the program and receives professional development. The
use will shift from being concerned about how it impacts the teacher personally to how it
will impact others (Roach et al., 2009).
35


The implication of the C-BAM model is that following a curricular program to the
letter does not necessarily constitute the most effective use of it. This model implies that
curricular implementation reflecting teacher choices and professional decisions is of a
higher level than merely teaching the curriculum as presented. This goes against the
fidelity of implementation argument that, in order for an intervention to be effective, it
needs to be followed as the developers intended it to be followed. As teachers moved
towards higher levels of use of the curriculum, they made changes and adaptations based
upon their students needs. Their students achievement can increase (Roach et al, 2009)
as a result of these choices.
Decisions
Teachers make many decisions during the course of each school day. Teachers
must decide how to set up their room, which supplies to use, how to schedule programs,
and which meetings to attend. They also have to make decisions at each moment
depending upon what is happening in their classrooms (Enyedy et al., 2006). But first
and foremost, they must figure out their aims and goals. They must decide what to study
and how to study it (Doris, 1991).
When implementing a new curriculum, getting buy in (Henning & King, 2005,
p. 258) is important, as teachers are the ones who decide how the curriculum will actually
be used and shaped (Chittenden & Jones, 1998; Sofou & Tsafos, 2010). There are many
decision-making points for early childhood educators when changes are being
implemented (Burgess et al., 2010).
Early childhood teachers benefit from being given the opportunity to choose the
methods that will most successfully enable their unique students to learn the content
36


(Goldstein, 2008). In fact, early childhood teachers state that the childrens needs are the
most important factor in figuring out how to plan their curriculum (Sofou & Tsafos,
2010). If teachers do not have the chance to make their own choices in curriculum they
become dissatisfied (Wai-Yum, 2003). Not many studies exist regarding teacher
decisions in early childhood education, but Burgess et al. (2010) looked at how early
childhood teachers realized curriculum initiatives. It is important to allow teachers to
make choices in curricular matters, as this elevates teacher professionalism and enables
them to develop the knowledge they need to make effective choices (Penuel et al., 2009).
Student Attitudes
Considering childrens attitudes is vital in science education. Vygotsky
recognized that thought and affect are connected (Fleer, 2009). Likewise, McPherson
(2009) stated that affective networks enable learning to become more emotionally
significant. Feelings are a component of learning (Ginsburg & Golbeck, 2004; Pell &
Manganye, 2007; Saracho & Spodek, 2008). Rachel Carson posited that emotions pave
the way for the child to want to know (as cited in Doris, 1991, p. 17). When children
show strong motivation, it helps enable inquiry learning to occur (Friedl & Koontz,
2005).
Many researchers have acknowledged the need to study students attitudes
towards science (Ornstein, 2006; Saracho & Spodek, 2008). This focus on attitudes needs
to start early (Saracho & Spodek, 2008). Further, early childhood teachers should plan
experiences for children that help them develop positive attitudes towards science (Rule,
2007; Smith, 2001).
37


Students attitudes are related to their achievement levels (Patrick et al., 2009;
Patrick, Mantzicopoulos, Samarapungavan, & French, 2008; Wigfield & Eccles, 2000).
This works in both positive and negative ways. Having a poor attitude towards a subject
can cause lower achievement, while developing a positive attitude can promote higher
achievement (McKeown, 2003; Pell & Manganye, 2007). Attitudes towards academic
subjects can begin early in life (Tsunghui, 2006). If young students develop negative
attitudes towards science, those feelings can affect their entire educational careers
(Patrick et al., 2009; Saracho & Spodek, 2008; Start Science Sooner, 2010).
Some state that when young students begin schooling they are enthusiastic about
science (Pell & Jarvis, 2001). On the other hand, others have posited that students as
young as kindergarten have negative views of science, thinking is it difficult,
uninteresting, and that they are not good at it (Start Science Sooner, 2010). Since
attitudes toward science decline as students get older (Aulls & Shore, 2008; Pell &
Manganye, 2007; Saracho & Spodek, 2008), it is vital that teachers address attitudinal
outcomes to promote a positive cognitive gain (Pell & Manganye, 2007; Saracho &
Spodek, 2008). It is also important to promote positive attitudes in order to help students
keep wanting to study science (Eshach, 2006; Patrick et al., 2009), as they will carry
these attitudes into classes as they get older (Smith, 2001). In addition to science,
childrens feelings about school can affect their engagement in learning tasks (Patrick et
al., 2009). A recent call has been made to return to attitudinal evaluation in science after a
period of neglect (Ramsden, as cited in Pell & Manganye, 2007).
Some recent studies have examined student attitudes towards science, but they
explored the topic with older children (Manticopoulos et al., 2008; Patrick et al., 2008;
38


Pell & Jarvis, 2001; Pell & Manganye, 2007). Mantizicoupoulos et al. (2008) have
designed extensive research studies on student attitudes towards science with
kindergarten children. They showed that meaningful involvement in science activities is
connected to childrens beliefs about their science process competence and skills, their
enjoyment of science (Eshach & Fried, 2005) and their beliefs about what learning
science entails (Patrick et al., 2009). These authors acknowledge a dearth of research
examining childrens beliefs about science in the beginning of school, and they feel that
that information is vital (Patrick et al., 2009). Saracho and Spodek (2008) also stated that
studies that examine affect in young children and science are hard to find.
Some argue that helping children understand broad science concepts and develop
positive attitudes is more important than their achievement in science courses (Ornstein,
2006). As Hadzigeorgiou stated, It should be recognized that attitudes towards science
might very well be not just as important as a strong conceptual base, but more important,
since they are the prerequisites or the motivators for childrens engagement in science
activities (Hadzigeorgiou, 2001, p. 64).
Children are in danger of losing their interest and their sense of wonder if we fail
to tend to them and nourish them in this regard (Eschach, 2006, p. 8). Perhaps most
importantly, having children examine nature can help the children enjoy nature, have
positive views of science, and help the future of our earth (Rule, 2007; Worth &
Grollman, 2003).
Conclusion
This chapter has examined the constructs of teacher beliefs, teacher identities,
constructivism, inquiry, curriculum, teacher choices, and student attitudes. All of these
39


factors play a role in early childhood science instruction. In the next chapter, I will
present the methods I will use to look at how teacher choices in curriculum
implementation affect childrens process skills and attitudes towards science.
40


CHAPTER
III. RESEARCH DESIGN
Overview of the Methods
This study used mixed methods to examine how teachers utilized an early
childhood science curriculum and how their decisions impacted their students. I
collected quantitative data through surveys, questionnaires, and assessments and
qualitative data through interviews and observations. The quantitative data enabled me to
determine the teachers attitudes towards teaching science, their beliefs about inquiry
instruction, and the resources available to them. Quantitative student data allowed me to
assess the students science process skills at the beginning and end of the study and their
attitudes towards science at the end of the study. The qualitative research component
employed a multiple case study design where I compared and contrasted how the two
educators taught the curriculum. Qualitative data helped me determine the teachers
previous science instruction, their understanding of inquiry, and their thoughts about
curriculum. Utilizing both quantitative and qualitative methods enabled me to
accomplish the following:
1. Achieve triangulation by using different methods to assess similar constructs
(Goodwin & Goodwin, 1996; Miles & Huberman, 1994).
2. Establish complementarity by using quantitative data to assess the results of the
qualitative data (Goodwin & Goodwin, 1996; Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007).
3. Enable data expansion by broadening the depth of the inquiry used (Goodwin
& Goodwin, 1996; Miles & Huberman, 1994).
41


Using quantitative and qualitative means of collecting and analyzing data
enhanced the credibility of the data (Goodwin & Goodwin, 1996). To put it simply,
Numbers and words are both needed if we are to understand the world (Miles &
Huberman, 1994, p. 40).
The qualitative component of the study employed a case study design as it
examined the issue of early childhood curriculum through two cases in a bounded system
(Creswell, 2007). I collected data on how two teachers implemented a science
curriculum to explain how their curricular choices affected their students. Because the
study followed two teachers in two different preschools, it was a collective case study
(Creswell, 2007) with each teacher viewed as a separate case. The procedures used were
replicated in both cases. The study took place in three phases, which will now be
described in detail.
Phase 1: Pre-Curriculum Implementation
Phase 1 of the study included all activities that occurred before the utilization of
the Young Scientist Series curriculum began (see Table III. 1). It involved determining
the participating sites, collecting the consent and assent forms, surveying and
interviewing the teachers, administering an assessment to students, and training the
teachers on the implementation of the curriculum.
Sites For this research, I invited all of the public preschools in a suburban public
school district to take part in the study. Goodwin Public Schools included 15 elementary
schools, six of which offered a preschool program within the larger school. There was
42


Table III.l Overview of the Three Phases of the Study.
Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3
Administer Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument to teachers Curriculum implementation begins with Open Exploration Administer Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument to teachers
Administer Inquiry Teaching sub scale to teachers Observations using the Preschool Science Lesson Observational Scale begin Administer Inquiry Teaching subscale to teachers
Administer Preschool Classroom Science Material s/Equipment Checklist to teachers Administer Preschool Student Interest Assessment to students Teacher Interviews
Teacher Interviews Teacher trainings on Focused Exploration Administer Science Learning Assessment to students
Administer Science Learning Assessment to students Teacher trainings on Open Exploration Materials distributed to teachers Additional materials distributed Curriculum implementation continues with Focused Exploration Administer Puppet Interview Scales for Competence in and Enjoyment of Science to students
also one early childhood school in the district. I sent an informal electronic mail letter in
March 2011 to determine interest in the project. At that time, two preschool directors
indicated their interest in participating. One preschool director declined due to the
preschools own curriculum requirements, and four directors did not respond. In August
2011 I sent another electronic mail letter to all preschool directors except the one that had
43


already declined. The two preschool directors who responded positively in the spring
were still interested in the project. One additional preschool director declined, and the
remaining three preschool directors did not respond. Two preschools directors agreed to
participate, those from Wright Preschool and Burris Preschool.
Wright Elementary School and Preschool. Wright Elementary School had an
enrollment of 312 students from kindergarten through fifth grade (J. Richardson, personal
communication, October 24, 2011). Although free/reduced lunch statistics were not
available specifically for the preschool children, free/reduced lunch rates for the
kindergarten through fifth grade students were 32.39% (Colorado Department of
Education, 2011). The complete study sample included only those children for which the
complete dataset was available, and 100% of those children were Caucasian. This group
returned the consent forms prior to the beginning of the curriculum implementation, so it
included only those children with both pre and posttest data. It was on this group that
most of this study focused. After the curriculum implementation began, more children
returned consent forms. Although prestudy data was not available for these children, I
still administered the poststudy assessments to these children. Therefore, poststudy data
was available for more students, although it could not be used when comparing pre and
posttest data. The demographic breakdown of Wright Elementary School (grades
kindergarten through grade five) can be found in Appendix A.
Wright Elementary School offered a tuition-based preschool for children aged 2
1/2-5, as well as a before and after school program for preschoolers. Wright Preschool had
a simple tuition structure. Parents paid $18.00 per half day or $35.00 per full day
attended. Additional fees were charged for the before and after school program (Wright
44


school website, 2011). None of the complete study sample participants received any
financial aid. Parents enrolled their children for the half (8:36 a.m.-l 1:30 a.m.) or full
day program (8:36 a.m.-3:13 p.m.). All children in the complete study attended for full
days. Parents also chose to enroll their children from one to five days per week (Wright
school website, 2011). For the complete study sample, 0% attended 1 day per week,
18.2% attended 2 days per week, 12.5% attended 3 days per week, 12.5% attended 4 days
per week, and 56% attended for 5 days per week.
Burris Elementary School and Preschool. Burris Elementary School had an
enrollment of 366 students (J. Richardson, personal communication, October 24, 2011).
Although free/reduced lunch statistics were not available specifically for the preschool
children, free/reduced lunch rates for the kindergarten through fifth grade students were
20.65% (Colorado Department of Education, 2011). The complete study sample included
only those children for which the complete dataset was available. These were the
children who returned consent forms in time for the prestudy assessment before the
curriculum implementation had begun. Of those children, 85.7% were Caucasian and
14.2% were Latino. It was on this group that most of this study focused. After the study
began, more children returned consent forms, and I gave them the poststudy assessments
even though they had no prestudy data available. The demographic breakdown of Burris
Elementary School (grades kindergarten through grade five) can be found in Appendix A.
Burris Elementary School housed a tuition-based preschool program for 3- and 4-year-
old children. Table III.2 reflects the tuition plan. Of the complete study sample, none of
the children received financial aid. Parents enrolled their children in a half (9:00 a.m.-
45


Table III.2 Burris Preschool Tuition Rates.
Number of Days Per Week Cost Per Month
Half Day Full Day
2 $160.00 $325.00
3 $215.00 $425.00
4 $265.00 $525.00
5 $315.00 $625.00
11:55 a.m.) or full day program (9:00 a.m.-3:43 p.m.). For the complete study sample,
42.8% attended half days and 57.1% attended full days. Parents also chose to enroll their
children from two to five days per week (Burris school website, 2011). For the complete
study sample, all of the children (100%) attended for 5 days per week. This program
included the subjects of music, physical education, computer lab, and library in their
schedule for at least one-half an hour per week (Burris school website, 2011).
Comparison of the Schools. Similarities between the two preschools were
many. The schools were both located in a suburban area. They both offered parents a
variety of days and times of day their children could attend. For instance, both schools
offered the option of varying days of attendance per week. They also both offered a half
day and full day option. Both programs were tuition-based, and both appeared to be
comparably priced.
Important differences in the schools must be noted. First, the class sizes of the
preschools were significantly different. At Wright Preschool the class sizes were large,
with as many as 24 students attending in the older preschool classroom. Burris Preschool
had much smaller class sizes; the MondayfWednesday Kindergarten Plus class had only
four students and the Tuesday/Thursday afternoon preschool class had seven students. If
46


one considered the ratios instead of the actual numbers of students, the preschools looked
more similar. Wright Preschool had two teachers in the classroom at all times, with a
third teacher assisting for four-and-a-half hours per day between 10:00 a.m. and 2:30
p.m. This made the teacher-student ratio approximately 1:8 when the class was full. This
was close to the Tuesday/Thursday Burris Preschool teacher-student ratio of 1:7, but still
very different (double) from the Burris Preschool Monday/Wednesday ratio of 1:4.
Preschool teachers in this school district were considered classified staff, even if they
held teaching degrees and certificates. The teacher who utilized the curriculum from
Wright Preschool had a college degree and Certificate in Early Childhood Education, and
her teammate had a teaching license.
These differences in class size and ratios presented concerns in terms of the
limitations of the study. The nature of preschool enrollments is that they accommodate
the parents and children they serve. Therefore, these programs all look slightly different
depending upon their families needs. My original goal was to find two or three
preschools consisting of two classrooms each with similar programs to participate in this
study for a total of four to six classrooms. Two preschools with different types of
programs agreed to take part, and only one classroom from each preschool participated.
Thus, the sample was a volunteer sample of preschools and preschool classrooms. These
limitations will be discussed more thoroughly in Chapter 6.
Participants For this study the district name, the school names, the teachers
names, and the students names have been changed to ensure confidentiality. All staff
members from both preschools were female, so I will use feminine pronouns in this
dissertation when referring to the adult participants. Since the participants of this study
47


were both adults and children, I will use the terms teacher or teachers to describe the
adult participants and student, students, child, or children to describe the child
participants.
This study had two student groups. The first group I will refer to as the complete
study group. These are the students whose consent/assent forms were completed before
the teaching of the curriculum began. They are also the students for whom I have a
complete dataset; prestudy Science Learning Assessment (SLA), poststudy SLA, and
Puppet Interview Scale for Competence in and Enjoyment of Science (PISCES) scores.
This group includes seven students from Burris Preschool and 16 students from Wright
Preschool. Most of the data analyzed and discussed in this dissertation will focus upon
the students in this complete study group.
The second group of students I will call the entire study group. This was the
entire group who returned consent/assent forms, even if they were returned after the
teaching of the curriculum began. Although I had complete data for some of the students
in this group (it includes the complete study group), I did not have full data for all of the
students. For instance, if a child did not take the PreSLA but later turned in
consent/assent forms, I did administer the PostSLA and PISCES to the child. I did this
because I thought that this supplemental data might be informative at some point. This
group totaled 10 students from Burris Preschool and 29 from Wright Preschool. This
information was generally not included in most of the data analysis and discussion of this
study because the absence of prestudy data for some of the students made it difficult to
compare process skills growth. If the supplemental information is used, I will clearly
state that it is the supplemental information from the entire study group. It is important to
48


Table III.3 Data Collection Instruments Used During Each Phase of the Study.
Phase 1
Participants Instrument Purpose
Teachers Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument Determine science teaching beliefs prestudy
Teachers Inquiry Teaching subscale Determine inquiry teaching beliefs prestudy
Teachers Teachers Students Preschool Classroom Science Materials/Equipment Checklist Semi-structured Interviews Science Learning Assessment Determine resources available prestudy Determine previous science instruction, curriculum views, and understanding of inquiry Assess students process skills prestudy
Phase 2
Teachers Students Preschool Science Lesson Observational Scale Preschool Student Interest Assessment Determine choices in curriculum implementation, levels of inquiry. Figure out nature of student questions. Determine whether students preferred the topic of plants or animals
Phase 3
Teachers Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Determine science teaching
Instrument beliefs poststudy
Teachers Inquiry Teaching subscale Determine inquiry teaching beliefs poststudy
Teachers Semi-structured Interviews Determine views on the curriculum implementation, the curriculum, understanding of inquiry, and decisions made
49


Table III.3 (cont.)
Students
Science Learning Assessment
Assess students process skills
poststudy
Students Puppet Interview Scales of Competence
in and Enjoyment of Science
Determine students attitudes
towards science
note that attrition did not occur during the study. The only student assessed prestudy but
not poststudy was absent the entire last week of the study when I conducted the poststudy
assessments. More students joined the study after it had begun, which explains why
students were divided into two groups.
Phase 1 Teacher Data The teacher data collected during Phase 1 consisted of
three quantitative instruments and one qualitative interview. These were given before any
curriculum training had begun.
Quantitative Teacher Data. Following the signing of the consent forms, I
distributed three surveys to the teachers: the Science Teaching Efficacy Belief
Instrument, the Attitudes and Beliefs About Science Questionnaire Inquiry Teaching
subscale, and the Preschool Science Materials/Equipment Checklist. The teachers
sharing a classroom were allowed to complete the Preschool Science
Materials/Equipment Checklist together with their room partner.
Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument. The first survey given was the
Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument (STEBI; Riggs & Enochs, 1990; Appendix
50


B). This instrument was a 25-item, Likert-type assessment with a 5-point rating scale
{strongly agree, agree, uncertain, disagree, strongly disagree). The instrument had two
subscales, the Personal Science Teaching Efficacy Belief scale and the Science Teaching
Outcome Expectancy scale. To determine content validity, a panel of five judges
knowledgeable in the construct being measured was consulted. Any items rated
inconsistently by three or more of the judges were deleted from the instrument. Final
reliability information reflected an alpha of .92 on the Personal Science Teaching
Efficacy Belief Scale and an alpha of .77 on the Science Teaching Outcome Expectancy
scale (Riggs & Enochs, 1990). Riggs and Enochs (1990) concluded that the scales were
valid and offered reliable measures of the constructs involved in examining science
teaching beliefs with elementary teachers. This instrument has been widely used since,
and different versions of it have been developed for preservice and inservice teachers.
Upon review of the scale, I determined that the scale could give valuable information on
the science teaching beliefs of preschool teachers.
Attitudes and Beliefs About Science Questionnaire Inquiry Teaching
subscale. The second quantitative instrument completed was a subscale of the Attitudes
and Beliefs About Science Questionnaire (Appendix C; Johnson, 2004). The full
instrument was comprised of several subscales, including Teacher Background, Your
Attitudes and Beliefs About Teaching, Beliefs About Students, and Inquiry Teaching. It
was based on the Revised Attitude Scale (Bitner, 1994), the Belief Scale (Risacher &
Ebert, 1996), and the SWEPT Pre-Program Survey (Dubner et al., 2001). This
instrument was used with middle school teachers, and much of the instrument is more
appropriate for teachers of older students. The Inquiry Teaching subscale, however,
51


gives a picture of how a teacher views inquiry in teaching, which is important
information for this study. Therefore, this subscale was given. It was comprised of 19
Likert-type questions with a 4-point rating {not at all, slightly confident, moderately
confident, very confident). Although reliability and validity information was not available
for the Inquiry Teaching subscale, content validity for the entire instrument was claimed
through a review by another science inquiry expert. For the reliability, the alpha
coefficient was .77 (Johnson, 2004), indicating good reliability (Leech, Barrett, &
Morgan, 2008).
Preschool Classroom Science Materials/Equipment Checklist. The last survey
the teachers completed was the Preschool Classroom Science Materials/Equipment
Checklist (Materials Checklist; Appendix D). Tsunghui (2006) created this checklist to
document the science-related materials found in a preschool classroom. The materials
were divided into four categories. There were 19 items on the Science Materials section,
26 items on the Science Equipment section, and 10 items on the Natural Materials section
(Tsunghui, 2006). Originally, items would be checked if they were able to be seen and
used by the preschoolers in the classroom. For the purposes of this study, I asked the
teachers to check if the items were in the classroom, even if they were stored out of sight.
It was important to understand the resources teachers had available for science
instruction. Since science materials were provided to the teachers for the purposes of
teaching the curriculum selected, I was interested in obtaining a baseline checklist for
what the teachers had available to them before the study began. For most of the items on
the checklist, the teachers simply checked whether or not that item was housed in the
52


classroom. For two items, puzzles and videotapes/DVDs, the teachers recorded how
many of each item they had in the classroom.
Qualitative Teacher Data: Interviews. The qualitative component of the study
followed a case study model, examining two bounded cases of two teachers and their
classrooms. It involved conducting semi structured interviews with the teachers twice
during the study. The brief prestudy interview consisted of four questions (Appendix E)
designed to ascertain the way each teacher had taught science previously, determine each
teachers views on implementing a packaged curriculum, and assess each teachers
knowledge of inquiry science. The semi structured format enabled me to add several
additional questions that emerged as the interviews transpired.
I taped the interviews with a digital recorder and transcribed them afterwards.
These interviews occurred before the training began because I wanted to know the
teachers feelings about the topics before any training had taken place. To analyze the
data, I used three qualitative data analysis methods: constant comparison, domain, and
taxonomic. These methods enabled me to inductively discover themes and domains and
determine the relationships between them.
Phase 1: Quantitative Student Data I administered the first quantitative
instrument to the students as a pretest before any instruction from the Young Scientist
Series had occurred. This test used a subscale of an instrument called the Science
Learning Assessment (SLA; Appendix F). The subscale included nine questions on
scientific inquiry processes. For six of the questions, the children were shown
photographs and asked questions about them. The final three questions involved
displaying three science tools and asking the child which tool should be used for a
53


specific task. The children answered verbally or by pointing to their answers. Although
reliability and validity information for the subscale was not known, reliability analyses
for the entire instrument showed adequate internal consistency and an alpha of .79
(Samarapungavan, Mantzicopoulos, & Patrick, 2008).
I decided to use an assessment of science process skills instead of specific science
content knowledge for several reasons. The first was that this assessment closely aligns
with three of the four goals of the Young Scientist Series program, which are the
following:
Observe life around them more closely. . Develop science inquiry skills
including wondering, questioning, exploring and investigating, discussing,
reflecting, and formulating ideas and theories. Develop scientific dispositions
including curiosity, eagerness to find out, an open mind, respect for life, and
delight in being a young naturalist (Chalufour & Worth, 2003, p. 4).
At the preschool level, the importance of process skills has been noted by Kallery (2004),
and all of the curricular programs considered for the study placed a strong emphasis on
process skills. The second reason was that this assessment was developmentally
appropriate. Paper and pencil assessments are not suitable for preschool aged children.
The nonthreatening format of this assessment appeared to be enjoyable, which was an
important consideration in gathering data with young children. In fact, many of the
children who took the SLA stated that it was fun. Third, one component of this study
was to examine teacher choices in implementing curriculum. One major choice teachers
have in the Young Scientist Series curriculum is deciding after Open Exploration whether
or not they want to do the Focused Exploration on plants or animals. Because I used a
54


process skills assessment, teachers were able to make this choice freely, as both Focused
Explorations utilized science process skills. Therefore, the research question regarding
teacher choices was more authentically explored.
Teacher Training In September, I met with all staff members from the two
preschools, including teachers, teachers assistants, and directors. One evening five
Burris Preschool staff members attended the training, and the following week six Wright
Preschool staff members attended the training. The introductory session lasted two
hours. For the training, I utilized the Discovering Nature with Children Trainers Guide
(Chalufour & Worth, 2003) as well as the Discovering Nature DVD (Worth, Chalufour,
Moriarty, Winokur, & Grollman, 2003) that contained real-life vignettes of the
curriculum used in the classroom. The purpose of the training was to (a) orient the
teachers to the curriculum, (b) give them a deeper understanding of inquiry science, (c)
provide them with materials for the first phase of the implementation, and (d) answer any
questions they had about the curriculum. An outline of the training activities is included
in Appendix G. Although the instructional sessions were separate for the preschools due
to confidentiality, I followed the same outline for both schools. The two differences in
the trainings were that the Burris session took place at the preschool, while the Wright
sessions took place at the preschool directors home. Additionally, the Wright preschool
staff ate dinner during the training. Therefore, the Burris training occurred in a more
formal environment than the Wright training. Other than these differences, the trainings
were identical in content. After the training, one teacher from Burris Preschool and one
teacher from Wright Preschool decided to fully participate in the study and teach the
55


Table III.4 Science Materials Provided to Each Classroom During Phase 1.
Items Number
clipboards 1 per student
tongue depressors 4 per student
hand lenses 1 per student
small flashlights with batteries 6 per classroom
flexible cutting board 6 per classroom
disposable containers 6 per classroom
hand trowels 6 per classroom
measuring tape 2 per classroom
Peter First Field Guides-Trees, Wildflowers, Urban Wildlife, Insects, Butterflies/Moths, Reptiles and Amphibians, Birds of North America, Mammals 1 of each for a total of 8 per classroom
posters-Frog Life Cycle, Butterfly Life Cycle, Plants Life Cycle, Exploring Insects 1 of each for a total of 4 per classroom
large terrarium with gravel and charcoal 1 per classroom
spray bottle 1 per classroom
books-b'rom Seed to Pumpkin, Bugs Are Insects, Ducks Don 7 Get Wet, How A Seed Grows, From Tadpole to Frog, Fireflies in the Night, From Caterpillar to Butterfly cloth bags with handles 1 of each for a total of 7 per classroom 1 per student
bins to hold materials 2 per classroom
teacher composition book 1 per classroom
56


curriculum. Although only two classrooms were involved in the full implementation of
the program, I gave all four classrooms in the two preschools a basket containing the
materials so that the other teachers would have the resources to use the curriculum, even
if they were not able to utilize it fully.
Phase 2: Curriculum Implementation
The Curriculum Implementation Phase of the study included reviewing
expectations for teachers, having the teachers begin teaching the lessons, observing and
videotaping the teachers each week, determining the students subject preferences,
training the teachers on the Focused Exploration section of the curriculum, and observing
the teachers implement the Focused Exploration lessons.
Teaching Expectations Following the administration of the SLA for the children
with consent and assent forms, the teachers began to teach the lessons. I asked them to
follow the Exploring Nature with Young Children teachers guide (Chalufour & Worth,
2003) and teach two forty-five minute science lessons per week. For the first four weeks
of the study, the teachers implemented the Open Exploration section of the guide which
consisted of four steps. I suggested each teacher spend approximately one week per step.
In reality, each teacher spent different amounts of time on the steps. These differences
will be discussed thoroughly in Chapters 4 and 5. These steps are as follows:
Step 1: Introduce Children to Discovering Nature (Chalufour & Worth, 2003, p. 23)
Step 2: Observing Living Things in an Indoor Terrarium (Chalufour & Worth, 2003, p.
28)
Step 3: Teach Children How to Use Naturalist Tools (Chalufour & Worth, 2003, p. 31)
Step 4: Ongoing Explorations and Reflections (Chalufour & Worth, 2003, p. 34)
57


These were the basic parameters I gave the teachers for curriculum
implementation. While I asked them to implement the curriculum, trained them, and
gave them time guidelines to follow, they knew that I would be looking at the choices
they made in utilizing the curriculum.
Preschool Science Lesson Observational Scale A third instrument was an
observational scale used during the teaching of the science lessons (Observational Scale;
Appendix H). Each teacher was viewed once a week for a total of eight observations.
These lessons were videotaped in order to ensure that all aspects of the lesson being
observed were recorded accurately. The instrument examined the following
characteristics of lesson implementation: how closely the teacher followed the lesson,
how the teacher made choices in teaching the lesson, the nature of the students questions
during the lesson, and how the teacher realized a certain level of inquiry in the lesson.
I created this observational tool by examining a model of curriculum
implementation developed by Ringwalt et al. (2010). This model rated teachers on how
closely the content they covered and the teaching methods they used aligned to the
curriculum. The levels of inquiry rubric included in the observation form were taken
from Fay and Bretz (2008); adapted from Schwab (1964), Herron (1971), Chinn and
Malhotra (2002), Lederman (2004), and McComas (2005). I compiled the definitions of
inquiry based on the works of Fay and Bretz (2008); Yager, Adb-Hamid, and Akcay
(2005); Mumba, Chabalengula, and Hunter (2007); and Nadelson, Walters, and
Waterman (2010). Question types were also derived from Yager et al.s work (2005).
All of these sources helped me assemble an observational instrument unique to this study,
one that would give valuable information to answer the research questions.
58


I tried to establish the reliability of this instrument in two ways. First, it was
completed eight times for each teacher. During those observations, I anticipated that for
each teacher there would be a certain amount of consistency. The expectation was that a
teachers total observational information would fall around a general mean with some
outliers expected.
Another Ph.D. candidate (hereafter referred to as the research assistant) assisted
with inter-rater reliability. I trained the research assistant on how to use the observation
form. Both of us watched the DVD of the first lesson and coded it independently from
each other. We then met to compare our observations of the lesson. The research
assistant completed observations of three of the sixteen lessons for a total of 18.7% of the
lessons.
Because the observation form was divided into three sections, inter-rater
reliability was computed for each section of it. Then an overall inter-rater reliability was
determined based on an average of the three sections.
The first section of the observation form was the Curriculum Implementation
rating. For this, the coders tallied numbers of curricular attempts, changes, omissions,
additions, and new methods. For each of the three lessons, I took the total for each
observable action by each rater and calculated the percentage that total was for the total
number of observed actions. I did this for all five types of observable actions (attempts,
changes, omissions, additions, and new methods). Then I looked at the differences in the
percentages for each observable action, totaled them, and subtracted that total from 100.
For the first lesson, the percentage difference was 64%, for the second lesson it was 59%,
59


and for the third lesson it was 84%. Averaging these three percentages yielded a total
inter-rater reliability of 69%. This was below the 80% level I had wanted to achieve.
The second section of the observation form categorized students question. A
label of procedural or curiosity was assigned to each question. When I initially met with
the research assistant to look at how closely we categorized the students questions, we
had heard different numbers of questions. For the first DVD, I heard 71 student
questions and the research assistant had heard only 17. Since the questions were not
transcribed, it was not possible to look at each individual question and how it was coded.
Therefore, I computed what percent of the total the procedural and curiosity questions
were. For my coding, 67% of the questions were procedural and 33% were curiosity.
The research assistants coding showed 29% of the questions to be procedural and 71% to
be curiosity. These percentages were very different, but may have been different because
of the vast difference between the number of questions we heard. We discussed the
difference in the number of questions heard and determined that I had heard more
questions because I had been present for the lessons and had videotaped them. Therefore,
I decided to transcribe the questions for the three lessons the research assistant would be
coding.
After transcribing the questions, I sent them to the research assistant so she could
categorize them. I also coded from the same transcription. Going through this process
enabled us to figure out the inter-rater reliability based upon a question-by-question
coding, yielding a more accurate inter-rater reliability. In addition to the predetermined
codes (procedural and curiosity), both of us added the code of unknown for questions that
did not fall into either category. More explanation of the types of questions and how they
60


were coded will be presented in Chapter 4 and Chapter 5. The inter-rater reliability for
the question categorization was initially 74%.
Since I was striving for 80% inter-rater reliability, I then looked at how the
research assistant and I had coded the individual questions. I determined that there were
several questions from one of the lessons that she had coded more accurately than I, so I
changed the codes for them. For instance, I had coded the questions, What about a
pumpkin? and What about a spider? as procedural questions, but realized that the
assistants coding of curiosity was more accurate. There were also several questions I
had tried to fit into the predetermined codes that she had categorized as unknown. I went
back and looked at those questions and changed my codes because her codes were more
accurate. There was actually one question for which I changed the coding that reflected a
disagreement after the change. After all of these adjustments, the inter-rater reliability
for this section of the instrument increased to 80%. After reexamining the questions, I
went back through the codes for all questions in the remaining 13 lessons and double
checked to see if I needed to change any of my previous codes.
For the levels of inquiry section of the instrument, I looked at five components of
each lesson: the rating for problem question, the rating for procedure method, the rating
for solution, the overall rating, and the overall level of inquiry {structured, guided, or
full). This gave 15 possible ratings related to inquiry for the three lessons. Although
some researchers consider the ratings close enough if they are within one point of each
other, I decided to only say there was agreement if the ratings were identical. This
yielded a more conservative estimate of the inter-rater reliability. The research assistant
61


and I were in agreement on 12 out of the 15 ratings, making the inter-rater reliability for
this section 80%.
The goal was that the two observers would agree on 80% of the coding, providing
good inter-rater reliability. Due to time constraints, I was not able to meet again with the
assistant after our initial meeting. I believe that, had we met again, we would have been
able to achieve higher inter-rater reliability for the instrument. The Curriculum
Implementation subscale of the instrument yielded an inter-rater reliability of above 80%
in Ringwalt et al.s study (2010). Therefore, I think that the inter-rater reliability issues
stemmed from the training on how to use the instrument, not from the instrument itself.
If I used this instrument again, I would make some modifications to it. The research
assistant and I had decided that we could double code components of the lessons. I
would eliminate that option and have us select only one choice for coding each
component of the lesson. Ringwalt et al. (2010) did not double code the changes,
omissions, and additions categories. Had the research assistant and I made these
categories mutually exclusive, our inter-rater reliability may have increased.
Additionally, I would simplify the instrument by eliminating the New Methods
section, including any New Methods in the Additions section. Separating these two
constructs did not elucidate the information gained for this particular study. Last of all, I
would write my own definitions of Attempts, Omissions, Changes, and Additions.
Creating my own definitions for these areas would help ensure the information gained
from the instrument was specific to this study.
The validity of this instrument was determined through triangulation with other
data sources. I looked for convergence of data between the STEBI, the Inquiry Teaching
62


subscale, the qualitative interviews, and the Observational Scale to verify the validity of
the scale. I expected some data to be divergent, providing more questions, but hoped that
most of the data gathered would be consistent.
Students: Preschool Student Interest Assessment The Open Exploration
period of the curriculum examined both plants and animals. During the fourth week of
Open Exploration, I administered another assessment to the children involved in the
study. I was interested in knowing whether or not the children were more interested in
plants or animals before they moved into the Focused Exploration. Therefore, I
developed a simple instrument to determine in which topic each student was more
interested. The instrument was a simple, 5-item questionnaire. Students were given
pictures and books of plants and animals and were asked which of these they preferred in
certain situations (Appendix I). The assessment was developmentally appropriate and did
not require any verbal skills at all. The child was simply able to point to the picture or
book he or she most preferred. This assessment was shared with two science education
experts to ensure it was an appropriate assessment. Both experts felt the instrument was
suitable for use with preschoolers.
To score the assessment, I assigned one point for each choice the child selected.
If a child chose both plants and animals on the questions, which some did, I gave a point
for each. Because the categories were not mutually exclusive, the number of total points
for plants and animals varied according to the individual child. I then calculated which
topic the class as a whole preferred by tallying the number of children who preferred
plants and the number who preferred animals. Both of the teachers were aware this
63


assessment was being given. I was willing to share the results of their classs preferences
with the two teachers.
Training During the fourth week of Open Exploration, I provided another
training to the teachers. Although only the two teachers were directly involved in
teaching the lessons, the training was open to any staff members of the preschools who
wanted to attend. One afternoon three members of the Burris Preschool staff attended the
training, and another afternoon four members of the Wright Preschool staff attended. The
trainings each lasted one hour and fifteen minutes, and both of them occurred at the
preschools. As with the initial training during Phase 1,1 utilized the Discovering Nature
with Children Trainers Guide (Chalufour & Worth, 2003) as well as the Discovering
Nature DVD (Worth et al., 2003). The purpose of the training was to help the teachers
transition to the Focused Exploration component of the curriculum. During the session
they observed live mealworms, developed questions about them, and devised simple
experiments to figure out the answers to their questions. They reviewed the inquiry
process and discussed how teachers can facilitate that process. They also learned the
purpose and elements of Focused Exploration. The session concluded with a review of
the teaching expectations of two 45-minute periods of science per week. An outline of
the training activities is included in Appendix J. The teachers were given a choice about
whether or not they wanted to pursue the Focused Exploration on plants or animals, and
both of them decided to study animals. Each classroom (a total of two classrooms) was
given more materials to facilitate the Focused Exploration on animals (see Table III.5).
Focused Exploration The Focused Exploration section of the curriculum offered
several choices for teachers to follow. The first, as has been mentioned previously, was
64


that a teacher may decide whether or not to further study plants or animals with her
students. Teachers who chose to study animals had several steps through which they
could take their students using the Discovering Nature With Young Children curriculum.
They were:
Step 1: Search for Animals (Chalufour & Worth, 2003, p. 80)
Step 2: Make a Home for Visiting Animals (Chalufour & Worth, 2003, p. 83)
Step 3: Observe Animals Up Close (Chalufour & Worth, 2003, p. 89)
Following Step 3, teachers could focus more closely on animals body parts,
animal behavior, or animal life cycles.
If a teacher chose to study plants for the Focused Exploration, that teacher could
move through several steps with her students. They were as follows:
Step 1: Growing Plants (Chalufour & Worth, 2003, p. 42)
Step 2: Monitoring Plant Growth and Development (Chalufour & Worth, 2003, p. 47)
Step 3: Plants and Their Parts (Chalufour & Worth, 2003, p. 52; this section offered
numerous lesson ideas for exploring the different parts of the plant)
Step 4: Monthly Tree or Bush Observations (Chalufour & Worth, 2003, p. 72)
Allowing the teachers to select plants or animals for the Focused Observation
offered them more individual options in implementing the curriculum. It also provided
data on what factors they used to make their pedagogical decisions.
65


Table III.5 Science Materials Provided to Each Classroom Phase 2-Focused
Exploration.
Items Number
mealworms 1 container per classroom
small mealworm container 1 per classroom
larger mealworm container 1 per classroom
apples 2 per classroom
potatoes 2 per classroom
container of oatmeal 2 per classroom
water snails- Inca Gold and Mystery * 2 of each for a total of 4
small snails * a bunch
small rectangular aqua container * 1
container of fish food for snails * 1
water purifier * 1
information on water snails from internet * 1
ants 1 container per classroom
ant farm container 1 per classroom
large terrarium 1 per classroom
66


Table III.5 (cont.)
books -Silkworms and Mealworms; Mealworms: Raise Them, 1 per classroom for a total of 4
Watch Them, See Them Change; Mealworms (Watch It
Grow); Mealworms (Life Cycles)
crickets 1 container per classroom *
*Materials provided to Mrs. Kennedy only, since she moved more quickly into the
Focused Exploration phase.
Phase 3: Post Curriculum Implementation
Following the eight weeks of instruction from Discovering Nature With Young
Children, I moved into Phase 3 of the study. During this phase, more data were collected
from the teachers and students involved in the study.
Teacher Data The teachers completed two of the quantitative instruments they
were given at the beginning of Phase 1 of the study, the STEBI and the Inquiry Teaching
subscale. Comparing their pre and post scores on these surveys provided me with
valuable information about how the curriculum implementation impacted the teachers
attitudes about science instruction and inquiry teaching. Understanding the teachers
attitudes enabled me to revisit three of the hypotheses presented in Chapter 1. I predicted
that different preschool teachers would implement a packaged science curriculum in a
variety of ways, depending upon their comfort level teaching science (as evidenced by
the STEBI) and their philosophies regarding science inquiry (as shown by the Inquiry
Teaching subscale). I also stated that I thought teachers with an initial higher comfort
level teaching science (as reflected on the STEBI) would implement the curriculum
67


making more personal teaching choices. The third hypothesis posited that teachers who
value science inquiry (as shown on the Inquiry Teaching subscale) would feel freer to
make adjustments to the curriculum.
The two teachers involved in the full curriculum implementation were
interviewed again. This interview was longer than the initial interview. Its purpose was
to determine the teachers opinions about the curriculum, including its strengths and
weaknesses. It also ascertained the components of the curriculum the teachers used,
determined their opinions of how the students responded to the curriculum, and verified
whether or not using the curriculum changed their ideas of what inquiry science meant.
Questions asked may be found in Appendix E. As with the initial interviews, these
interviews were taped with a digital voice recorder and transcribed.
Student Data The students completed two assessments during Phase 3 of the
study. They took the SLA again as a posttest. Administering this assessment again
allowed me to determine whether or not the teachers different choices in implementation
affected the students acquisition of science process skills.
Additionally, the students participated in another scale, the Puppet Interview
Scale for Competence In and Enjoyment of Science (PISCES; Patrick et al., 2009;
Appendix K) in order to ascertain their attitudes about and competence in science. This
13-item instrument assessed two constructs, perceived science competence and science
liking. It utilized two identical puppets who made dichotomous statements about science
(I have fun learning science or I do not have fun learning science; Patrick et al.,
2009). The child picked the puppet which thought the most like her or him. The alpha
68


levels of this instrument were .79, indicating good reliability (Leech, Barrett, & Morgan,
2008).
Data Analysis The first part of this section will describe the qualitative methods
I used to analyze the interview and observation data. Leech and Onwuegbuzie (2007)
stated that researchers need to use two or more analysis methods in order to triangulate
the results of a qualitative study, so I used three different qualitative analysis methods to
increase the rigor of my study. Based upon my research questions, I selected constant
comparative, domain, and taxonomic analysis methods. Following the discussion of
qualitative methods, I will present the methods I used to explore the quantitative data.
Qualitative: Constant Comparative Analysis. I used constant comparative
analysis for my initial qualitative data analysis because I wanted to explore the general
questions I posed using the entire dataset to identify underlying themes (Leech &
Onwuegbuzie, 2007). After transcribing the interviews, I reviewed them and grouped the
questions into categories. For instance, for the first interview I selected the following
categories: science instruction, curriculum implementation, and inquiry science. After
that, I broke the participants answers into chunks. Most of the chunks were about one
sentence long, with longer sentences divided into smaller chunks. I then assigned codes
to the chunks using an inductive process, striving to use in vivo codes whenever possible.
I felt that assigning predetermined codes to the chunks might cause me to hear what I
wanted to hear instead of what was actually stated. Occasionally I assigned descriptive
codes when I felt the participants words would not be clear enough to understand as a
code. Each time I came to a new chunk of information, I determined whether or not I
needed to create a new code or use an existing code for it. Part of this entailed looking at
69


Table III.6 Teacher Statements on Science Instruction and Codes Assigned to
Them.
Teacher Statements Codes
Um, mainly as a center, science center science center
And we try to do it based on the theme that we have so, um, for instance, if we did a fall theme theme
We usually do a theme a week, so fall theme we try to bring in things that pertain to fall theme
Um, Im trying to think if color, when were doing colors, we do color mixing um, colors
sometimes well do a baking thing if were doing, um, just trying to think, um, you know gingerbread men or bread, baking
or um when we do the, uh, dinosaurs we make volcanoes volcanoes
We build the little baking soda and vinegar and do the little experiment with that experiment
70


the main idea of the chunk. If the main idea or focus could be described with a
preexisting code, I used that code. If the main idea of the chunk was not included in a
preexisting code, I assigned a new code to it. Table III.6 shows a sample of statements
and the codes assigned to them. After coding all of the chunks, I grouped the codes
according to similarities between them. Based upon the categories that emerged, I wrote
a theme statement for each topic addressed in the interviews. These theme statements
(see Appendix L for an example) synthesized the information collected in a concise
manner, reflecting the heart of the participants thoughts and feelings. They also
provided me with information for the next type of data analysis I used, domain analysis.
Qualitative: Domain Analysis. Domain analysis was selected for two specific
reasons. First, it helped me determine and understand more deeply the relationships
among the different concepts and themes. Second, using this method combined with
taxonomic analysis following the first interview enabled me to determine on which issues
I needed further clarification for the second interview.
For the domain analysis, I used the categories selected from the interview
questions. For the first interview these categories were science instruction, curriculum
implementation, and inquiry science. For the second interview the categories were
curriculum implementation process, curriculum strengths, curriculum weaknesses,
student response, supplemental materials, inquiry science, choices, level of inquiry,
appropriateness, and extra information. These categories became the cover terms for the
domain analysis. For the included terms, I used the themes that emerged from the
constant comparative analysis. I used all nine of Spradleys (1980) semantic
71


relationships, which were the following: strict inclusion, spatial, cause-effect, rationale,
location for action, function, means-end, sequence, and attribution. Going through each
semantic relationship with the categories and themes enabled me to delve into the data
and examine the relationships between the terms.
Qualitative: Taxonomic Analysis. The last qualitative analysis method I used
was a taxonomic analysis. This type of analysis was used to help me understand how the
teachers used specific words in their interviews. It also enabled me to see relationships
between all of the terms they used. Using the domain and taxonomic analyses can help
researchers formulate additional questions if they plan to interview the same participants
again.
Since I had used domain analysis, I already had much of the information I needed
to complete the taxonomic analysis. First, I decided which semantic relationships to use.
I began by reconsidering the research questions and clarifying what I really wanted to
learn from the interviews. I selected semantic relationships that would help answer those
questions most effectively. I also looked at which semantic relationships would offer the
most information to include in the taxonomies (Spradley, 1980). In some cases, I tried
several semantic relationships and created taxonomic analyses of each. When going
through them, however, I discovered that the final taxonomies were similar regardless of
the semantic relationship used to create them.
After the first interview, I formed the top level of each taxonomy with the cover
terms science instruction, curriculum implementation, and inquiry science. Below that, I
grouped similar included terms and created the second level. After that, any other
included terms that fell under the ones already written were placed under them. In this
72


Curriculum
Implementation
Process \
pick and choose
_£EL
want to do
play with it
figure out what
doesnt work
time
work
Figure III.1 Taxonomy of Mrs. Benedicts Responses Regarding Curriculum
Implementation.
way, I developed six different taxonomies, three for each teacher. An example of one
teachers taxonomy is included in Figure III. 1. I then examined the taxonomies to
determine if I needed to create further questions for the final interviews. Although I had
written questions for the final interviews before the study began, I wanted to add any
questions necessary to provide a deeper understanding of the teachers thoughts and
feelings. For the second interview, I consolidated some of the related terms into the same
taxonomies. For instance, the top category of one taxonomy was curriculum, but under
73


that term were the following categories: strengths, weaknesses, student response, and
appropriateness. By doing this, I was able to group similar topics together. I developed
twelve taxonomies, six for each teacher. Juxtaposing the taxonomies helped me compare
and contrast the teachers prestudy and poststudy views.
Qualitative: Preschool Science Lesson Observational Scale. The Preschool
Science Lesson Observational Scale was analyzed in a different way. For each teacher, I
consolidated the data from each component of the scale, Curriculum Implementation,
Student Questions, and Levels of Inquiry. I compiled a chart of all eight observations to
determine patterns seen in each teachers overall lesson implementation. By viewing the
data from all of the lessons in one place, I was able to determine how closely the teacher
followed the curriculum, in what ways the teacher altered the lessons, what types of
questions her students asked, and what levels of inquiry she promoted during the lessons.
This dataset was important because it enabled me to see what each teacher actually
accomplished instead of relying on self report, which can be problematic. The results of
this data were combined with the outcomes of the instruments and interviews to give a
more complete picture of how the teacher utilized the curriculum.
Quantitative Data Analysis. For the quantitative data analysis, I utilized SPSS.
The sample sizes in this study were small, two teachers and 23 students for the complete
dataset. It was difficult to make inferential arguments with the quantitative data from
such small samples, but the data offered valuable information in answering the research
questions. The statistics used were descriptive (Leech, Barrett, & Morgan, 2008) and
inferential (t-tests).
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Several variables may have come into play in this study. Although teacher quality
variables, such as content knowledge and experience level, may have influenced the
results, I chose to focus on one primary independent variable and two dependent
variables. Since the teachers used the same curriculum and were given the same training
on its implementation, the individual differences between them was the primary
independent variable for this study. The two dependent variables were the students
posttest scores on the SLA and their scores on the PISCES.
I examined the teachers scores on the STEBI, the Inquiry Teaching subscale, and
the Materials Checklist and compared the two teachers scores to each other at the
beginning and end of the study. This enabled me to see similarities and differences
between the teachers. I also looked at each teachers score on each of these instruments
at the beginning of the study and compared it with her score at the end of the study. By
doing this, I could determine whether or not differences existed in the teachers views
after the training and curriculum implementation had occurred.
For the students, I was interested in comparing the two groups of students on the
SLA pretest to see if there were significant differences between them at the beginning of
the study. I also compared each groups pretest scores on the SLA with its posttest scores
on it. This way I was able to determine whether or not each group improved in its
process skills acquisition over the course of the teachers implementation of the
curriculum. Additionally, it was important to compare the scores between the classes on
the PISCES at the end of the study to determine whether or not the teachers choices in
implementation affected their students attitudes towards science.
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Basic difference questions can be answered with a t test (Leech, Barrett, &
Morgan, 2008), so this statistical method was used to analyze the data. An independent
samples t test can be used to compare two different groups of students to determine if a
statistical significance exists between the two (Leech, Barrett, & Morgan, 2008). I used
this type of t test to see if differences existed between the prestudy SLA scores of Burris
Preschool and Wright Preschool. Paired samples t test can be used when two scores are
repeated measures, such as a pre and posttest (Leech, Barrett, & Morgan, 2008). I used
this type of t test to determine if the students pre and post SLA scores from each school
increased in statistically significant ways. I also explored the measures of central
tendency for all quantitative data collected. By using these statistical methods, I was able
to explore how teachers pedagogical choices affected their students process skills
acquisition and attitudes towards science.
Looking Ahead
The next two chapters will elaborate upon the results of the data analysis methods
presented in this chapter. Chapter Four will focus on the teacher at Burris Preschool and
Chapter Five will concentrate on the teacher at Wright Preschool. Each chapter will
follow a similar structure, moving through each phase of the study chronologically. Each
will present the results of the qualitative and quantitative data analyses. At the end of
each chapter, the information will be synthesized, tying together all of the data into an
integrated whole.
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CHAPTER
IV. CASE STUDY OF MRS. KENNEDY
Structure of the Chapter
This chapter will focus on the data I collected from Mrs. Kennedy and her
students. First I will discuss Mrs. Kennedys beliefs about science teaching, delving into
both qualitative and quantitative data. Both her pretest and posttest scores on the surveys
and her interview data will be analyzed. At the end of that section I will compare and
contrast her own prestudy and poststudy beliefs about science teaching. After that I will
address her beliefs about inquiry as evidenced in her scores on the Inquiry Teaching
subscale and her interviews. As in the previous section, I will compare and contrast her
beliefs about inquiry using the prestudy and poststudy data.
Following that I will briefly discuss the results of the Materials Checklist to
examine the resources Mrs. Kennedy had available to her before curriculum
implementation began. I will conclude the first section by discussing Mrs. Kennedys
beliefs about curriculum as shown in her pre and poststudy interviews. Part of this will
include her general views on curriculum implementation and part of it will include her
specific opinions on the Young Scientist Series.
The second section of the chapter will include information gathered from the
videotaped observations made during the eight weeks of the curriculum implementation.
I will focus on the results of the different sections on the Observational Scale. These will
include how closely Mrs. Kennedys lessons aligned with the prescribed curriculum, the
nature of her students questions, and the overall levels of inquiry she demonstrated.
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In the last section of the chapter, I will examine the student data collected. I will
first look at the students scores on the SLA prestudy and poststudy. Then I will discuss
the students PISCES scores and how they compared with Mrs. Kennedys views of how
her students responded to the curriculum. At the end of the chapter will be a summary of
Mrs. Kennedys teaching and how her teaching choices affected her students learning.
Mrs. Kennedy: Description of the Classroom
Mrs. Kennedy taught four afternoons per week at Burris Elementary School. On
Monday and Wednesday afternoons, she taught a preschool class for 4-year-old children.
Parents in the preschool were offered a choice of whether to enroll their child for full
days or half days, as well as how many days a week they wanted their child to attend.
Because of this, the number of students in Mrs. Kennedys preschool class varied
depending upon the afternoon. She had as few as five students and as many as eight
students, depending upon the day. On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, she taught a
Kindergarten Plus program. The children in this program attended the kindergarten at
Burris Elementary School in the morning and went to Mrs. Kennedys class in the
afternoon. Mrs. Kennedys Kindergarten Plus class size varied, too, depending upon the
day of the week. She had as few as three students or as many as five, depending upon the
afternoon. Mrs. Kennedy was the sole teacher for these students in the afternoon.
The physical classroom was of average size. It was not an oversized classroom,
as are many early childhood rooms, but more the size of a regular elementary classroom.
Please see Figure IV. 1 for a diagram of the classroom. It had various posters, calendars,
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door
Figure IV.l Diagram of Mrs. Kennedys Classroom (not to scale).
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letters, weather charts, and other items on the walls. There was a television set present.
Two long tables were placed end-to-end where the students ate their snacks and
completed their work. There was also a kidney-shaped table on one side of the room. In
one comer, there was a make-believe area with a castle-like structure and various toys.
Although the materials in the classroom were not all new, they were clean and in good
condition. The classroom had a comfortable feel to it.
Beliefs
This first section will focus upon Mrs. Kennedys views on science teaching, her
understanding of inquiry, her materials in the classroom, her beliefs about curriculum,
and her opinions about the Young Scientist Series.
Beliefs About Science Teaching I determined Mrs. Kennedys beliefs about
science teaching with the STEBI instrument and the prestudy interview. Table IV. 1
shows each teachers scores on the STEBI broken down by subscale. Mrs. Kennedy is
Teacher #4 on the table and is highlighted in bold. When the study began, Mrs. Kennedy
scored a 50 on the Personal Science Teaching Efficacy Belief (PSTEB) scale, one of the
two subscales of the instrument. Compared with the other six teachers who completed
this assessment prestudy, she scored second from the highest (along with another teacher
with the same score). Her score of 50 out of a possible 65 placed her near the top of the
range of 33-52. Her score of 44 on the Science Teaching Outcome Expectancy (STOE)
scale fell in the middle of the range of 40-48. Her total score was a 94 out of a possible
125. The totals for the other teachers ranged from 79-97, so she scored second from the
top on the STEBI prestudy. Her scores on the STEBI at the beginning of the study
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Table IV.l STEBI Scores for Teachers.
Teacher PSTEB Pre STEBI Scores PSTEB Post Total
STOE Total STOE
1 37 48 85
2 33 46 79 44 47 91
3 50 40 90
4 50 44 94 52 42 94
5 52 45 97
6 40 40 80
7 44 40 84
Teacher 2 and Teacher 4 were the two fully participating teachers.
Poststudy data was not collected on Teachers 1, 3, 5, 6, and 7 because these teachers did
not participate in the entire study.
Note: Mrs. Kennedys scores are Teacher 4.
showed that, compared to the other preschool teachers, she felt confident in her ability to
teach science effectively. The only teacher who scored higher than Mrs Kennedy on the
STEBI elected not to participate in the study.
Riggs and Enochs (1990) shared means for the STEBI subscales for teachers at
different grade levels. The youngest grade level included was kindergarten. Since no
data existed for the STEBI with preschool teachers, comparing Mrs. Kennedys scores
with kindergarten teachers seemed to be the closest match. The mean for 26 kindergarten
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Full Text

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UTILIZING AN EARLY CHILDHOOD SCIENCE CURRICULUM: FACTORS INFLUENCING IMPLEMENTATION AND HOW VARIATIONS by Ellen Shamas Brandt B.M., University of Colorado, 1987 M.Ed., Vanderbilt University, 1988 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosoph y Education al Leadership and Innovation 2012

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ii 2012 Ellen Shamas Brandt All rights reserved

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iii This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy degree by Ellen Shamas Brandt has been approved for the Educational Leadership and Innovation Degree by Michael P. Marlow Chair Karen Johnson John Paull Robert Talbot Donna Wittmer Date ___ March 26, 2012 __

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iv Shamas Brandt, Ellen (Ph.D., Educational Leadership and Innovation) Utilizing an Early Childhood Science Curriculum: Factors Influencing Implementation Thesis directed by Associate Professor Michael P. Marlow. ABSTRACT Early childhood is a ripe time for students to begin learning science, but due to certain constraints, this instruction is not happening as frequently as it should. This mixed methods multiple case study examined how two teachers implemented an early childhood science curriculum, the Young Scientist Series The teacher participants were two early childhood teachers and student participants were three groups of 4 to 6 year olds they taught for eigh t weeks The study decisions affected their students process skills acquisition and attitudes toward science. It specifically examined how the teachers made choices about what to include, change, omit, and add to the lessons. It also analyzed the levels of inquiry present in the lessons (structured, guided, or open). Quantitative data were collected from the teachers through questionnaires, checklists, and observations, and qualitative data were gathered throu gh interviews. Student data were quantitative. Their science process skills and attitudes towards science were assessed with two age appropriate instruments, the Science Learning Assessment and the Puppet Interview Scale for Competence in and Enjoyment o f Science. Findings showed that the students of the teacher who followed the curriculum more closely and employed more structured inquiry did not grow in their process skills, and their attitudes followed a normal distribution. The students of the teache r who followed the curriculum more leniently and employed more guided inquiry

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v grew in their process skills in significant ways. Their attitudes followed a negatively skewed distribution, reflecting that a majority of the students scored very highly on the attitude assessment. Keywords: early childhood, science, curriculum, inquiry, process skills, attitudes The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Approved: Michael P. Marlow

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vi DEDICATION I dedicate this wor k to William L. Goodwin, a man whose intelligence, humor, love of learning, support, kindness, and perseverance have continued to inspire me to achieve my goals.

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vi i ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank many people for their support during my Ph.D. program. To start, I want to express my appreciation to my Dissertation Committee. Many thanks to Mike Marlow, who took me on as an advisee very late in my program, offered me support, and always made me feel confident in my ability to finish. I am so thankful for his willingness to become my advisor at a time when I needed it most, both academically and emotionally. His suggestions for others to round out my committee were thoughtfully considered and helpful to me. Donna Wittmer, who has been a mentor from the very beginning of my academic program, has also been instrumental in helping me in inspired me to look towards a proje ct that I felt would help children in the process of conducting research. Bud Talbot has been tremendously helpful to me in terms of working on data collection and analysis, as well as offering constructive feedback through the drafts of my dissertation. His willingness to meet with me anytime I needed often helped lighten the moments. I also felt, through him, the presence of someone else who has been greatly missed. Kar en Johnson has offered another perspective in this process. It has been helpful to have a person on this committee who teaches in the public dissertation has also provided me with a strong example to follow when trying to write a dissertation with meaning. Last of all, I want to thank Bill Goodwin for his incredible support through the years of my program. He was one of the first I ever met, and I will

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viii never forget him. Bill wanted to consider as one of my research questions. I also need to thank my colleagues from my school system and elementary school. My principals supported my development through the progr am and understood the importance of learning to me. I am forever indebted to them for allowing me to take an educational sabbatical to complete my program. T he teammates who worked with me and the long term substitutes who covered for me were also impor tant players in this I thank the preschool directors, staff members, and students who were involved in this study. I especially thank the two teachers who fully participated and their students. They gave time, energy, and enthusiasm to this project, and I could not have done it without them. I also must thank several organizations for their financial support. Huge thanks go to the Chickasaw Nation, who provided me with scholarship and grant funding for the program. The laptop grant was especially helpful to me, as I used it for most of my dissertation work. I also wa nt to thank Steven Rhoden at Redleaf Press for providing curriculum and training materials to m e f or this study. Jennifer Selby a t Delta Education provided additional book sets for the classrooms, which were very much appreciated. I also want to thank the professionals in the field of early childhood science education who allowed me to use their i nstruments and diagrams. Last of all, I want to thank my family members for their support. My siblings, Laura and Huck, always supported and believed in me. Laura was especially inspiring to me, because she helped me realize that I, too, could work towa rds a Ph.D. She has been,

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ix and always will be, a primary role model in my life. My husband, George, has realized, from the moment we met, that this program was so important to me. He was a patient listener to my tales of inter rater reliability and curri culum implementation. He also held down the fort at home when I had to solely focus on the dissertation. My parents, Annawyn and Jimmy Shamas, have been amazing through this process. They have helped me with child care, support, and always a belief that enough words exist to thank them appropriately. Last of all, I want to thank my wonderful daughters, Kaylene and Annamarie, for their support of my involvement in this program. Even as young children, they realized how im forget mentioning to someone how I was tempted to give up several years ago, and These words were s tated from the mouth of a child. My interest in early childhood emerged when I became a mother to these girls, and I am so grateful for their flexibility and adaptability. Many thanks to all of the people who helped me, in ways large and small, complete this Ph.D. program. I c ould not have done it without the support of an incredible team of people.

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x TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 1 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 1 Importance of Early Childhood Science ................................ ................................ 2 The Problem ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 3 Standards and Accountability ................................ ................................ ................. 4 Early Childhood Science Curriculum ................................ ................................ ..... 5 Curriculum Implementation ................................ ................................ .................... 6 Inquiry ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 7 Theoretical Framework ................................ ................................ ......................... 10 Research Questions and Hypotheses ................................ ................................ .... 12 Overview of Methodology ................................ ................................ .................... 13 Structure of the Dissertation ................................ ................................ ................. 15 I I LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ .......................... 17 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 17 Historical Background ................................ ................................ .......................... 17 Teacher Beliefs ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 18 Teacher Identity ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 21 Constructivism ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 25 Inquiry ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 27 Levels of Inquiry ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 29 Curriculum Implementation ................................ ................................ .................. 3 2 Concer ns Based Adoption Model ................................ ................................ ......... 34

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xi Decisions ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 36 Student Attitudes ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 37 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 39 I II. RESEARCH DESIGN ................................ ................................ ............................... 41 Overview of the Methods ................................ ................................ ...................... 41 Phase 1: Pre Curriculum Implementation ................................ ........................... 42 Sites ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 42 Wright Elementary School and Preschool. ................................ ............... 4 4 Burris Elementary School and Preschool. ................................ ................ 45 Comparison of the Schools. ................................ ................................ ...... 46 Participants ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 47 Phase 1 Teacher Data ................................ ................................ ...................... 50 Quantitative Teacher Data. ................................ ................................ ....... 50 Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument. ................................ .... 50 Attitudes and Beliefs About Science Questionnaire Inqu iry Teaching subscale. ................................ ................................ .............................. 51 Preschool Classroom Science Materials/Equipment Checklist. ......... 52 Qualitative Teacher Data: Interviews. ................................ ..................... 53 Phase 1: Quantitative Student Data ................................ ................................ 53 Teacher Training ................................ ................................ ............................. 55 Phase 2: Curriculum Implementation ................................ ................................ .. 5 7 Teaching Expections ................................ ................................ ....................... 5 7 Preschool Science Lesson Observational Scale ................................ ............. 5 8 Students: Preschool Student Interest Assessment ................................ ......... 6 3 Training ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 6 4 Focused Exploration ................................ ................................ ...................... 6 4

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xii Phase 3 : Post Curriculum Implementation ................................ .......................... 6 7 Teacher Data ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 6 7 Student Data ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 6 8 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ........................... 6 9 Qualitative: Constant Comparative Analysis ................................ .... 6 9 Qualitative: Domain Analysis ................................ ........................... 7 1 Qualitative: Taxonomic Analysis ................................ ..................... 7 2 Qualitative: Preschool Science Lesson Observational Scale ............ 7 4 Quantitative Data Analysis ................................ ................................ 7 4 Looking Ahead ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 7 6 I V. CASE STUDY OF MRS. KENNEDY ................................ ................................ ...... 7 7 Structure of the Chapter ................................ ................................ ........................ 7 7 Mrs. Kennedy: Description of the Classroom ................................ ...................... 7 8 Beliefs ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 8 0 Beliefs About Science Teaching ................................ ................................ ..... 8 0 Beliefs About Inquiry ................................ ................................ ..................... 8 5 Materials Checklist ................................ ................................ ......................... 9 0 Beliefs About Curriculum ................................ ................................ ............... 9 2 Beliefs About The Young Scientist Series ................................ ....................... 9 2 Observational Scale ................................ ................................ ........................ 9 4 Decisions Made ................................ ................................ ............................. 1 0 0 Scheduling ................................ ................................ .............................. 1 0 0 Student Choice ................................ ................................ ....................... 1 0 1 How Soon to Move From Open Exploration to Focused Exploration .. 1 0 2 Focused Exploration: Plants or Animals ................................ .............. 1 0 3

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xiii What to Cover During Focused Exploration ................................ ........ 1 0 4 Student Questions ................................ ................................ ......................... 1 0 5 Overall Levels of Inquiry ................................ ................................ .............. 1 0 7 Connections Between Levels of Inquiry and Prestudy Attitudes on STEBI, Inquiry Teaching Subscale, and Mater ials Checklist ................................ .... 1 0 9 Student Data ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 1 0 9 Pre and Post SLA ................................ ................................ ................... 1 1 1 PISCES ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 1 1 2 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 1 1 5 V. CASE STUDY OF MRS. BENEDICT ................................ ................................ ..... 1 1 7 Structure of the Chapter ................................ ................................ ...................... 1 1 7 Mrs. Benedict: Description of the Classroom ................................ .................... 1 1 8 Beliefs ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 1 2 0 Beliefs About Science Teaching ................................ ................................ ... 1 2 0 Beliefs About Inquiry ................................ ................................ ................... 1 2 3 Materials Checklist ................................ ................................ ....................... 1 2 9 Beliefs About Curriculum ................................ ................................ ............. 1 3 0 Beliefs About The Young Scientist Series ................................ ..................... 1 3 2 Observational Scale ................................ ................................ ...................... 1 3 3 Decisions Made ................................ ................................ ............................. 1 3 8 Scheduling ................................ ................................ .............................. 1 3 8 W h o l e G r o u p V e r s u s S m a l l G r o u p ................................ ........................ 1 3 9 Student Choice ................................ ................................ ....................... 1 3 9 How Soon to Move From Open Exploration to Focused Exploration .. 1 4 0 Focused Exploration: Plants or Animals ................................ .............. 1 4 0 What to Cover During Focused Exploration ................................ ........ 1 4 1

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xiv Student Questions ................................ ................................ ......................... 1 4 2 Overall Levels of Inquiry ................................ ................................ .............. 1 4 3 Connections Between Levels of Inquiry and Prestudy Attitudes on STEBI, Inquiry Teaching Subscale, and Materials Checklist ................................ .... 1 4 4 Student Data ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 1 4 5 Pre and Post SLA ................................ ................................ ................... 1 4 5 PISCES ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 1 4 8 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 1 5 0 VI. COMPARISONS AND CONCLUSIONS ................................ .............................. 1 5 3 Structure of the Chapter ................................ ................................ ...................... 1 5 3 Efficacy and Science Teaching ................................ ................................ .... 1 5 3 Inquiry Subscale: Pre and Post ................................ ................................ ... 1 5 6 Materials Checklist ................................ ................................ ...................... 1 5 8 Beliefs About Curriculum ................................ ................................ ............ 1 5 9 Young Scientist Series ................................ ................................ .................. 1 6 0 Observations ................................ ................................ ................................ 1 6 1 Student Questions ................................ ................................ .................. 1 6 3 Inquiry ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 1 6 3 Decisions ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 1 6 4 Student Data ................................ ................................ ................................ 1 6 7 Revisit Research Questions ................................ ................................ ................. 1 6 9 Limitations of the Stud y ................................ ................................ ...................... 1 7 1 Future Research ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 1 7 4 Synthesis ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 1 7 5 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 1 8 3

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xv APPENDICES ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 186 REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 276

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xvi LIST OF TABLES Table I II.1 Overview of the Three Phases of the Study ................................ ............................. 43 III.2 Burris Preschool Tuition Rates ................................ ................................ ............... 46 III.3 Data Collection Instruments Used During Each Phase of the Study ....................... 49 III.4 Science Materials Provided to Each Classroom During Phase 1 ............................ 56 III.5 Science Materials Provided to Each Classroom During Phase 2 ............................ 66 III.6 Teacher Statements on Science Instruction and Codes Assigned to Them ............ 70 IV.1 STEBI Sc ores for Teachers ................................ ................................ .................... 81 IV.2 Mrs. Kennedy's Pre STEBI to Post STEBI Response Shifts ................................ .. 84 IV.3 Mrs. Kennedy's Observational Data ................................ ................................ ....... 95 IV.4 Student Questions During M rs. Kennedy's Lessons ................................ ............. 106 IV.5 Levels of Inquiry in Mrs. Kennedy's Lessons ................................ ...................... 108 IV.6 Descriptive Statistics Burris Preschool SLA Pretest and Posttest ........................ 110 IV.7 Descriptive Statistics Burris Preschool PISCES ................................ ................... 114 V.1 STEBI Scores for Teachers ................................ ................................ .................... 121 V.2 Mrs. Benedict's Pre STEBI to Post STEBI Response Shifts ................................ 123 V.3 M rs. Benedict's Pre Inquiry Teaching Subscale to Post Inquiry Teaching Subscale Response Shifts ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 127 V.4 Mrs. Benedict's Observational Data ................................ ................................ ....... 134 V.5 Student Questions During Mrs. Benedict's Lessons ................................ .............. 143 V.6 Levels of Inquiry in Mrs. Benedict's Lessons ................................ ........................ 144 V.7 Descriptive Statistics Wright Preschool SLA Pretest and Posttes t ........................ 146 V.8 Descriptive Statistics Wright Preschool PISCES ................................ ................... 150

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xvii VI.1 Comparison of Teacher Data ................................ ................................ ................ 154 ........................... 168

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xviii LIST OF FIGURES Figur e I.1 with permission of Karen Worth ................................ ................................ ................................ 9 I.2 Theoretical Framework for the Study ................................ ................................ ........ 11 .... 73 ................................ ................................ ... 79 of inquiry science prestudy ............ 87 .......... 89 IV.4 The SLA pretest total distribution ................................ ................................ ......... 110 IV.5 The SLA posttest total distribution ................................ ................................ ........ 111 IV.6 The PISCES total distribution ................................ ................................ ............... 113 V.1 Diagram of Mrs. Benedict ................................ ................................ ... 119 V.2 Taxonomic analysis of M .......... 125 V.3 Taxonomic analysis of Mrs. Benedict's v iews on inquiry science poststudy ......... 128 V.4 The SLA pretest total distribution ................................ ................................ ........... 146 V.5 The SLA posttest total distribution ................................ ................................ ......... 147 V.6 The PISCES total distribution ................................ ................................ ................. 149 A.1 Demographic breakdown of Burris and Wright Elementary Schools ..................... 187

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xix LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS C BAM Concerns Based Adoption Model ECHOS Early Childhood Hands On Science Inquiry Teaching subscale Attitudes and Beliefs Ab out Science Questionnaire Inquiry Teaching subscale Materials Checklist Preschool Science Materials/Equipment Checklist NCLB No Child Left Behind Observational Scale Preschool Science Lesson Observational Scale PISCES Puppet Interview Scale for Competence In and Enjoyment of Science PrePS Preschool Pathways to Science PreSLA Prestudy Science Learning Assessment PostSLA Poststudy Science Learning Assessment PSTEB Personal Science Teaching Efficacy Belief SLA Science Learning Assessment SPSS Statistical Package for the Social Sciences STEBI Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument STEM Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics SWEPT Scientific Work Experiences Programs for Teachers STOE Science Teaching Outcome Expectancy

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1 CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION Introduction The subje ct of science has received more attention in the educational arena during the past decade. As a result of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, commonly known as No Child Left Behind ( No Child Left Behind Act 2001 ) science has generated interest in educators of even the youngest children. No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requires that states administer a science test in each of three grades (3 5, 6 9, 10 12), a requirement that began in 2007 2008 evolved since its initial implementation, and the federal government has granted some states waivers from NCLB requirements. Despite the se changes, the federal government stakes assessments. Since younger children are being tested on their science knowledge, concerns about science proficiency ha ve surfaced (Penuel, Fishman, Gallagher, Korbak, & Lopez Prado, 2009 ). President Barack Obama has stressed the importance of science education, not only in his 2008 presidential campaign ( "A World Class Education 2008 ) but in his 2011 State of the Union Address. In that Address, he advocated for more scientific innovations in our society ( "State of the Union 2011," 2011 ) He also expressed concern that the quality of our math and science instruction la gs behind many other nations. On July 18, 2011, President Obama announced four major commitments to education. One of following:

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2 tec hnology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and includes efforts from the federal government and from leading companies, foundations, non profits, and science and engineering societies to work with young people across America to excel in science and ma As a result of these political and societal pressures educators of all levels are beginning to reexamine science education Rowena Douglas, the past program director for K 8 science at the National Science Foundation, acknowle dged that interest in science was growing even in the preschool community ( Jacobson, 2002 ) This renewed interest in science makes the topic of early childhood science curriculum a ti mely one Importance of Early Childhood Science and the subject of science is no exception Research has shown that the foundation for educational opportunities in science can help promote chi Spodek, 2008). During the preschool years, children begin to construct science concepts of more complexity (Lind, 1998). Critical spans for knowledge attainment in young children occur between the ages of four a nd six, and for some subjects this critical window closes early (Begley & Hager, 1996). According to Eshach and Fried ( 2 0 0 5 ) science is one of those subjects One of the most important reasons for including science in early childhood education is becau & Fried, 2005; French, 2004; Rillero, 2005; Worth & Grollman, 2003). Children are also more capable of reasoning in scientific ways than previously thought (Eshach & Fried,

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3 2005), and are able to create theories about the world and how it works (Conezio & French, 2002). These skills and ways of thinking are important to learning throughout life (Worth & Grollman, 2003). The Problem Despite the importance of starting science instructio n early (Brenne man & Louro, 2008; Kallery P s i l l o s & T s e l f e s 2009; Tsunghui, 2006 ; Yoon & Onchwari, 2006), many young children are not receiving science instruction (Chaille & Britain, 2003; Ginsburg & Golbeck, 2004). The reasons are many. One of the most important reasons is that early childhood teachers do not feel equipped to teach science (Friedl & Koontz, 2005; Watters, Diezmann, Grieshaber, & Davis, 2001). Many feel they lack the content knowledge needed to teach science (Forbes & Davis, 2008; Gilbert, 2009; Kallery, 2004; science content. Even though early childhood teachers have informal sc ience knowledge acquired through their hobbies, interests, and classes, they do not realize this type of knowledge can enable them to teach science (Fleer, as cited in Fleer, 2009). This insecurity makes them hesitant to include science in their schedules Another factor impeding early childhood science instruction is time (Burgess, Robertson, & Patterson, 2010; Penuel, Fishman, Gallagher, Korbak, & Lopez Prado, 2009). Teachers often feel that they do not have the time needed to include science in the ir schedules (Henning & King, 2005; Pell & Jarvis, 2001; Varelas, House, & Wenzel, 2005). Although one would expect early childhood teachers to have more flexibility in their schedules, such a strong focus on early literacy and numeracy skills exists that many

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4 teachers have a difficult time fitting subjects that are considered less essential into their school day (Forbes and Davis, 2008; Mantzicopoulos, Patrick and Samarapungavan, r stated, 510). In one study, only 13% of first grade students learned s cience from their teachers on a daily basis. (National Center for Education Statistics, 2006). Because science is not prioritized in early childhood, studies have shown that Science Standards and Accountability Accountability concerns have been pushed down to an even younger age (Hatch & Grieshabe r, 2002). The science standards created by t he National Committee on Science Education Standards an d Assessment begin in the kindergarten years (as cited in Helm & Gronlund, 2000) years included in the definition of early childhood education. As of 2009 preschool science standards had been written in 12 states ( Sackes, Trundle, & Flevares, 2009 ) as well. In Colorado, t he Colorad o Department of Education included six standards related to science in its preschool standards ( New Colorado P 12 Academic Standards 2012) They are as follows: Objects have properties and characteristics. There are cause and effect relationships in ev eryday experiences. Living things have characteristics and basic needs.

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5 Living things develop in predictable patterns. materials. Events such as night, day, the movement of objects in the sky, weath er, and seasons have patterns (Colorado Preschool Program Staff, 2011, p. 3). With the focus on accountability, how can preschool teachers ensure children are given a solid science learning foundation before they be gin elementary school? Early Childhood Science Curriculum When studying preservice teachers, Forbes and Davis (2008) found that curricular materials could help support them with their science content deficits. During the past decade, several science curricular packages for the early childhood years have been created. Pres chool Pathways to Science (Gelman, Brenneman, Macdonald, & Roman, 2010 ) A Head Start on Science ( Ritz, 2007), ScienceStart! (French, 2004; Peterson & French, 2008) Early C hildhood Hands On Science (Brown & Greenfield, 2010) The Creative Curriculum Study Starters (Heroman, 2005), the GLOBE Program (Penuel et and the Young Scient ist Series ( Chalufour & Worth, 2003; Chalufour & Worth, 2005 ) are all programs designed for early childhood. Many of these programs utilize an inquiry approach, but the levels of inquiry reflected in them vary. Additionally, instruction, and utilization of packaged curricula can heavily impact how the programs are delivered.

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6 In this age of accountability, standards, and a push down model of curriculum, packaged curricular programs have been embraced by school district s. In one major m etropo litan area, the Goodwin Public Schools system has implemented several curricula for different subject areas : Everyday Mathematics for math, Units of Study for writing, and the Houghton Mifflin reading series for reading. Implementatio n o f these curricula vary according to the teachers using them It is vital to examine what choices teachers make when implementing curricula, as those choices can impact the students and their learning. Curriculum Implementation The concept of fideli ty of implementation reflects that teachers need to implement a curriculum as it is intended to be used by its developers It is also referred to as fidelity, adherence, and quality of program delivery. It includes both the proportion of content attempted and th e modifications to the content (Jackson Newsom as cited in Ringwalt et al., 2010) Some feel that teachers should use a curriculum as it is intended to be used; others feel that effective teachers adapt and change curricula to accommodate the different n eeds of their students. Some teachers may feel disempowered by the presence of a scripted program, thinking it stifles their creativity and professional judgment (Bolman & Deal, 2008; Crawford, 2004). Others may see a packaged curriculum as a relief, hel ping save them time and reducing the number of decisions they need to make. No matter how a teacher approaches a packaged curricula, she or he make s decisions regardi ng its use. Will the teacher implement it exactly as proposed? If not, on what basis wi ll that teacher change, omit, or add components to it? These are questions all teachers answer, even if they are not cognizant of them. Studies need to examine how

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7 teachers implement curricula and how the variations in their implementation affect their o Inquiry Yet another decision teachers must make when teaching science is how much inquiry to incorporate in their lessons. Inquiry has been defined in various ways, with some defini tive aspects being consistent (hands on, experiential learning) and some varying (the degrees of teacher and student control in the lesson). Engaging in inquiry based science allows children to conduct investigations, use tools and techniques for data col lection, think critically and logically about relationships between evidence and explanations and communicate scientific arguments (Kallery et al., 2009). Participation in inquiry learning helps y o ung children engage in genuine science activities making their learning more meaningful (Hogan, as cited in Kallery et al., 2009) Worth created a diagram titled (see Figure I.1 ). In this framework, it appears that one stage follows the previous one. However, inquiry is not always a linear process. Children can move back and forth through the process as they experience the world around them (Chalufour & Worth, 2003). Often three levels of inquiry ( Nadelson, Walters, & Waterman, 2010 ; Yager, Abd Hamid, & Akcay, 2005 ) and sometimes up to four ( Mumba, Chabalengula, & Hunter, 2007 ) have been defined Even though the number of levels may vary, the criteria for defining them is similar. Most move fr om one end of a continuum with open inquiry, wh ere the student has input into most, if not all aspects of the science experience, to a more structured inquiry, where the teacher directs most of the activities. Teachers

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8 comfort levels vary in how much control they want to have in their classrooms. Fo r et al., 2005, p. 504). Others feel that inquiry based teaching is too difficult to implement (Gilbert, 2009) and may feel overwhelmed by the process of changing the ir practices (Rogan, 2007). Therefore, teachers may favor a certain level of inquiry depending upon their overall philosophies. Examining how teachers make decisions regarding different levels of inqu iry is important knowledge to contribute to science re search. inquiry, the most important question should be, how do these factors affect the students? First, it is critical to ascertain how much learning students gain from the progr ams. attitudes towards science in those sub jects. Additionally ikely they will be to continue to study those topics as they get older. (Mantizicopoulos et al., 2008). rtant, too. In the 1970s, Harle n stated that active teacher participation in curriculum development is crucial (as cited in Pell & Manganye, 2007). essential. If they dislike the curriculum, they are unlikely to use it even if it yields

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9 Figure I. 1 Reproduced with permission of Karen Worth.

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10 Theoretical Framework Several theories are incorporated in the theoretical framework of this study. Figure I.2 shows a visual diagram demonstrating this model. Teacher beliefs are at the top of the model, as what a teacher believes impacts all aspects of her or his teaching. For this study, three important foci related to teacher beliefs are present. First, the incorporated into science instruction is also important. Last, a tea curriculum, specifically a packaged curriculum, impact how that teacher instructs the students. The second level of the model is the decision making step in the sequence of implementation will affect how that teacher makes choices in teaching science. For this level, identity theory, constructivism, and fidelity of cu rricular implementation play an important role. A theory related to curriculum implementation is the Concerns Based Adoption Model a framework developed by Hall and Hord (1987) (as cited in Ringwalt et al., 2010) This model offers six levels of curricul u m implementation, from Level I ( initial orientation ) to Level VI ( mastery ) This theory resonates with my belief that to utilize a curricular package effectively

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11 Figure I 2 Theoretical Framework for the Study The last level of the model is how teacher decisions affect the students. The decisions teachers make regarding how much inquiry to include in the lessons and how attitud interconnected, so there is a two sided arrow between those two. teachers, inquiry instruct ion, and curriculum implem entati on impact the types of acquisition and attitudes towards science. Teacher Beliefs Teacher Identity Inquiry Teacher Decisions Curriculum Student Process Skills Student Attitudes

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12 Research Questions and Hypotheses This study will examine how two preschool teachers implement the Young Scientist Series preschool science curriculum. This curriculum was selected fo r several reasons. First, the progra m is highly experiential with a strong inquiry base. The inquiry level of this curriculum as a w hole falls into the guided inquiry category, in between structured and full inquiry. Second, the Young Scientist Series while a packaged program, offers many opportunities for the teacher to make different types of choices in implementation. Last, this p rogram is developmentally appropriate. It would not serve the participants in this study to select a curriculum that offered a push down of content more appropriate for older learners. The Young Scientist Series was developed for 3 to 5 year olds, and t he lessons and activities are appropriate for that age level ( Chalufour & Worth, 2003 ) I developed two types of questions for the study, an overarching question and several specific research questions. The overarching question of this study is the following: Ho w do two different preschool teachers implement a packaged science curriculum? The specific research questions are as follows: 1. What variations exist in how the teachers implement the curriculum? In what ways do the teachers follow the directions o f the program? In what ways do they alter the directions of the program (attempts, changes, additions, omissions)? What teaching choices do the teachers make in relationship to science inquiry? 2. How do variations in curriculum implementation affect student science process skills (prediction, observation, investigation, using science tools) acquisition?

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13 3. How d o variations in curriculum implementation affect student attitudes towards science? Based upon the research questions, I made several hyp otheses regarding what I thought the outcomes of the study would be. I share them below: Hypothesis 1: Different preschool teachers will implement a packaged science curriculum in a variety of ways, depending upon their comfort level teaching science an d their philosophies regarding science inquiry. Hypothesis 2: Teachers with an initial higher comfort level teaching science will implement the curriculum making more personal teaching choices. Hypothesis 3: Teachers who value science inquiry will feel freer to make adjustments to the curriculum. Hypothesis 4: In classrooms where teachers utilize more inquiry activities, students will show more gains in science process skills. Hypothesis 5: In classrooms where teachers utilize more inquiry activities ( implement the curriculum more freely, making their own choices when necessary), students will reflect more positive views of science. Overview of Methodology This study used mixed methods, incorporating both quantitative and qualitative measures to invest igate how teachers implement an early childhood science curriculum

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14 and how their choices impact their students. The qualitative component of the research teaching the curricu lum. Criteria for inclusion was determined by inviting all of the preschools in a small suburban school district to participate and then including those teachers willing to spend the time and effort necessary to fully implement the Young Scientist Series curriculum. Student subjects were determined by selecting those students in the two classrooms whose parents consented to the study and who assented to the study themselves. Therefore, this was a volunteer sample. This study utilized data from multiple sources. For the teacher data, quantitative data were collected by using the Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument (Riggs & Enochs, 1990), the Attitudes and Beliefs About Science Questionnaire Inquiry Teaching subscale (Johnson, 2004), the Preschoo l Science Materials / Equipment Checklist (Tsunghui, 2006) and the Preschool Science Lesson Observational Scale. Since the and each other. I also compared their impleme ntation of curriculum, student questions, and levels of inquiry using the Preschool Science Lesson Observational Scale, looking at total numbers and means. Qualitative data was gathered through audiotaped interviews. Interviews were transcribed, chunked, and coded using constant comparative analysis. Emergent theme statements were generated which consolidated the interview information. Following the constant comparative analysis, domain and taxonomic analyses were completed to determine relationships be tween the codes and ascribe connections between ideas. Inductive coding was used throughout this process, with in vivo coding used whenever possible.

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15 Quantitative student data was gathered with the Science Learning Assessment pretest, the Preschool Stud ent Interest Assessment, the Science Learning Assessment posttest, and the Puppet Interview Scale for Competence In and Enjoyment of Science (Patrick, Manticopoulos, and Samarapungavan, 2009) posttest. The SPSS quantitative computer program was used to ge nerate descriptive statistics. In order to compare the groups of students to themselves pre and posttest, paired t tests were run. Independent t tests were run to compare the groups of students to each other. Structure of the Dissertation This first c hapter has introduced a nd defined the research problem: E arly childhood students are not receiving science education at precisely the time it should be introduced to them due to time and resource constraints The research questions have been defined, and several hypotheses have been presented. The second chapter will present a review of the literature pertinent to the study. It will offer a brief history of science education, specifically inquiry science methods and how they have evolved through recent educational history. Topics to be addressed will be teacher beliefs, teacher identity, inquiry, constructivism, curriculum, teacher decisions, and student attitudes. This chapter will present the context of this study and show how the study fits into the larger picture of science education. The third chapter will present the research design in detail. This will include site data collection methods teacher quantitative instruments, teac her qualitative methods, student quantitative instruments, and an overview of how the data will be analyzed.

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16 Chapter Four and Chapter Five will each describe o ne case in the study. Chapter F our will present results about the first teacher involved in t he study. It will examine the pre toward teaching science, curriculum implementation, and inquiry science It will then discuss how that teacher implemented the curriculu m, inc luding the different choices the teacher made in delivering the lessons Last, it will look at how the students performed on the process skills and attitudes toward science assessments. Chapter F ive will follow the identical organizational format a s Chapter Four, but will cover the information gathered from the second teacher involved in the study. The final chapter will begin with a comparison of the two teachers. It will investigate similarities and differences between them, examining all of the data. Part of science. Conclusions and inference s derived from the data will be share d and explored. After that, I will revisit the hypotheses presented in this chapter and determine whether or not they were realized. L imitations of the study will then be outlined, which will lead to ideas for further research on the topic of early childh ood science education. The dissertation will conclude with a brief synthesis of the findings of the study.

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17 CHAPTER II. LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction In this chapter I will review the literature pertinent to this study. I will offer a brief summary of the history of science education. Then I will summarize information on teacher beliefs, teacher identity, constructivism, inquiry, curriculum implementa tion, the Concerns Based Adoption Model, teacher decisions, and student attitudes. All of these topics play a role in the conceptual framework presented in Chapter 1. Historical Background through periods when it was highly valued and times when it was subordinated to other content. In the late 1950s, the Soviet space exploration prompted our country to reexamine science and prioritize it in education ( Ogawa, Loomis, & Crain, 2008; Yager, 200 0 ) Reform efforts in both the private sector and in pub lic education began to emerge. At that time interactive, hands on museums such as the Exploratorium opened, reflecting a different model for imparting kn owledge from museums prior to that time (Og awa et al., 2008). Around the same time, the National Science Foundation started supporting the development of science curricula, notably curricula that emphasized inquiry methods of instruction. Although these programs were initially embraced interest i n them was not sustained (Ogawa et al ., 2008). During the 1970s, science took a backseat to other subjects again. The Back to Basics movement propelled other subjects into the limelight.

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18 I n the past decade of massive educational reforms, however, people are recognizing the importance of science education in our society. Science programs developed in the 1960s and 1970s bear some striking philosophical similarities to the programs created in the past decade. The Elementary Science and Science: A Proces s Approach curricula both focus on inquiry as the primary method to impart scientific knowledge to students ( Rakow & Bell, 1998 ) Most reform movements and studies contend that utilizing an inquiry science approach is the most effective way to teach science (Lind, 1999) Reflecting this viewpoint, an emphasis on inquiry science has bee n advocated by the National Research Council ( "Start Science S ooner," 2010 ) Teacher Beliefs students, their attitudes are important factors influencing their success in teaching sci ence (Yoo, 2009). During the 1990s, research in teacher education examined teacher beliefs. These studies looked at where the beliefs came from, how easy they were to change, and how they ick & Reed, 2002). In feelings about science impact their instruction (Ginsburg & Golbeck, 2004). science and background and prior work experiences impacted her or his views of science teaching.

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19 Often teachers respond differently to phenomena depending upon their phil osophies, the strategies they learned, and their experience with previous reform movements (Coburn, 2004). Sometimes these prior learning experiences are at odds with effective, inquiry want progress in science education, we need to look more carefully at the emotions of science teaching, both negative and positive emotions, and use this knowledge to improve the working and understanding those belief systems can help promote new science teaching techniques (Simmons et al., 1999). Although the affective component of teac hing may be crucial to learning, it is often not given consideration when planning preservice or inservice programs (McPherson, 2009). Interest, motivation, and science teaching efficacy are important in influencing teacher leaders in science (Lewthwaite 2006). The way we feel intrinsically about a subject strongly influences our teaching of the subjects. We devote more time to it and we teach it more passionately. I of the children science (Lewthwaite & Fisher, 2005, p. 596). When teachers do not feel they have science teaching efficacy or they have little support from their colleagues, their developm ent as science teachers is hindered (Lewthwaite, 2006).

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20 As stated in Chapter 1, one problem facing science education today is the fact that elementary teachers have negative attitudes towards science (Koballa & Crawley, as cited in Eshach, 2003). Some have strong enough content knowledge in science to teach the subject effectively. These teachers can create a nurturing or discouraging atmosphere in the classroom for science learning (Saracho & Spodek, 2008). According to Marilou Hyson, an Associate Director levels al so can trickle down to their students (as cited in Jacobson, 2002). Because their attitudes impact their students, we need to help early childhood teachers change their attitudes towards science instruction (Yoo, 2009). tudes have had mixed results. On one side, Eshach be achieved in a short time. Yoo (2009) shared that early childhood teachers who were developed a stronger interest in science education and became more positive about science teaching. Additionally, using informal settings to educate teachers can help teachers change their epistemologies of science teaching (Katz et al., 2010) and benefit them affectively. Participating in the Scientific Work Experiences Programs for Teachers enabled teachers to develop more positive views of science teaching and more inquiry based instructional methods (Dubner et al., 2001). Woolhouse and Cochrane (2010 ) showed that teachers involved in the Science Additional Specialism Programme developed a renewed interest in science, becoming enthusiastic about the subject again.

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21 the y do not easily change their beliefs based upon arguments or reasoning ( Enyedy, Goldberg, & Welsh, 2006). Luehmann (2007) reported that, even when offered classes and field experiences, many teacher candidates did not alter their views about themselves as a science teacher. Sometimes teachers simply do not want to change, so they ignore reform efforts (Sofou & Tsafos, 2010). systems impact how they teach science, which al so affects how their students learn. In investigated. Teacher Identity Schwartz (2001) offers a historical view of identity theory, beginning with Sigmund Freu d, continuing with Erik Erikson, and moving towards more recent identity theorists. Although Sigmund Freud (1930/1965) was one of the first theorists to discuss the question of self definition, Erik Erickson was the first to form a full fledged identity t heory, publishing his first writings on identity in the 1950s (Schwartz, 2001). His definition of identity considered both internal and social contexts (Schwartz, 2001). After Erikson, Marcia was the first neo Eriksonian identity theorist to generate sig nificant research writings (Schwartz, 2001). Since the 1980s six additional theorists built upon the earlier work, presenting new identity models. These six models were influenced by Erikson and Marcia (Schwartz, 2001), and they either extended or exp anded upon the earlier identity models.

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22 utilization of innate potentials; critical problem solving skills, social responsibility; integrity of character; social and c ultural contexts; and all three levels of identity between how a person views him or herself and how that person is seen by others (Luehmann, 2007). of identity, whether it is constructed internally or externally, influences how he or she behaves. The identity to be considered in this dissertation is how teachers view themselves as science teachers and curriculum implementers. Forbes and Davis stat beliefs, self efficacy, and general dispositions toward teaching practice and the evolution Hufferd A ckles, 2001; Forbes & Davis, 2008, p. 911). Learning is a part of this (Hoveid h istory and life stories impact her or his identity as a reform literature review (1992) examines studies whose results show the impact of life history on the way a preservice teacher sees him or herself as a certain kind of teacher their profession, stating that teachers are members of a group of teachers, but they are also individuals. Teachers reveal themselves by their actions, and they project their teacher people as being a certain type of teacher (as cited in Luehmann, 2007).

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23 Studies have been conducted on preservice teachers and how their beliefs influence how they begin to teach science (Eick & Reed, 2002; Katz et al., 2010). Several researchers have looked at identity as a lens to look at how preservice teachers see themselves as s cientists and science teachers (Varelas et al., 2005). Katz et al. (2010) beliefs about science teaching and learning related to how they saw themselves as future science teachers. They drew the following conclusions regarding science teacher education: Tea cher preparation should give p r e service teachers the ability to be seen as knowledgeable and confident in reform based science teaching practices. Additionally, trainin g for preservice teachers should encourage those future teachers to be seen as showing excitement for science and modeling that excitement to their students when they teach science (Katz et al., 2010). professional identities not only cover how they view their subject and knowledge of teaching, but are an ongoing story of how they develop a professional self over time. Eick and Reed (2002) researched how identity influenced inquiry teaching practices. In their study, they found that preservice teachers who engaged in structured inquiry on a regular basis developed stronger identities as inquiry play when developing these identities, including sc ience courses and work experiences (Volkman & Anderson, 1998). Luehmann (2007) felt that teachers need to develop identities that align with inquiry based reform practices in order to improve science instruction. Identity is constantly changing, (Luehman n, 2007). Therefore, if beginning

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24 science teaching can be promoted (Eick & Reed, 2002). Luehmann (2007) believed that becoming a reform based science teacher involv es creating a new identity as a reform minded science teacher, one that challenges the current norm of science instruction (Cochran Smith, 1991). Likewise, when a teacher ability to implement inquiry based strategies (Luehmann, 2007). Gee also contends that professional identity may play an important component in how teachers teach science (as cited in Katz et al., 2010). Other researchers have examined the interplay betw een how teachers see themselves and compared those views to their observed practices (Enyedy et al., 2006; Johnson, 2004). Looking at how teachers implemented a curriculum titled hem to implement the curriculum differently. Considering identity and practice at the same time is important, as the two constructs are interconnected (Enyedy et al., 2006). Identity has also been used as a way to examine curriculum implementation. Forbe identities specifically related to their use of curriculum materials for elementary science rs a curricular role identity considers how preservice teachers view use of materials to oped, and teachers should be encouraged to create a curricular role identity where curricular

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25 resources are valued as teaching tools. These identities can be influenced by education and classroom contexts (Forbes & Davis, 2008). They also found that teacher characteristics, such as how they utilize curricular materials, were important. (Forbes & Davis, 2008). Preservice elementary teachers will become actively involve d in their own curricular role identity when they work with science curriculum materials. (Forbes & teacher will help that teacher consider changes in practice in a more thoughtful way (Enyedy et al., 2006). Constructivism The theory of constructivism has played an important role in informing inquiry based teaching practices. It is a developmental (Gelman & Brenneman, 2004) multi faceted approach to learning because it considers both theory and practice (Bush, 2006). Constructivism examines learning with a cognitive lens. It posits that knowledge is constructed by the learner through experience (Bush, 2006), thus focusing on the learner as the main player in his or her actively involved in seeking and assimilating knowledge (Gelman & Brenneman, 2004). scope to the spontaneous resear ch of the child or adolescent and require that every new truth to be learned be rediscovered or at least reconstructed by the students, and not Some have recommended that hands on science instructio n should be utilized when developing instructional programs (McKeown, 2003). A focus on hands on

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26 methods helps children become engaged in language (Rillero, 2005) and positive interactions with peers (Conezio & French, 2002). The hands on approach helps elementary children learn science more effectively by using manipulatives to explore the world (McKeown, 2003). When a teacher uses hands on methods combined with (Rill ero, 2005). This method also helps improve their creativity and attitudes towards science. (Rillero, 2005). These hands on classrooms may show children playing and experimenting with different materials. Although this may be fun and may cause children to generate questions, it is not enough of an activity to be considered constructivist (Chaille & Britain, 2003; Eick & Reed, 2002). Just because a t e a c h e r uses hands on activities does not ensure that children are involved in meaningful inquiry (Sarach o & Spodek, 2008). Involvement in a task is desirable, but this involvement is not enough in itself to help the students learn important concepts (Howes, 2008). Additionally, young children can learn more than people previously thought, and that has he lped us understand that early childhood education should entail more than just play alone (Ginsburg & Golbeck, 2004). Karen Worth stated that many preschool teachers plan isolated science activities, setting up a science table and thinking that is suffici ent for science instruction (as cited in Jacobson, 2002). Such activities do not encourage attainment of a deeper scientific knowledge base (Winnett et al., as cited in Gelman & Brenneman, 2004). Isolated pockets of unconnected, fragmentary science activ ities (Kallery et al., 2009) will not Mantzicopoulos, & Samarapungavan, 2009). Children need adults to help them make

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27 those deeper connections (Fleer, 2009; Howes, 200 8). Teacher input can enable the be effective teachers in a constructivist science classroom, teachers need to be able to understand the subject of science and the nat ure of scientific inquiry (Saracho & Spodek, 2008). Inquiry When science reform movements have occurred, usually the term inquiry has been at the heart of them (Aulls & Shore, 2008). In fact, one focus of a standards based curriculum is understanding inq uiry (Flick & Lederman, 2005). The National Science Education Standards have given great importance to inquiry based science teaching (Chiappetta, 2008). Inquiry is included in three of the six overarching science standards. (Friedl & Koontz, 2005). The science teaching standards also state that teachers need to be able to plan inquiry based science programs (Friedl & Koontz, 2005). Inquiry learning has many components. Defining inquiry concisely can be a challenging task. One aspect of inquiry learni ng is the following, a shift of emphasis from teachers imparting knowledge to students learning through engagement (Eick & Reed, 2002; Friedl & Koontz, 2005; Rakow & Bell, 1998). Inquiry skills include asking questions (Friedl & Koontz 2005;Worth & Grollm an, 2003), making observations (Conezio & French, 2002; Worth & Grollman, 2003), planning investigations (Conezio & French, 2002; Flick & Lederman, 2005; Friedl & Koontz, 2005; Kallery et al., 2009; Worth & Grollman, 2003), collecting data (Friedl & Koontz, 2005; Kallery et al., 2009; Worth & Grollman, 2003), and communicating the findings (Conezio & French, 2002; Flick & Lederman, 2005; Friedl & Koontz, 2005; Kallery et al., 2009; Worth &

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28 Grollman, 2003). Developing these process skills is importa nt in science (Kallery, 2004). When scientists generate and answer questions about the world, they are engaged in the process of inquiry (Chaille & Britain, 2003). Inquiry helps children experience science in a meaningful way, which enables them to impro ve their understanding of science (Ornstein, 2006). It helps them engage in scientific (Luehmann, 2007) and critical thinking (Kallery et al., 2009). These critical thinking skills can help children develop deeper knowledge. Inquiry teaching is an appr oach that many professional groups advocate (Chiappetta, 2008; Eshach, 2006), including the Benchmarks for Science Literac y (Saracho & Spodek, 2008) and 2010). Some feel that inquiry teaching is crucial to effective science instruction (Aulls & Shore, 2008) and should be an integral part of science instruction instead of something added on when time permits. Chalufour and Worth (2003) write of inquiry with young children, describing it as a circular pro cess (see Figure I.1 in Chapter 1). Children go through different stages where different inquiry skills are used. Although it seems like one stage should logically follow another, sometimes the process is not linear. Children will often move back and for th from one stage of inquiry to another. Inquiry teaching has shown positive results. Some feel that students at all levels should be able to engage in scientific inquiry (Eshach, 2006; Ornstein, 2006), including children in kindergarten through second g rade (Eshach, 2006). It has shown affective gains in students (Ornstein, 2006), and one group found that the gains were particularly marked in females in terms of nurturing their enjoyment of science (Patrick et al., 2009).

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29 When defining a term, it is so metimes useful to look at what the term is not. Therefore, lessons that give procedures that are already determined with known results are usually not considered inquiry (Eick & Reed, 2002). While the more traditional lecture approach to teaching science has enabled teachers to cover many topics, the student learning coming from them has been disappointing. Although students can regurgitate what they have been told, they do not have a deep understanding of science concepts ( Rezba, 1996 ). Additionally, t his approach to teaching often causes students to lose interest in classes (Stipek, 2006) and stop taking science courses as soon as they can (Rezba, 1996). Science teachers who transmit knowledge through didactic methods are very different from ones teach ing in constructivist classrooms (Pell & Manganye, 2007). Levels of Inquiry In most of the inquiry literature, different levels of inquiry are presented. Determining the level of inquiry is based upon an interplay between how involved the student is in th e science experience and how involved the teacher is. Yager et al. (2005) offer three different levels of inquiry; structured, guide d, and full These authors took a lesson plan from the Exploratorium on making foam and adapted it to three different leve ls of inquiry. For the structured inquiry they provided a worksheet for students to complete on how to make foam. The worksheet gave specific directions for the students to follow. The guided inquiry on plan. The full inquiry experience enabled the students to experiment freely without mention at all of how to make foam. These authors looked at how engaging in di fferent questions and actions in the classroom (Ya ger et al., 2005).

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30 bsite offered the foam activity mentioned above and d efined the three activities as Guided Activity Challenge Activity and Inquiry Activity ctivity provided a worksheet f or the stu dents, the Challenge A ctivity offered a challenge to build a tower of foam following certain parameters, and the Inquiry Activity explored the materials and foam at the station. These activities appear to be slightly different than the ones Yager et al. (2 005) provided. Mumba, Chabalengula, a n d Hunter (2007) used similar terms in their discussion of inquiry levels, but they cited four levels of inquiry. Their definitions were based on the work of Tafoya, Sunal, a n d Knecht ( as cited in Mumba et al., 2007). These were confirmation inquiry where students are given an answer and asked to verify it. In structured inquiry activities, students are given a problem and they have to figure out how to complete the activity with instructions. Guided inquiry gives t he students a scientific problem, but they have to figure out how to solve it. The last level is open inquiry where students generate their own hypotheses and figure out how to test them (Mumba et al., 2007). Nadelson, Walters, and Waterman (2010) provi ded four levels of inquiry in their definition, but used only three in their research implementation. Their research examined outcomes. The inquiry rubric presented by this team was based upon Schwab (1962 ). Alth ough Chiappetta & Adams (2004) also listed four levels of inquiry, they were defined slightly differently. Their levels look ed at the connections between process and content. The first level was cont ent which was defined as an emphasis on presenting and explaining ideas. The second level was termed content with process In this level,

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31 they emphasized using active learning methods to construct knowledge. The third level, process with content focused on learning how to investigate. The last level, process was a focus on acquiring science process skills (Chiappetta & Adams, 2004). Therefore their c ontinuum had content on one end and process on the other, with an interplay between the two i n the middle (Chiappetta & Adams, 2004) Inquiry activities can be viewed as a means to an end, the way students learn science knowledge in a meaningful context. Like Nadelson et al. (2010), Fay and Bretz (2008) were also influenced by Schwab. They offe red a rubric which divided a laboratory activity into three parts. The components were as follows: the problem or question, the procedure used, and the solution of conclusion. For each of these areas, the rubric gave two different possibilities, whether or not these activities were student or teacher generated. In the lowest level (0), the teacher generated the problem, the procedure, and the solution, while in the highest level (3), the student generated them. Levels 1 and 2 had different degrees of s tudent and teacher involvement. Different levels of inquiry can impact student learning in different ways. One study found that students in classroom with higher levels of inquiry had more positive attitudes towards science than students in classes wit h lower levels of inquiry (Ornstein, 2006). Inquiry activities can vary widely in the amount of structure they give to students to make investigations, and different levels of inquiry can be appropriate (Fay & Bretz, 2008), depending upon the activity an d age of the students.

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32 Curriculum Implementation Many opinions have been shared about the nature of curriculum implementation On one side are the people who feel that teachers must follow a curricular package strictly in order to realize its full posit ive impacts on students. Others see implementation 2008). The characteristics of the individual teachers (teacher identity) may explain elity of implementation (Pence, Justice, & Wiggins, 2008). Fidelity of implementation describes how closely a teacher follows the program ensive review of fidelity of implementation. When looking at curricular implementation fidelity, three areas are often considered. First, program differentiation is the extent to which a teacher adheres to the crucia l parts of a program. Second, program adherence examines how closely a teacher delivers the program components according to the manuals. Last, quality of program delivery looks at how enthusiastic and prepared a teacher is when implementing a program (Pence et al., 2008.) Some believe that t eachers should teach the curriculum presented as closely to the 2008) while others imply that allowing teachers to make their own decisions regarding curriculum is important (Sofou & Tsa fos, 2010). Mo st feel that getting teacher input and buy in is an effective way to ensure effective implementation (Henning & King, 2005). The reality is that most educators do modify the curriculum they have been asked to utilize (Roach, Kratochwill, & Frank, 2009) Teachers taught only about three fourths of the curriculum steps the first time they used a drug prevention curriculum (Ringwalt et

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33 al., 2010). Odom et al. (2010) found similar results when studying implementation of a national early childhood curricul um. Teachers did not implement it in the way the developers intended (Rogan, 2007). Even in studies where policy makers sought curricular alignment, implementation rates disappointed them (Penuel et al., 2009). Several factors can influence and hinder implementation of a new program. One of them is lack of time to prepare for the implementation (Lewthwaite & Fisher, 2005; Penuel et al., 2009; Wai Yum, 2003), which is a factor presented in the problem section of Chapter 1. Lambert and Capizzano (2005) stated that it is not easy to reach full curriculum implementation: Sometimes it may take as long as two years. Early childhood teachers also view curriculum differently. They see it as more flexibly implemented, and many stated they are unable to utilize a curricular framework that has been dictated (Sofou & Tsafos, 2010). in schools with low initial achievement scores (Odom et al., 2010). Examining the connections between variations in implementation and student outcomes should be a were taught with greater fidelity. So metimes the type of curriculum w a s a component in how it w a s utilized. A curriculum that is more prescribed with clear plans can be implemented more easily than one that focuses more on instructional processes (Pence et al., 2008). Other studies found th at highly structured activities were rejected by the teachers, who figured out different ways to address the goals of the curriculum (Burgess et al., 2010). Others state d that the

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34 amount of the curricular content and the quality of the instruction were imp ortant factors to consider when evaluating the impact of a curriculum (Odom et al., 2010). Different researchers have used different instruments to help them evaluate how a curriculum is delivered (Hahn, Noland, Rayens, & Christie, 2002; Odom et al., 2010 ; Pence et al., 2008; Rogan, 2007). This has been done at many levels, including preschool (Lambert & Capizzano, 2005; Odom et al., 2010; Pence et al., 2008). Studies have also looked at changes teachers have made in curriculum implementation (Burgess et al., 2010). Early childhood science curricula have also been evaluated (Patrick et al., 2009) and have been sho wn to have positive effects on learning (French, 2004; Samarapungavan Manticopoulos, & Patrick, 2008) and attitudes towards science (Mantizico poulos et al., 2008; Patrick, Mantzicopoulos, & Samarapungavan, 2009). Concerns Based Adoption Model Hall and Ho rd created a curriculum implementation in the late 1960s as a result of their research in schools and universities (Roach et al., 2009). This model has been used questions and concerns during adaptation and implementation of teaching practices develop (Christou, Eliophotou Menon, & Philippou, 2004; Dass, 2001; Roa ch et al., for the implementation of educational innovations to come out of education change el, three frameworks examine and evaluate how teachers utilize new programs: Stages of Concern, Levels of Use, and Innovation Configurations (Roach et al., 2009). This section will focus on the Levels of Use framework. Instead of viewing curriculum imple mentation as

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35 an all or nothing endeavor, C Hall and Ford determined eight levels of implementation. The first three levels constituted non use (Roach et al., 2009). The first, Level 0, constituted complete non use. The second, Level 1, involved orientation to the program. Level 2 was the preparation phase, where the teacher learned about the program and made plans on how to start using it (Ringwalt e t al., 2010; Roach et al., 2009). The last five levels of implementation employed varying degrees of implementation (Roach et al., 2009). Level 3 was the stage where teachers started using the program in a very mechanical, rote like manner. When they got to Level 4a, teachers moved towards routine use, making few changes. At Level 4b, they started making changes to better address the needs of their students. Level 5, Integration, was the point when teachers started to collaborate with their colleague s to make changes that would benefit their students. Level 6 was the highest level in the model. It was characterized by teachers reevaluating the curriculum, making major changes in the curriculum to help their students, and setting new goals. (Ringwal t et al., 2010, Roach et al., 2009). The C BAM model implies that when teachers first utilize a curriculum, they will more familiar with the curriculum, they will then s tart to make changes (Ringwalt et al., teacher gains experience with the program and receives professional development. The use will shift from being concerned about h ow it impacts the teacher personally to how it will impact others (Roach et al., 2009).

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36 The implication of the C BAM model is that following a curricular program to the letter does not necessarily constitute the most effective use of it. This model impli es that curricular implementation reflecting teacher choices and professional decisions is of a higher level than merely teach ing the curriculum as presented. This goes against the o be effective, it needs to be followed as the developers intended it to be followed. As teachers moved towards higher levels of use of the curriculum, they made changes and adaptations based ncrease (Roach et al, 2009) as a result of these choices. Decisions Teachers make many decisions during the course of each school day. Teachers must decide how to set up their room, which supplies to use, how to schedule programs, and which meetings to attend. They also have to make decisions at each moment depending upon what is happening in their classrooms (Enyedy et al., 2006). But first and foremost, they must figure out their aims and goals. They must decide what to study and how to study it (Doris, 1991). p. 258) is important, as teachers are the ones who decide how the curriculum will actually be used and shaped (Chittenden & Jones, 1998; Sofou & Tsafos, 2010). T here are many decision making points for early childhood educators when changes are being implemented (Burgess et al., 2010). Early childhood teachers benefit from being given the opportunity to choose the methods that will most successfully enable their unique students to learn the content

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37 most important factor in figuring out how to plan their curriculum (Sofou & Tsafos, 2010). If teachers do not have the chance to make their own choices in curriculum they become dissatisfied (Wai Yum, 2003). Not many studies exist regarding teacher decisions in early childhood education, but Burgess et al. (2010) looked at how early childhood teachers realized curriculum initia tives. It is important to allow teachers to make choices in curricular matters, as this elevates teacher professionalism and enables them to develop the knowledge they need to make effective choices (Penuel et al., 2009). Student Attitudes Considering Vygotsky recognized that thought and affect are connected ( Fleer, 2009 ) Likewise, McPherson (2009) stated that affective networks enable learning to become more emotionally significant. Feelings are a component of learning (Ginsburg & Golbeck, 2004; Pell & ited in Doris, 1991, p. 17). When children show strong motivation, it helps enable inquiry learning to occur (Friedl & Koontz, 2005). towards science (Ornstein, 2006; Saracho & Spod ek, 2008). This focus on attitudes needs to start early (Saracho & Spodek, 2008). Further, early childhood teachers should plan experiences for children that help them develop positive attitudes towards science (Rule, 2007; Smith, 2001).

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38 udes are related to their achievement levels (Patrick et al., 2009; Patrick, Mantzicopoulos, Samarapungavan, & French, 2008; Wigfield & Eccles, 2000). This works in both positive and negative ways. Having a poor attitude towards a subject can cause lower achievement, while developing a positive attitude can promote higher achievement (McKeown, 2003; Pell & Manganye, 2007). Attitudes towards academic subjects can begin early in life (Tsunghui, 2006) If young students develop negative attitudes towards sc ience, those feelings can affect their entire educational careers (Patrick et al., 2009; Saracho & Spodek, 2008 ; ). Some state that when young students begin schooling they are enthusiastic about science (Pell & Jarvis, 2001). On the other hand, others have posited that students as young as kindergarten have negative views of science, thinking is it difficult, Since attitudes toward science decline as students get older (Aulls & Shore, 2008; Pell & Manganye, 2007; Saracho & Spodek, 2008), it is vital that teachers address attitudinal outcomes to promote a positive cognitive gain (Pell & Manganye, 2007; Saracho & Spodek, 2008). It is also important to promote positive attitudes in order to help students keep wanting to study science (Eshach, 2006; Patrick et al., 2009), as they will carry these attitudes into classes as they get older (Smith, 2001). In addition to science, ut school can affect their engagement in learning tasks (Patrick et al., 2009). A recent call has been made to return to attitudinal evaluation in science after a period of neglect (Ramsden, as cited in Pell & Manganye, 2007). Some recent studies have exa mined student attitudes towards science, but they explored the topic with older children (Manticopoulos et al., 2008; Patrick et al., 2008;

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39 Pell & Jarvis, 2001; Pell & Manganye, 2007). Mantizicoupou los et al. (2008) have designed extensive research studie s on student attitudes towards science with kindergarten children. They showed that meaningful involvement in science activities is enjoyment of science (Eshach & Fri ed, 2005) and their beliefs about what learning science entails (Patrick et al., 2009). These authors acknowledge a dearth of research that information is vital ( Patrick et al., 2009 ) Saracho and Spodek (2008) a l s o s t a t e d that studies that examine affect in young children and science are hard to find. Some argue that helping children understand broad science concepts and develop positive attitudes is more important than their achievement in science courses (Ornstein, might very well be not just as important as a strong conceptual base, but more important, in science 2006, p. 8). Perhaps most importantly, having children examine nature can help the children enjoy nature, have positive views of science, and help the future of our earth (Rule, 2007; Worth & Grollman, 2003). Conclusion This chapter has examined the co nstructs of teacher beliefs, teacher identities, constructivism, inquiry, curriculum, teacher choices, and student attitudes. All of these

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40 factors play a role in early childhood science instruction. In the next chapter, I will present the methods I will use to look at how teacher choices in curriculum

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41 CHAPTER III. RESEARCH DESIGN Overview of the Methods This study used mixed methods to examine how teachers utilized an early childhood science curriculum and how their decisions impacted their students. I collected quantitative data through surveys, questionnaires, and assessments and qualitative data through interviews and observations. The quantita tive data enabled me to instruction, and the resources available to them. Quantitative student data allowed me to ginning and end of the study and their attitudes towards science at the end of the study. The qualitative research component employed a multiple case study design where I compared and contrasted how the two educators taught the curriculum. Qualitative dat previous science instruction, their understanding of inquiry, and their thoughts about curriculum. Utilizing both quantitative and qualitative methods enabled me to accomplish the following: 1. Achieve triangulation by using different methods to assess similar constructs (Goodwin & Goodwin, 1996; Miles & Huberman, 1994). 2. Establish complementarity by using quantitative data to assess the results of the qualitative data (Goodwin & Goodw in, 1996; Leech & Onwuegbu zie, 2007). 3. Enable data expansion by broadening the depth of the inquiry used (Goodwin & Goodwin, 1996; Miles & Huberman, 1994).

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42 Using quantitative and qualitative means of collecting and analyzing data enhanced the credibility of the data (Goodwin & Goodwin, 1996). To put it simply, Huberman, 1994, p. 4 0). The qualitative component of the study employed a case study design as it examined the issue of early childhood curriculum through two cases in a bounded system (Creswell, 2007). I collected data on how two teachers implemented a science curriculum t o explain how their curricular choices affected their students. Because the study followed two teachers in two different preschools, it was a collective case study (Creswell, 2007) with each teacher viewed as a separate case. The procedures used were rep licated in both cases. The study took place in three phases, which will now be described in detail. Phase 1: Pre Curriculum Implementation Phase 1 of the study included all activities that occurred before the utilization of the Young Scientist Series curriculum began (see Table III.1 ). It involved determining the participating sites, collecting the consent and assent forms, surveying and interviewing the teachers, administering an assessment to students, and training the teachers on the implementation of the curriculum. Sites For this researc h, I invited all of the public preschools in a suburban public school district to take part in the study. Goodwin Public Schools included 15 elementary schools, six of which offer ed a preschool program wit hin the larger school. There was

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43 Table I I I. 1 Overview of the Three Phases of the Study Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Administer Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument to teachers Curriculum implementation begins with Open Exploration Administer Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument to teachers Administer Inquiry Teaching subscale to teachers Observations using the Preschool Science Lesson Observational Scale begin Administer Inquiry Teaching subsca le to teachers Administer Preschool Classroom Science Materials/Equipment Checklist to teachers Administer Preschool Student Interest Assessment to students Teacher Interviews Teacher Interviews Teacher trainings on Focused Exploration Administer Science Learning Assessment to students Administer Science Learning Assessment to students Additional materials distributed Administer Puppet Interview Scales for Competence in and Enjoyment of Science to students Teacher trainings on Open Exploration Curriculum implementation continues with Focused Exploration Materials distributed to teachers also one early childhood school in the district. I sent an informal electronic mail letter in March 2011 to determine interest in the project At that time, two preschool directors indicated their interest in participating. One preschool director declined due to the own curriculum r equirements, and four directors did not respond. In August 2011 I sent another electronic mail l ett er to all preschool directors except the one that had

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44 alread y declined. The two preschool directors who responded positively in the spring were still interested in the project. One additional preschool director declined, and the remaining three preschool directors did not respond. Two preschools directors agreed to participate, those from Wright Pre school and Burris Preschool. Wright Elementary School and Preschool Wright Elementary School had an enrollment of 312 students from kindergarten through fift h grade (J. Richardson, personal communication, October 24, 2011). Although free /reduced lunch statistics were not available specifical ly for the preschool children, free/reduced lu nch rates for the kindergarten through fifth grade students were 32.39 % (C o lorado Department of Education 2011 ). The complete study sample included only those children for which the complete dataset was available, and 100% of those children were Caucasian. This group returned the consent forms prior to the beginning of the curr iculum implementation, so it included only those children with both pre and posttest data. It was on this group that most of this study focused. After the curriculum implementation began, more children returned consent forms. Although prestudy data was not available for these children, I still administered the poststudy assessments to these children. Therefore, poststudy data was available for more students, although it could not be used when comparing pre and posttest data. The demographic breakdown o f Wright Elementary School (grades kindergarten through grade five) can be found in Appendix A. Wright Elementary School offered a tuition based preschool for children aged 2 5, as well as a before and after school program for preschoolers. Wright Pres chool had a simple tuition structure. Parents paid $18.00 per half day or $35.00 per full day attended. A dditional fees were charged for the before and after school program ( Wright

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45 school website, 2011) None of the complete study sample participants received any financial aid. Parents enroll ed their children for the half (8:36 a.m. 11:30 a.m.) or full day program (8:36 a.m. 3:13 p.m. ). All children in the complete study attended for full days. Parents also chose to enroll their chi ldren from one to five days per week ( Wright school website, 2011) For the complete study sample, 0% attended 1 day per week, 18.2% attended 2 days per week, 12.5% attended 3 days per week, 12.5% attended 4 days per week, and 56% attended for 5 days per week. Burris El ementary School and Preschool Burris Elementary School had an enrollment of 366 students (J. Richardson, personal communication, October 24, 2011) Although free/reduced lunch statistics were not available specifica lly for the preschool children, free/re duced lunch rates for the kindergarten through fifth grade students were 20.65 % ( Colorado Department of Education 2011) The complete study sample included only those children for which the complete dataset was available. These were the children who retu rned consent forms in time for the prestudy assessment before the curriculum implementation had begun. Of those children, 85.7% were Caucasian and 14.2% were Latino. It was on this group that most of this study focused. After the study began, more child ren returned consent forms, and I gave them the poststudy assessments even though they had no prestudy data available. The demographic breakdown of Burris Elementary School (grades kindergarten through grade five) can be found in Appendix A. Burris Elemen tary School housed a tuition based preschool program for 3 and 4 year old children. Tabl e III.2 reflects the tuition plan. Of the complete study sample, none of the children received financial aid. Parents enr olled their children in a half (9:00 a.m.

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46 Table I I I.2 Burris Preschool Tuition Rates. Number of Days Per Week Cost Per Month Half Day Full Day 2 $160.00 $325.00 3 $215.00 $425.00 4 $265.00 $525.00 5 $315.00 $625.00 11:55 a.m. ) or full day program (9:00 a.m. 3:43 p.m. ) For the complete study sample, 42.8% attended half days and 57.1% attended full days. Parents also chose to enroll their chi ldren from two to five days per week ( Burris school website, 2011) For the complete study sample, all of the children ( 100%) attended for 5 days per week. This program included the subjects of music, physical education computer lab, and library in their schedule fo r at least one half an hour per week ( Burris school website, 2011) Comparison of the Schools. Similariti es between the two presch ools were many. The schools were both located in a suburban area. They both offe red parents a variety of days and times of day their child ren could attend. For instance, both schools offer ed the option of varying days of attenda nce per week. They also both offer ed a half day and ful l day option. Both programs were tuition based, and both appear ed to be comparably priced. Important differences in the school s m ust be noted. First, the class sizes of the preschools were significantly different. At Wright Preschool the class sizes were large, with as many as 24 students attending in the older preschool classroom. Burris Preschool had much smaller class sizes; t he Monday/Wednesday Kindergarten Pl us class had only four stu dents and the Tuesday/Thursd ay afternoon preschool class had seven students. If

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47 one considered the ratios instead of the actual num bers of students, the preschools looked more similar. Wright Preschool had two teachers in the classroom at all times, with a third teacher assisting for four and a hal f hours per day between 10:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. This made the teacher student ratio app roximately 1:8 when the class was full. This was close to the Tuesday/ Thursday Burris Preschool teacher student ratio of 1:7, but sti ll very different (double) from the Burris Preschool Monday/ Wednesday ratio of 1:4. Preschool teachers in this school district were considered classified staff, even if they held teaching degrees and certificates. The teacher who utilized the curriculum from Wright Preschool had a college degree and Certificate in Early Childhood Education, and her teammate had a teaching license. These differences in class size and ratios present ed concern s in terms of the limitations of the study. The nat ur e of preschool enrollments is that they accommodate the parents and children they serve Therefore, these programs all look slightly different preschools consisting of two cl assrooms each with similar programs to participate in this study for a total of four to six classrooms. Two preschools with different types of programs agreed to take part, and only one classroom from each preschool participated. Thus, the sample was a v olunteer sample of preschools and preschool classrooms. These limitations will be discussed more thoroughly in Chapter 6. Participants ensure confidentiality. All staff members from both preschools were female, so I will use feminine pronouns in this dissertation when referring to the adult participants. Since the participants of this study

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48 were both adults and children, I will use the terms teacher or teachers to describe the adult participants and student students child or children to describe the child participants. This study had two student groups. The first group I will refer to as the complete study group. These are the st udents whose consent/assent forms were completed before the teaching of the curriculum began. They are also the students for w hom I have a complete dataset; prestudy Science Learning Assessment (SLA), poststudy SLA, and Puppet Interview Scale for Compete nce in and Enjoyment of Science (PISCES) scores. This group includes seven students from Burris Preschool and 16 students from Wright Preschool. Most of the data analyzed and discussed in this dissertation will focus upon the students in this complete study group. The second group of students I will call the entire study group This was the entire group who returned consent/assent forms, even if they were returned after the teaching of the curriculum began. Although I had complete data for some o f the students in this group (it includes the complete study group), I did not have full data for all of the students. For instance, if a child did not take the PreSLA but later turned in consent/assent forms, I did administer the PostSLA and PISCES to th e child. I did this because I thought that this supplemental data might be informative at some point. This group totaled 10 students from Burris Preschool and 29 from Wright Preschool. This information was generally not included in most of the data anal ysis and discussion of this study because the absence of prestudy data for some of the students made it difficult to compare process skills growth. If the supplemental information is used, I will clearly state that it is the supplemental information from the entire study group. It is important to

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49 Table III.3 Data Collection Instruments Used During Each Phase of the Study. Phase 1 Participants Instrument Purpose Teachers Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument Determine science teaching beliefs prestudy Teachers Inquiry Teaching subscale Determine inquiry teaching beliefs prestudy Teachers Preschool Classroom Science Materials/Equipment Checklist Determine resources available prestudy Teachers Semi structured Interviews Determine previous science instruction, curriculum views, and understanding of inquiry Students Science Learning Assessment prestudy Phase 2 Teachers Preschool Science Lesson Observational Scale Determine choices in curriculum implementation, levels of inquiry. Figure out nature of student questions. Students Preschool Student Interest Assessment Determine whether students preferred the topic of plants or animals Phase 3 Teachers Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument Determine science teaching beliefs poststudy Teachers Inquiry Teaching subscale Determine inquiry teaching beliefs poststudy Teachers Semi structured Interviews Determine views on the curriculum implementation, the curriculum, understanding of inquiry, and decisions made

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50 Table III.3 (cont.) Students Science Learning Assessment poststudy Students Puppet Interview Scales of Competence in and Enjoyment of Science towards science note that attrition did not occur during the study. The only student assessed prestudy but not poststudy was absent the entire last week of the study when I conducted the poststudy assessments. More students joined the study after it had begun, which explai ns why students were divided into two groups. Phase 1 Teacher Data The teacher data collected during Phase 1 consisted of three quantitative instruments and one qualitative interview. These were given before any curriculum training had begun. Quant itative Teacher Data Following the signing of the consent forms, I distributed three surveys to the teachers : the Science Teach ing Efficacy Belief Instrument, the Attitudes and Beliefs About Science Questionnaire Inquiry Teaching s ubscale, and the Presch ool Science Mate rials/ Equipment Checklist. The teachers sharing a classroom were allowed to complete the Preschool Science Materials/ Equipment Checklist tog ether with their room partner Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument The first survey given was the Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument (STEBI; Riggs & Enochs, 1990; Appendix

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51 B). This instrument was a 25 item, Likert type assessment with a 5 point rating scale ( strongly agree, agree, uncertain, disagree, strongly di sagree ). The instrument had two subscales, the Personal Science Teaching Efficacy Belief scale and the Science Teaching Outcome Expectancy scale. To determine content validity, a panel of five judges knowledgeable in t he construct being measured was consu lted. Any items rated inconsistently by three or more of the judges were deleted from the instrument. Final reliability information reflected an alpha of .92 on the Personal Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Scale and an alpha of .77 on the Science Teac hing Outcome Expectancy scale ( Riggs & Enochs, 1990 ) Riggs and Enochs (1990) concluded that the scale s were valid and offered reliable measures of the constructs invo lved in examining science teaching beliefs with elementary teachers This instrument has been widely used since, and different versions of it have been developed for pre service and inservice teachers. Upon review of the scale, I determined that the scale could give valuable information on the science teaching beliefs of preschool teachers. Attitudes and Beliefs About Science Questionnaire Inquiry Teaching subscale The second quantitative instrument completed was a subscale of the Attitudes and Beliefs About S cience Questionnaire (Appendix C; Johnson, 2004). The full instrument was comprised of several subscales, including Teacher Background, Your Attitudes and Beliefs About Teaching, Beliefs About S tudents, and Inquiry Teachi ng. It was based on the Revised Attitude Scale (Bitner, 1994), the Belief Scale (Risacher & Ebert, 1996), and the SWEPT Pre Program Survey (Dubner et al., 2001 ). This instrum ent was used with middle school teachers and much of the instrument is more ap propriate for te achers of older students. The Inquiry T eaching subscale, however,

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52 gives a picture of how a teacher views inquiry in teaching, which is important information for this study. Therefore, this subscale was given. It was comprised of 19 Liker t type questions with a 4 point rating ( not at all, slightly confident, moderately confident, very confident ). Although reliabi lity and validity information was not available for the Inquiry T eaching subscale, content validity for the e ntire instrument was claimed through a review by another science inquiry expert. For the re liability, the alpha coefficient was .77 (Johnson, 2004), indicating good reliability (Leech, Barrett, & Morgan, 2008). Preschool Classroom Science Materials/Equipment Checklist The last survey the teachers completed was the Preschool Classroom Science Materials/Equipment Checklist ( Materials Checklist; Appendix D ). T sunghui (2006) created this checklist to document the science related materials found in a preschool classroom. The materials were divided into four categories. There were 19 items on the Science Materials section, 26 items on th e Science Equipment section, and 10 items on the Natural Materials section (Tsunghui, 2006) Originally, items would be checked if they were able to be seen and used by the preschoolers in the classroom. F or the purposes of this study, I asked the teachers to check if the items were in the classroom, even if they were stored out of sight It was important to understand the resources teachers had available for science instruction. Since science materials were provided to the teachers for the purposes of teaching the curriculum selected I was interest ed in obtaining a baseline checklist for what the teachers had available to them before the study began. For most of the items on the checklist, the teacher s simply check ed whether or not that item was housed in the

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53 classroom For two items, puzzles and videotapes/DVDs, the teachers recorded how many of each item they had in the classroom. Qualitative Teacher Data: Interviews The qualitative component of the study followed a case study model, examining two bounded cases of two t eachers and their cla ssrooms. It involved conducting semi structured interviews with the teachers twice during the study. The brief prestudy interview consisted of four questions (Appendix E) designed to ascertain the way each teacher had taught science previously, determine each knowledge of inquiry science. The semi structured format enabled me to add several additional questions that emerged as the interviews transpired. I taped the intervie ws with a digital recorder and transcribed them afterwards. These interviews occurred before the training began because I wanted to know the data, I used three qualit ative data analysis methods: constant comparison, domain, and taxonomic. These methods enabled me to inductively discover themes and domains and determine the relationships between them. Phase 1: Quantitative Student Data I administered t h e first quantitative instrument to the students as a pretest before any instruction from the Young Scientist Series had occurred This test used a subscale of an instrument called the Science Learning Assessment (SLA; Appendix F). The subscale included nin e questions on scientific inquiry processes For six of the questions, the children were shown photographs and asked questions about them. The final three questions involved displaying three science tools and asking the child which tool should be used fo r a

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54 specific task. The children answered verbally or by pointing to their answer s Although reliability and validity information for the subscale was not known reliability analyses for the entire instrument show ed adequate internal consistency and an al pha of .79 (Samarapungavan, Mantzicopoulos, & Patrick, 2008). I decided to use an assessment of science process skills instead of specific science content knowledge fo r several reasons. The first was that this assessment closely aligns with three of the four goals of the Young Scientist Series program, which are the following : Observe life around them more closely. . Develop science inquiry skills including wondering, question ing exploring and investigating, discussing, reflecting, and fo rmulating ideas and theories. Develop scientific dispositions including curiosity, eagerness to f ind out, an open mind, respect for life, and del ight in being a young naturalis t (Chalufour & Worth, 2003, p. 4) At the preschool level, the importance of process skills has been noted by Kallery (2004), and all of the curricular programs considered for the study place d a stron g emphasis on process skills. The second reason was that this assessment was developmentally appropriate. Paper and pencil assessments are not suitable for preschool aged children The nonthreatening format of this assessment appeared to be enjoyable, which w a s an important consideration in gath ering data with young children. In fact, many of the children who took the SLA stated that it was fun. Third one component of this study was to examine teacher choices in implementing curriculum. One major choice teachers have in the Young Scientist Series curriculum is deciding after Open Exploration whether or not they want to do the Focused Exploration on plants or animals. Because I used a

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55 process skills assessment, teachers were able to make this choice freely, as both Focused Explorations utilize d science process skills. Therefore, the research question r egarding teacher choices was more authentically explored Teacher Training In September, I met with all staff members from the two five Burris Preschool staff members attended the training, and the follow ing week six Wright Preschool staff members attended the training. The introductory session lasted two hours. For the training, I utilized the (Chalufour & Worth, 2003) as well as the Discovering Nature DV D (Worth, Chalufour, Moriarty, Winokur, & Grollman, 2003) that contained real life vignettes of the curriculum used in the classroom. The purpose of the training was to (a) orient the teachers to the curriculum, (b) give them a deeper understanding of inq uiry science, (c) provide them with materials for the first phase of the implementation, and (d) answer any questions they had about the curriculum. An outline of the tra ining activities is included in Appendix G. Although the instructional sessions were separate for the preschools due to confidentiality, I followed the same outline for both schools. The two differences in the trainings were that the Burris session took place at the preschool, while the Wright staff ate dinner during the training. Therefore, the Burris training occurred in a more formal environment than the Wright t raining. Other than these differences, the trainings were identical in content. After the training, one teacher from Burris Preschool and one teacher from Wright Preschool decided to fully participate in the study and teach the

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56 Table I II.4 Science Materials Provided to Each Classroom During Phase 1. Items Number clipboards 1 per student tongue depressors 4 per student hand lenses 1 per student small flashlights with batteries 6 per classroom flexible cutting board 6 per classroom disposable containers 6 per classroom hand trowels 6 per classroom measuring tape 2 per classroom Peter First Field Guides Trees, Wildflowers, Urban Wildlife, Insects, Butterflies/Moths, Reptiles and Amphibians, Birds of North America, Mammals 1 of each for a total of 8 per classroom posters Frog Life Cycle, Butterfly Life Cycle Plants Life Cycle, Exploring Insects 1 of each for a total of 4 per classroom large terrarium with gravel and charcoal 1 per classroom spray bottle 1 per classroom books From Seed to Pumpkin, Bugs Are Insects, Ducks Fireflies in the Night, From Caterpillar to Butterfly 1 of each for a total of 7 per classroom cloth bags with handles 1 p er student bins to hold materials 2 per classroom teacher composition book 1 per classroom

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57 curriculum. Although only two classrooms were involved in the full implementation of t h e p r o g r a m I gave all four classrooms in the two preschools a basket containing the m a t e r i a l s so that the other teachers would have the resources to use the curriculum, even if they were not able to utilize it fully. Phase 2: Curriculum Implementation The Curriculum Implementation Phase of the study included reviewing expectations for teachers, having the teachers begin teaching the lessons, observing and training the teachers on the Focused Exploration section of the curriculum, and observing the teachers implemen t the Focused Exploration lessons. Teaching E xpectations Following the administration of the SLA for the children with consent and assent forms, the teachers began to teach the lessons I asked them to follow the Exploring Nature with Young Children uide (Chalufour & Worth, 2003 ) and teach two forty five minute science lessons per week. For the first four weeks of the study, the teachers impl emented the Open Exploration section of the guide which consisted of four steps I suggested each teacher spend approximately one week per step. In reality, each teacher spent different amounts of time on the steps. These differences will be discussed thoroughly in Chapters 4 and 5. These steps are as follows: 28)

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58 These were the basic parameters I gave the teachers for curriculum implementation. While I asked them to implement the curriculum, trained them, and gave them time guidelines to follow, they knew that I would be looking at the choices they made in utilizing the curriculum. Preschool Science Lesson Observational Scale A third instrument was an observational scale used during the teaching of the science lesso ns (Observational Scale; Appendix H). Each teache r was viewed once a wee k for a total of eight observations. These lessons were videotaped in order to ensure that all aspects of the lesson being observed were recorded accurately. The instrument examine d the following characteri stics of lesson implementa tion: how closely the teacher follow ed the lesson, during the lesson, and how the teacher realized a certain level of inquiry in the lesson. I created this observat ional tool by examining a model of curriculum implement ation developed by Ringwalt et al. (2010). This model rated teachers on how closely the content they covered and the teaching methods they used aligned to the curriculum. The levels of inquiry rubric included in the observation form were taken from Fay and Bretz ( 2008 ) ; adapted from Schwab (1964), Herron (1971), Chinn and Ma lhotra (2002), Lederman (2004), and McComas (2005). I compiled the definitions of inquiry based on the works of Fay and Bretz ( 2008 ) ; Y ager, Adb Hamid, and Akcay ( 2005 ) ; Mumba, Chabalengula, and Hunter ( 2007 ) ; and Nadelson, Walters, and Waterman ( 2010 ) Question types were also d erived from Yager et al. ( 2005 ) All of these sources helped me assemble an observational instrument unique to this study, one that would give valuable information to answer the research questions.

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59 I tried to establish the reliability of this instrument in two ways. First, it was comple ted eight times for each teacher. During those observations, I anticipated that for each teacher there would be a certain amount of consistency. The expectation was that a me outliers expected. Another Ph.D. candidate (hereafter referred to as the research assistant) assisted with inter rater reliability. I trained the research assistant on how to use the observation form Both of us watched the DVD of the first lesson and coded it independently from each other We then met to compare our observations of the lesson. The research assistant completed observations of three of the sixteen lessons for a total of 18.7% of the lessons. Because t he observation form was divided into three sections, inter rater reliability was computed for each section of it. Then an overall inter rater reliability was determined based on an average of the three sections. The first section of the observation for m was the Curriculum Implementation rating. For this, the coders tallied numbers of curricular attempts changes omissions additions and new methods For each of the three lessons, I took the total for each observable action by each rater and calculat ed the percentage that total was for the total number of observed actions. I did this for all five types of observable actions (attempts, changes, omissions, additions, and new methods). Then I looked at the differences in the percentages for each observ able action, totaled them, and subtracted that total from 100. For the first lesson, the percentage difference was 64%, for the second lesson it was 59%,

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60 and for the third lesson it was 84%. Averaging these three percentages yielded a total inter rater r eliability of 69%. This was below the 80% level I had wanted to achieve. label of procedural or curiosity was assigned to each question. When I initially met with the resear had heard different numbers of questions. For the first DVD, I heard 71 student questions and the research assistant had heard only 17. Since the questions were not transcribe d, it was not possible to look at each individual question and how it was coded. Therefore, I computed what percent of the total the procedural and curiosity questions were. For my coding, 67% of the questions were procedural and 33% were curiosity. The be curiosity. These percentages were very different, but may have been different because of the vast difference between the number of questions we heard. We discussed th e difference in the number of questions heard and determined that I had heard more questions because I had been present for the lessons and had videotaped them. Therefore, I decided to transcribe the questions for the three lessons the research assistant would be coding. After transcribing the questions, I sent them to the research assistant so she could categorize them. I also coded from the same transcription. Going through this process enabled us to figure out the inter rater reliability based upon a question by question coding, yielding a more accurate inter rater reliability. In addition to the predetermined codes (procedural and curiosity), both of us added the code of unknown for questions that did not fall into either category. More explanatio n of the types of questions and how they

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61 were coded will be presented in Chapter 4 and Chapter 5. The inter rater reliability for the question categorization was initially 74%. Since I was striving for 80% inter rater reliability, I then looked at how the research assistant and I had coded the individual questions. I determined that there were several questions from one of the lessons that she had coded more accurately than I, so I What about a had tried to fit into the predetermined codes that she had categorized as unknown. I went back and looked at those questions and changed my codes because her codes were more accurate. There was actually one question for which I changed the coding that reflected a disagreement after the change. After all of these adjustment s, the inter rater reliability for this section of the instrument increased to 80%. After reexamining the questions, I went back through the codes for all questions in the remaining 13 lessons and double checked to see if I needed to change any of my prev ious codes. For the levels of inquiry section of the instrument, I looked at five components of each lesson: the rating for problem/question the rating for procedure/method the rating for solution the overall rating, and the overall level of inquiry ( structured, guided, or full ). This gave 15 possible ratings related to inquiry for the three lessons. Although some researchers consider the ratings close enough if they are within one point of each other, I decided to only say there was agreement if the ratings were identical. This yielded a more conservative estimate of the inter rater reliability. The research assistant

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62 and I were in agreement on 12 out of the 15 ratings, making the inter rater reliability for this section 80%. The goal was that the two observers would agree on 80 % of the coding, providing good inter rater reliability Due to time constraints, I was not able to meet again with the assistant after our initial meeting. I believe that, had we met again, we would have been able to achie ve higher inter rater reliability for the instrument. The Curriculum Implementation subscale of the instrument yielded an inter rater reliability of above 80% rater reliability issues s temmed from the training on how to use the instrument, not from the instrument itself. If I used this instrument again, I would make some modifications to it. The research assistant and I had decided that we could double code components of the lessons. I would eliminate that option and have us select only one choice for coding each component of the lesson. Ringwalt et al. (2010) did not double code the changes, omissions, and additions categories. Had the research assistant and I made these categories mutually exclusive, our inter rater reliability may have increased. Additionally, I would simplify the instrument by eliminating the New Methods section, including any New Methods in the Additions section. Separating these two constructs did not eluci date the information gained for this particular study. Last of all, I would write my own definitions of Attempts, Omissions, Changes, and Additions. Creating my own definitions for these areas would help ensure the information gained from the instrument was specific to this study. The validity of this instrument was determined through triangulation with other data sources. I looked for convergence of data between the STEBI, the Inquiry Teaching

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63 subscale the qualitative interviews, a nd the Observational Scale to verify the validity of the scale. I expected some data to be divergent, providing more questions, but hoped that most of the data gathered would be consistent. Students: Preschool Student Interest Assessment The Open Exploration period of the curriculum examined both plants and animals. During the fourth week of Open Exploration, I administered another assessment to the children involved in the study. I was interested in knowing whether or not the children were more interested in plants or animals before they moved into the Focused Explorat ion. Therefore, I developed a simple instrument to determine in which topic each student was more interested. The ins trument was a simple, 5 item questionnaire. Students we re given pictures and books of plants and animals and were asked which of these they preferred in c ertain situations (Appendix I ). The assessment was developmentally appropriate and did not require any verbal skills at all. The child was simply able to p oint to the picture or book he or she most preferred This assessment was shared with two science education experts to ensure it was an appropriate assessment. Both experts felt the instrument was suitable for use with preschoolers. To score the asse ssment, I assigned one point for each choice the child selected. If a child chose both plants and animals on the questions, which some did, I gave a point for each. Because the categories were not mutually exclusive the number of total points for plants and animals varied according to the individual child. I then calculated which topic the class as a whole preferred by tallying the number of children who preferred plants and the number who preferred animals. Both of the teachers were aware this

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64 assessm ent was being given. I with the two teachers. Training During the fourth week of Open Exploration, I provided another training to the teachers. Although only the two teachers were directly inv olved in teaching the lessons, the training was open to any staff members of the preschools who wanted to attend. One afternoon three members of the Burris Preschool staff attended the traini ng, and another afternoon four members of the Wright Preschool staff attended. The training s each last ed one hour and fifteen minutes, and both of them occurred at the preschools. As with the initial training during Phase 1, I utilized the Discovering Nat ure with Children Guide (Chalufour & Worth, 2003) as well as the Discovering Nature DVD (Worth et al., 2003). The purpose of the training was to help the teachers transition to the Focused Exploration component of the curriculum. During the ses sion t hey observe d live mealworms, develop ed questions about them, and devised simple experiments to figure out the answers to their questions. They reviewed the inquiry process and discussed how teachers can facilitate that process. They also learned th e purpose and el ements of Focused Exploration. The session concluded with a review of the teaching expectations o f two 45 minute periods of science per week. An outline of the training activit ies is included in Appendix J. The teachers were given a choice about whether or not they wanted to pursue the Focused Exp loration on plants or animals, and both of them decided to study animals. Each classroom (a total of two classrooms) was given more materials to facilitate the Foc used Exp loration on animals (see Table III.5 ). Focused Exploration The Focused Exploration section of the curriculum offered severa l choices for teachers to follow The first, as h as been mentioned previously, was

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65 that a teacher may decide whether or not to further study plants or animals with her students. Teachers who chose to study animals had seve ral steps through which they could take their students using the Discovering Nature With Young C hildren curriculum. They were : Step 1 : Search for Animals 3, p. 80) Step 2 : Make a Home for Visiting Animals Followi ng Step 3, teachers could focus animal behavior, or a nima l life cycles. If a teacher ch ose to study plant s for the Focused Exploration, that teacher could move through several steps with her s tudents. They were as follows : Step 1 : Growing Plants Step 2 : Monitoring Plant Growth and Development Step 3 : Plants and Their Parts this section offer ed numerous lesson ideas for exploring the different parts of the plant) Step 4 : Monthly Tree or Bush Observations Allowing the teachers to select plants or animals for the Focused Observation offered them more individual option s in implementing the curriculum. It also provided data on what factors they used to make their pedagogica l decisions

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66 Table III.5 Science Materials P rovided to Each Classroom Phase 2 Focused Exploration. Items Number mealworms 1 container per classroom small mealworm container 1 per classroom larger mealworm container 1 per classroom apples 2 per classroom potatoes 2 per classroom container of oatmeal 2 per classroom water snails Inca Gold and Mystery 2 of each for a total of 4 small snails a bunch small rectangular aqua container 1 container of fish food for snails 1 water purifier 1 information on water snails from internet 1 ants 1 container per classroom ant farm container 1 per classroom large terrarium 1 per classroom

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67 Table III.5 (cont.) M a t e r i a l s p r o v i d e d t o M r s K e n n e d y o n l y s i n c e s h e m o v e d m o r e q u i c k l y i n t o t h e F o c u s e d E x p l o r a t i o n p h a s e Phase 3: Post Curriculum Implementation Following the e ight weeks of instruction from Discovering Nature With Young Children I moved into Phase 3 of the study. During this phase, m ore data were collected from the teachers and students involved in the study. Teacher D ata The teachers completed two of the quantitative instruments they were given at the beg i nning of Phase 1 of the study, the STEBI and the Inquiry Teaching subscale. Comparing their pre and post scores on these surveys provided me with valuable information about how the curriculum implementation attitudes about science i nstructio n and inquiry teaching attitudes enabled me to revisit three of the hypotheses presented in Chapter 1. I predicted that different preschool teachers would implement a packaged science curriculum in a variety of ways, depending upon their comfort level teaching science (as evidenced by the STEBI) and their philosophies regarding science inquiry (as shown by the Inquiry Teaching subscale) I also stated that I thought t eachers with an initial higher comfort level teach ing science (as reflected on the STEBI) would implement the curriculum books Silkworms and Mealworms; Mealworms: Raise Them, Watch Them, See Them Change; Mealworms (Watch It Grow); Mealworms (Life Cycles) 1 per classroom for a total of 4 crickets 1 container per classroom

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68 making more personal teaching choices. The third hypothesis posited that t eachers who value science inquiry (as shown on the Inquiry Teaching subscale) would feel freer to make adjustments to the curriculum. The two teachers involved in the full curriculum implementation were interview ed again This interview was longer than the initial interview. Its purpose was to about th e curriculum, including its strengths and weaknesses. It also ascertain ed the components of the curriculum the teachers used, determine d their opinions of how the students responded to the curriculum, and verified whether or not using the curriculum chang ed their ideas of what inquiry science meant. Questions asked may be found in Appendix E As with the initial interviews, these interviews were taped with a digital voice recorder and transcribed. Student D ata The students completed two assessments d uring Phase 3 of the study. They took the SLA again as a posttest. Administering this assessment again Additionally, the students participated in another scale, the Puppet Interview Scale for Competence In and Enjoyment of Science (PISCES; Patrick et al., 2009; Appendix K) in order to ascertain their attitudes about and competence in science. This 13 ite m instrument assessed two constructs, perceived science competence and science liking. It utilized two identical puppets who made dichotomous statements about science ; Patrick et al., 2009). The child picked the puppet which thought the most like her or him The alpha

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69 levels of this instrument were .79, indicating good reliability ( Leech, Barrett, & Morgan, 2008 ) Data Analysis The first part of this section will descr ibe the qualitative methods I used to analyze the interview and observation data. Leech and Onwuegbuzie (2007) stated that researchers need to use two or more analysis methods in order to triangulate the results of a qualitative study, so I used three dif ferent qualitative analysis methods to increase the rigor of my study. Based upon my research questions, I selected constant comparative, domain, and taxonomic analysis methods. Following the discussion of qualitative methods, I will present the methods I used to explore the quantitative data. Qualitative: Constant Comparative Analysis I used constant comparative analysis for my initial qualitative data analysis because I wanted to explore the general questions I posed using the entire dataset to identify underlying themes (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007). After transcribing the interviews, I reviewed them and grouped the questions into categories. For instance, for the first interview I selected the following categories: science instruction, curriculum implementation, and inquiry science. After chunks. Most of the chunks were about one sentence long, with longer sentences divided into smaller chunks. I then assigned codes to the chunks using an inductive process, striving to use in vivo codes whenever possible. I felt that assigning predetermi ned codes to the chunks might cause me to hear what I wanted to hear instead of what was actually stated. Occasionally I assigned descriptive code. Each time I came t o a new chunk of information, I determined whether or not I needed to create a new code or use an existing code for it. Part of this entailed looking at

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70 Table III.6 Teacher Statements on Science Instruction and Codes Assigned to Them Teacher Statements Codes Um, mainly as a center, science center s cience center And we try to do it based on the theme that we have so, um, for instance, if we did a fall theme theme We usually do a theme a week, so fall theme we try to bring in things that pertain to fall theme doing colors, we do color mixing um, colors doing, um, just trying to think, um, you know gingerbread men or bread, baking or um when we do the, uh, dinosaurs we make volcanoes volcanoes We build the little baking soda and vinegar and do the little experiment with that experiment

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71 the main idea of the chunk. If the main idea or focus could be described with a preexisting code, I used that code. If the main idea of the chunk was not included in a preexisting code, I ass igned a new code to it. Table III.6 shows a sample of statements and the codes assigned to them. After coding all of the chunks, I grouped the codes according to similarities between them. Based upon the categories that emerged, I wrote a theme statement for each topic addressed in the interviews. These theme stateme nts (see Appendix L for an example) synthesized the information collected in a concise provided me with information for the next type of data analysis I used, domain analys is. Qualitative: Domain Analysis Domain analysis was selected for two specific reasons. First, it helped me determine and understand more deeply the relationships among the different concepts and themes. Second, using this method combined with taxonom ic analysis following the first interview enabled me to determine on which issues I needed further clarification for the second interview. For the domain analysis, I used the categories selected from the interview questions. For the first interview the se categories were science instruction, curriculum implementation, and inquiry science. For the second interview the categories were curriculum implementation process, curriculum strengths, curriculum weaknesses, student response, supplemental materials, inquiry science, choices, level of inquiry, appropriateness, and extra information. These categories became the cover terms for the domain analysis. For the included terms, I used the themes that emerged from the constant comparative analysis. I used all

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72 relationships, which were the following: strict inclusion, spatial, cause effect, rationale, location for action, function, means end, sequence, and attribution. Going through each semantic relationship with the categori es and themes enabled me to delve into the data and examine the relationships between the terms. Qualitative: Taxonomic Analysis The last qualitative analysis method I used was a taxonomic analysis. This type of analysis was used to help me understand how the teachers used specific words in their interviews. It also enabled me to see relationships between all of the terms they used. Using the domain and taxonomic analyses can help researchers formulate additional questions if they plan to interview th e same participants again. Since I had used domain analysis, I already had much of the information I needed to complete the taxonomic analysis. First, I decided which semantic relationships to use. I began by reconsidering the research questions and c larifying what I really wanted to learn from the interviews. I selected semantic relationships that would help answer those questions most effectively. I also looked at which semantic relationships would offer the most information to include in the taxon omies (Spradley, 1980). In some cases, I tried several semantic relationships and created taxonomic analyses of each. When going through them, however, I discovered that the final taxonomies were similar regardless of the semantic relationship used to cr eate them. After the first interview, I formed the top level of each taxonomy with the cover terms science instruction, curriculum implementation, and inquiry science. Below that, I grouped similar included terms and created the second level. After th at, any other included terms that fell under the ones already written were placed under them. In this

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73 exciting past pick and choose music time great to implement websites try movement work package want to do experiments play with it games figure out what Figure I II.1 Taxonomy Implementation. way, I developed six different taxonomies, three for each teacher. An example of one taxonomy is included in Figure III.1 I then examined the taxonomies to determine if I ne eded to create further questions for the final interviews. Although I had written questions for the final interviews before the study began, I wanted to add any feelings. For the second interview, I consolidated some of the related terms into the same Curriculum Implementation Feelings Resources Process Activities Hindrances

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74 that term were the following categories: strengths, weaknesses, student response, and appropriateness. By doing this, I was able to group similar topics together. I developed twelve taxonomies, six for each teacher. Juxtaposing the taxonomies helped me compare Qualitative: Prescho ol Science Lesson Observational Scale The Preschool Science Lesson Observational Scale was analyzed in a different way. For each teacher, I consolidated the data from each component of the scale, Curriculum Implementation, Student Questions, and Levels of Inquiry. I compiled a chart of all eight observations to data from all of the lessons in one place, I was able to determine how closely the teacher followed the cu rriculum, in what ways the teacher altered the lessons, what types of questions her students asked, and what levels of inquiry she promoted during the lessons. This dataset was important because it enabled me to see what each teacher actually accomplished instead of relying on self report, which can be problematic. The results of this data were combined with the outcomes of the instruments and interviews to give a more complete picture of how the teacher utilized the curriculum. Quantitative Data Analysi s For the quantitative data analysis, I utilized SPSS. The sample sizes in this study were small, two teachers and 23 students for the complete dataset. It was difficult to make inferential arguments with the quantitative data from such small samples, but the data offered valuable information in answering the research questions. The statistics used were descriptive (Leech, Barrett, & Morgan, 2008) and inferential (t tests).

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75 Several variables may have come into play in this study. Although teacher qual ity variables, such as content knowledge and experience level, may have influenced the results, I chose to focus on one primary independent variable and two dependent variables. Since the teachers used the same curriculum and were given the same training on its implementation, the individual differences between them was the primary posttest scores on the SLA and their scores on the PISCES. on the STEBI, the Inquiry Teaching subscale, and beginning and end of the study. This enabled me to see similarities and differences between the teachers. I also looked a at the beginning of the study and compared it with her score at the end of the study. By after the training and cur riculum implementation had occurred. For the students, I was interested in comparing the two groups of students on the SLA pretest to see if there were significant differences between them at the beginning of test scores on the SLA with its posttest scores on it. This way I was able to determine whether or not each group improved in its curriculum. Additionally, it was importa nt to compare the scores between the classes on

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76 Basic difference questions can be answered with a t test (Leech, Barrett, & Morgan, 2008), so this statistical method was used to analyze the data. An independent samples t test can be used to compare two different groups of students to determine if a statistical significance exists between the two (Leec h, Barrett, & Morgan, 2008). I used this type of t test to see if differences existed between the prestudy SLA scores of Burris Preschool and Wright Preschool. Paired samples t test can be used when two scores are repeated measures, such as a pre and pos ttest (Leech, Barrett, & Morgan, 2008). I used increased in statistically significant ways. I also explored the measures of central tendency for all quantitative data collected. By using these statistical methods, I was able acquisition and attitudes towards science. Looking Ahead The next two chapters will elaborate upon the r esults of the data analysis methods presented in this chapter. Chapter Four will focus on the teacher at Burris Preschool and Chapter Five will concentrate on the teacher at Wright Preschool. Each chapter will follow a similar structure, moving through e ach phase of the study chronologically. Each will present the results of the qualitative and quantitative data analyses. At the end of each chapter, the information will be synthesized, tying together all of the data into an integrated whole.

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77 CHAPTER IV. CASE STUDY OF MRS. KENNEDY Structure of the Chapter This chapter will focus on the data I collected from Mrs. Kennedy and her both qualitative and quantitative data. Both her pretest and posttest scores on the surve ys and her interview data will be analyzed. At the end of that section I will compare and contrast her own prestudy and poststudy beliefs about science teaching. After that I will address her beliefs about inquiry as evidenced in her scores on the Inquir y Teaching subscale and her interviews. As in the previous section, I will compare and contrast her beliefs about inquiry using the prestudy and poststudy data. Following that I will briefly discuss the results of the Materials Checklist to examine th e resources Mrs. Kennedy had available to her before curriculum beliefs about curriculum as shown in her pre and poststudy interviews. Part of this will include her gener al views on curriculum implementation and part of it will include her specific opinions on the Young Scientist Series The second section of the chapter will include information gathered from the videotaped observations made during the eight weeks of the curriculum implementation. I will focus on the results of the different sections on the Observational Scale. These will all levels of inquiry she demonstrated.

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78 In the last section of the chapter, I will examine the student data collected. I will her students responded to the curriculum. At the end of the chapter will be a summary of Mrs. Kennedy: Description of the Classroom Mrs. Kennedy taught four afternoons per week at Burris Elementary School. On Monday and Wednesday afternoons, she taught a preschool class for 4 year old children. Parents in the preschool were offered a choice of whether to enroll their child for full days or half days, as well as how many days a week they wanted their child to attend. depending upon the afternoon. She had as few as five students and as many as e ight students, depending upon the day. On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, she taught a Kindergarten Plus program. The children in this program attended the kindergarten at a day of the week. She had as few as three students or as many as five, depending upon the afternoon. Mrs. Kennedy was the sole teacher for these students in the afterno on. The physical classroom was of average size. It was not an oversized classroom, as are many early childhood rooms, but more the size of a regular elementary classroom. Please see Figure IV.1 for a diagram of the classroom. It had various posters, c alendars,

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79 Figure IV 1 Diagram c o u n t e r a n d w i n d o w s table storage cabinets d e s k table make believe area table sink door board door

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80 letters, weather charts, and other items on the walls. There was a television set present. Two long tables were placed end to end where the students ate their snacks and completed their work. There was also a kidney shaped table on one side of the room. In one corner, there was a make believe area with a castle like structure and various toys. Although the materials in the classroom were not all new, t hey were clean and in good condition. The classroom had a comfortable feel to it. Beliefs understanding of inquiry, her materials in the classroom, her beliefs about curricu lum, and her opinions about the Young Scientist Series Beliefs About Science Teaching science teaching with the STEBI instrument and t he prestudy interview. Table IV.1 Teacher #4 on the table and is highlighted in bold. When the study began, Mrs. Kennedy scored a 50 on the Personal Science Teaching Efficacy Belief (PSTEB) scale, one of t he two subscales of the instrument. Compared with the other six teachers who completed this assessment prestudy, she scored second from the highest (along with another teacher with the same score). Her score of 50 out of a possible 65 placed her near the top of the range of 33 52. Her score of 44 on the Science Teaching Outcome Expectancy (STOE) scale fell in the middle of the range of 40 48. Her total score was a 94 out of a possible 125. The totals for the other teachers ranged from 79 97, so she sco red second from the top on the STEBI prestudy. Her scores on the STEBI at the beginning of the study

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81 Table I V.1 STEBI Scores for Teachers STEBI Scores Pre Post Teacher PSTEB STOE Total PSTEB STOE Total 1 37 48 85 ---2 33 46 79 44 47 91 3 50 40 90 ---4 50 44 94 52 42 94 5 52 45 97 ---6 40 40 80 ---7 44 40 84 ----Teacher 2 and Teacher 4 were the two fully participating teachers. -Poststudy data was not collected on Teachers 1, 3, 5, 6, and 7 because these teachers did not participate in the entire study. showed that, compared to the other preschool teachers, she felt confident in her ability to teach science effectively. The only teacher who scored higher than Mrs Kennedy on the STEBI elected not to participate in the study. Riggs and Enochs (1990) shared me ans for the STEBI subscales for teachers at different grade levels. The youngest grade level included was kindergarten. Since no with kindergarten teachers seemed to be t he closest match. The mean for 26 kindergarten

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82 teachers on the Personal Science Teaching Efficacy Belief scale was 58.52 (Riggs & Enochs, 1990). Therefore, compared with larger numbers of early childhood teachers, n. The mean for kindergarten teachers on the Science Teaching Outcome Expectancy scale was 48.58 (Riggs & Enochs, 1990). Mrs. teachers. Although Mrs. Kennedy scored highly o n this instrument compared with her preschool teaching peers who completed this instrument for this study, her scores fell below the mean for a larger number of early childhood educators. I went through three steps to analyze the pre and poststudy inter views. To start, I completed a constant comparison analysis. For the prestudy interview, I divided the questions into three categories: science instruction, curriculum implementation, and inquiry science. When analyzing her prestudy interview, several themes emerged which I consolidated into emergent theme statements for each of the categories. After the constant comparative analysis, I completed a domain analysis using the codes derived from the constant comparative analysis. In order to accomplish this, I went through all codes with all nine domains presented by Spradley (1980) presented in Chapter 3: strict inclusion, spatial, cause effect, rationale, location for action, function, means end, sequence, and attribution. I used the codes as the inc luded terms, and the categories I developed earlier (science instruction, curriculum implementation, and inquiry science) for the cover terms. This process helped me with the third step in my qualitative data analysis, a taxonomic analysis. I determined which domains to use in a two step process. I first looked at the questions I needed to answer and determine which domains answered those

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83 questions most effectively. After that, I examined the number of responses to the domain analysis to see which one yielded the most information. For instance, if there were only five codes that fit a domain and nine codes that fit another, I generally used the domain with nine codes. By looking at both content and quantity, I was able to develop a meaningful taxonomy I went through this process when analyzing both the prestudy and poststudy interviews. comparative analysis, I consolidated the codes into an emergent theme statement. For detailed examples of how the chunks were coded, how the codes were grouped, and the theme statement that emerged, please see Appendix L. Here is the emergent theme statement for science instruction: Science was handled as projects or centers connected to themes, such as tadpoles or geology concepts (mining and panning for gold), where the children read, discussed, and watched to learn. These were huge projects the students loved that fascinated them. thought they needed to do it more. Mrs. Kennedy had mentioned to her director that she wanted to look at teaching more science, and her director stated that I would be bringing in a program for them to follow. Mrs. Kennedy was eager to include more science instruction in her day, and she was the only teacher at Burris who was willing to fully commit to the study. This was a volunteer sample of teachers.

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84 Table I EBI to Post STEBI Response Shifts Shift of STEBI Items Agree to disagree 0 Agree to uncertain 2 Disagree to agree 0 Uncertain to agree 3 Uncertain to disagree 1 Disagree to uncertain 0 Remained the same 19 scores on the STEBI did not change much during the course of the study. Her score of 52 on the Personal Science Teaching Efficacy Belief scale was only a slight 2 point increase from her prestudy score of 50. She actually scored lower on the Science Tea ching Outcome Expectancy scale, scoring a 42, a 2 point decrease from her prestudy score of 44. When put together, these small fluctuations on the subscales balanced each other out when the total score was computed. Her pre and posttest scores on these s ubscales were essentially the same when considering measurement error. She scored a 94 on the entire scale poststudy, the same total she scored prestudy. In terms of the response shifts on the STEBI, after reverse scoring for negatively worded items, thr ee answers moved from a neutral to a positive direction, two answers moved from positive to neutral, one moved from neutral to negative, and 19 stayed the same (whether positive or negative). In terms of the shifts that moved in a more negative dire ction, there were three (Table IV.2 ). These were the following questions:

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85 be overcome by good teaching. ( agree to uncertain ) Effectiveness in science teaching has little influence on the achievement of studen ts with low motivati on. ( disagree to uncertain negatively scored item ) The low science achievement of some students cannot generall y be blamed on their teacher. ( uncertain to disagree ) All of these items somehow relate to a belief that good teaching can overcome teaching can achieve this. In later sections, I will discuss the lack of engagement of some of her students. It could be that she took that lack of enga gement personally, as she was a teacher who went to great lengths to plan and implement her lessons. This response in a couple of her students might have caused her to doubt herself more at the end of the study than at the beginning. Beliefs About Inquiry noticeably during the course of this study. When she originally completed the Inquiry Teaching subscale, she scored a 67 out of a possible 76. The range for the six teachers who fully compl eted this subscale at the beginning of the study was 50 to 69. Mrs. ( strongly disagree, disagree, agree, and strongly agree ), she gave a strongly agree response to 10 ite ms after rescoring negatively worded items and an agree response to 9 items. Every answer she gave on the pretest was positive; a majority were very positive.

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86 Mrs. Kennedy was a teacher who had very positive feelings about inquiry as evidenced in her Inq uiry Teaching subscale score prestudy. understanding of inquiry teaching. When asked what inquiry science means, she responded with the following statement: Inquiry is asking questi ons. So to me it would be inquiry science is where the kids happens a fter that. And what happens, you know. How does it begin, middle, and would say inquiry s cience is (J. Kennedy, personal communication, September 2011). I then developed a taxonomic analysis for each category (see Appendix M for the domain analysis that preceded the taxonomic analysis). The taxonomic analysis for the inquiry teaching categ ory used the attribution domain and is shown in Figure IV.2 Mrs. Kennedy held positive views of inquiry at the beginning of the study as evidenced by her score on the Inquiry Teaching subscale. She answered all questions on the prestudy assessment positively. Her interview answers about inquiry were brief, but Teaching subscale actually decreased during the course of the study. Her total score on th e measure poststudy was a 60, so her score went down 7 points. Possible explanations for this decrease will be presented at the end of this section. The poststudy interview was analyzed in the same manner as the prestudy interview. After completing the constant comparative analysis, I wrote an emergent theme statement that synthesized the interview information. For detailed examples of

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87 Figure I V 2 Taxonomic how the chunks were coded, how the codes were grouped, and the theme statement that emerged, please see Appendix N.This statement is the following: questions and doing experiments to find the answers to them. At the beginning of the study, Mrs. Kennedy had very positive beliefs about inquiry. She answered all questions on the Inquiry Teaching subscale with an agree or strongly agree response. After the study was completed, Mrs. Kennedy still maintained her positive views of inquiry. She still answered all questions with an agree or strongly agree response. Many of her responses, however, shifted to become less extreme. For inst ance, she answered 10 items on the pretest with a strongly agree response, and only 3 on the posttest with a strongly agree response. It appeared that her views on inquiry, while still positive, were not as positive as when the study began. The taxonomic science was similar to what she had stated at the b eginning of the study. Figure IV.3 Inquiry Science questions figuring out what happens

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88 shows the poststudy taxonomic analysis. She did move from saying that in inquiry experiments to find out t communication, December 2011) poststudy. It would appear that she refined her definition of inquiry to include experiments, but her basic definition did not appear to change much beyond that. It is di less positive direction. One possible explanation is that Mrs. Kennedy knew more about inquiry when the study concluded. She knew the challenges of creating an inquiry based classroo m environment. Perhaps she saw more realistically the time and effort a teacher has to put forth in order to fulfill this teaching goal. Sometimes when a person has more knowledge or information on a topic, what the person does not know becomes amplified. 2012). It was possible that Mrs. Kennedy had a deeper knowledge of inquiry teaching and realized that she might not have been using inquiry techniques in her own instruction. This could be supported by her statement during the poststudy interview when she stated the following: And, uh, and I still did that to a certain extent, I think. You probably saw me do that. But, um, I think probably in the process, the open is probably the best

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89 Figure I V 3 Taxonomic Poststudy. might be, so I think I switch probably learning to do more open. And I still need to learn more. Be cause I still try and stru cture somewhat of a lesson plan (J. Kennedy, personal communication, December 2011). plan might have been at odds with what she knew the students nee ded. She acknowledged that she still needed to continue her own learning. Mrs. Kennedy was more comfortable with structured lessons, as reflected in her observations and her interviews. The Young Scientist Series lessons while they offer a basic fram ework, do not give a specific script for the teacher to follow. Mrs. Kennedy Inquiry Science finding out questions answering questions with experiments

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90 might have felt more comfortable teaching with a curriculum that offered her more structure. Had she done that, she might have maintained the more positive views of inquiry inst ruction she held at the beginning of the study. Although she made positive style. Materials Checklist In his study on the preschool science environment, Tsunghui (20 06) found that half of all preschool classrooms had a science area available illustrated this finding. Her science area was located on a ledge by the window of the classroo m. During the course of the study, the mealworms, snails, and crickets all found a home there. Mrs. Kennedy also had many science materials available to her at the beginning of the study. Of the six teachers who completed the Materials Checklist at th e outset of the study, Mrs. Kennedy scored availability of materials 39, the highest score. On the Science Materials subscale, she scored a 13, which was at the top of the range of 7 13. She had an aquarium, books, flashlights, living animals, magnets, magnifying glasses, planting materials, plants, posters/charts, puzzles, a sensory table, and videotapes/DVDs. Most notably, she had an outdoor garden available to her right on the Burris Elementary School grounds. On the Science Equipment subscale, s he scored the highest of all of the teachers, with a 17 on a range of 10 17. She noted that she had candles, cardboard tubes, egg cartons, flower pots, food coloring, measuring cups and spoons, milk cartons, old sheets

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91 and pillowcases, pitchers, plastic j ars and containers potting soil, rulers, small cages, sponges, spools, tape measures, and yarn. at the top of the range of 3 9. She checked every item on that subscale, showi ng that she t s and seeds, pine cones, plants, and seashells. teachers, who ranged from 20 39. An interesting observation was that Mrs. Kennedy shared a classroom with another teacher who completed the Materials Checklist, and she scored higher than that teacher. That teacher scored a 20 even though she shared the same physical space as Mrs. Kenne dy. The fact that that teacher scored at the lowest of the range and Mrs. Kennedy scored at the highest of the range, even though they both shared the same room, was very interesting. Either Mrs. Kennedy completed the questionnaire more carefully, she wa s more aware of the materials they had, or she checked items not in the immediate classroom to which she had access. The differences in the scores for Mrs. Kennedy and the teacher who shared her room also raised concerns about the validity of the checklis t. When I looked at validity information on this instrument, I could not find any in the article written by Tsunghui (2006). Because of this lack of validity, information gathered from this measure should be viewed as exploratory in nature. It is intere sting to note that Mrs. Kennedy, even if she did not have science materials at hand, worked hard to bring in materials she needed. For instance, she brought in different types of seeds for the children to observe and taste and she brought in a pumpkin for each child to investigate. Her commitment to providing her students with

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92 hands on, authentic science materials may have explained why her score was so high on the Materials Checklist. Mrs. Kennedy had many materials available to her so that she could te ach science effectively. Beliefs About Curriculum derived from her pre and poststudy interviews. For detailed examples of how the chunks were coded, how the codes were grouped, and the theme statement that em erged, please see Appendix O. After the constant comparative analysis, I consolidated the codes into an emergent theme statement: This teacher does well if she has time to see how the curriculum flows and can envision how to go about it. She considers i f the activities are a good fit for her kids, considering what they can grasp, their fine motor skills, attention spans, and levels of learning. She divides the children by age and adjusts the curriculum to fit their needs, often connecting it to their theme to provide continuity. She tends to follow a curriculum closely at first, adjusting it as time goes on. Mrs. and what she felt her students needed. She acknowledged her ow n need to familiarize herself with a new curriculum before starting to use it. She often talked about wanting to order to feel comfortable teaching from it. At the same ti me, though, Mrs. Kennedy considered her own unique groups of children, wanting to make sure the curriculum fit their needs, too. Beliefs About The Young Scientist Series When the curriculum implementation ended I asked Mrs. Kennedy to share her views o n the Young Scientist Series curriculum.

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93 For detailed examples of how the chunks were coded, how the codes were grouped, and the theme statement that emerged, please see Appendix P. The following is an emergent theme statement which synthesized her views on the strengths of the curriculum: S he thought the hands on nature of the curriculum was its greatest strength. The students got to hold the animals, talk about them, pretend to be them, write about them, watch and observe them, and conduct experiments about them. She thought it was gre at, and she loved it. I also asked Mrs. Kennedy about the weaknesses of the curriculum. She shared mostly positive comments, but stated the following: She loved the curriculum because it taught the students to think. She would probably shorten the Ope n Exploration and move to the Focused Exploration sooner. sooner were interesting. They strongly triangulated what I observed and noted during the curriculum implementation phase of the study. Although I had suggested that the teachers spend four weeks on Open Exploration, Mrs. Kennedy only spent three weeks on it. She moved through the steps of the Open Exploration very quickly. For instance, although there were four separate step s in the Open Exploration, Mrs. Kennedy combined the first three steps into only one. Although her prestudy score on the Inquiry Teaching subscale indicated that she valued inquiry, she did not spend as much time on the different steps to promote a deeper understanding of the concepts. The fact that Mrs. Kennedy realized that she moved through the Open Exploration quickly and acknowledged it showed that she was a thoughtful teacher with a strong awareness of what she was doing in the classroom.

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94 Observa tion al Scale During this study, I formally observed Mrs. Kennedy once a week for a total of eight observations. Each observation was videotaped. I completed the Observational Scale afterwards. It was challenging to gather all of the information needed o n the form in one viewing, so I watched each DVD two times. For the first viewing, I took notes on the general flow of the lesson and transcribed student questions. When I watched the I transcribed these to determine in which category to place them, procedural or curiosity After I completed the second viewing I completed t he Observational Scale. Table IV.3 illustrates the information I gathered regarding the curriculum implementation process for Mrs. Kennedy. numbers of observable actions were in attempts. On the Observation Scale, attempts were defined as whether or not the teacher tried to include each step in the lessons These were followed by omissions (leaving out content in a step) and to a lesser extent additions (new material not suggested in the curriculum) and changes (rewording of material) (Ringwalt et al., 2010). I will now go through each catego ry of the Curriculum Implementation subscale of the Observational Scales and d iscuss how closely Mrs. Kennedy adhered to the curriculum. My focus will be on the ways she deviated from the lesson plans, so I will discuss her omissions, additions, changes, and new methods. Mrs. Kennedy sometimes changed the curriculum by altering the order in which she went through the steps. For instance, for the first lesson, she brought out worms at

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95 Table I Lesson Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Total Mean Content Attempts 11 8 10 7 9 9 10 7 71 8.875 Changes 2 2 1 3 1 2 2 4 17 2.125 Omissions 10 9 7 3 3 3 2 5 42 5.25 Additions 3 4 2 4 3 2 2 4 24 3 Methods New Methods 2 3 2 0 1 0 1 1 10 1.25 the end of the lesson instead of the beginning. She often handled safety and animal respect issues as they arose outside instead of discussing them prior to the students going record in the Young Scientist Series was a simple one. It gave the teacher lines to record Exploration, whether or not the topic was plants or animals, and the step in the curriculum the teacher was covering. It also provided a grid with a place to write 2003, p. 143). Instead of using this form in the Young Scientist Series their names and questions on a regular piece of paper. The information she recorded on

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96 her own paper was very similar to the information one would record on the observation form in the book. Another way Mrs. Kennedy changed the lessons was the way she handled tools and resources. Sometimes she gave the students materials without explicit ly discussing their use. During the second lesson she gave the students their naturalist kits, but she did not talk about the individual tools in the kit and their uses. Other times she used the posters I had provided to the class to talk about the animal of books as the curriculum guide had recommended. The Young Scientist Series recommended using posters about living things in the classroom (Chalufour & Worth, 2003), so I included posters in the materials I gave each teac her. For the last lesson, Mrs. Kennedy made some interesting changes to the lesson because the ants that had been ordered had not yet arrived. She put sand on the table and had the children use pencils to pretend they were ants crawling into the anthol e. She also gave them nuts and had them pretend the nuts were ants. The children arranged these in patterns of how they thought the ants would move. On that lesson, she provided the students with coloring sheets of ants and anteaters. So instead of expl oring and observing actual ants, she planned these activities. Although these were changes to the lesson, they were innovative ways to prepare the children for the arrival of the ants and get them thinking about how ants behave. Mrs. Kennedy omitted com ponents of the lessons as well. At the beginning of the sheets and documentation panels listed in the curriculum. According to the observation forms, I did not wit ness her writing student responses on chart paper. I did see mini

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97 posters she had made displayed on the bulletin board, however. Some of these appeared Mrs. Kennedy had the students record their observations through drawings during some lessons, but this did not happen consistently. She also sometimes omitted the opportunity to help the children refine their drawings by asking specific questions about the animals. Th ere were times when Mrs. Kennedy omitted the sections of the curriculum involving helping the students compare and contrast living things. She did not have them compare themselves to the small animals or compare the photographs in field guides to the smal l animals. Although she did have the children move like the mealworms in one lesson, she did not have them do this with all of the small animals they investigated. In the first two lessons, certain discussion topics were omitted. For instance, the summa ry discussion at the end of the lesson did not occur. Also, although she sometimes discussed respect for the animals in a different part of the lesson (as mentioned in the above section on changes), she did not address this topic in three of her lessons a t all. At times the lessons called for the students to make predictions, discuss their prior knowledge, and describe the places they would find animals. These discussion s were absent from the lessons, too. There were opportunities for the children to use hand lenses to observe the small animals more closely, but Mrs. Kennedy did not get these out during three lessons as suggested. There was one time she did not give the students the naturalist kits during the lesson at all.

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98 Once the weather got colder, Mrs. Kennedy did not take the children outside for observations. She collected many resources to bring the outside in, however. These resources will be discussed in further detail in the next section about additions. Mrs. Kennedy made many interestin g additions to the lessons. At times, she had the children engage in an activity for the second time. For instance, in the first lesson, she had the students go outside a second time to return a small animal to its home. Other times she introduced mat erial meant for later lessons at an earlier time. She discussed the terrarium and the naturalist kits during the first lesson, when there were subsequent lessons specifically designed to present them. The second lesson was largely concerned with setting up the terrarium. At the beginning of that lesson, the students were already discussing what they had placed inside the terrarium and watering it. Mrs. Kennedy also introduced specific content in some of her lessons that was not explicitly intended for t hose lessons. For instance, she talked about insect body parts and life cycles on many occasions. Many times Mrs. Kennedy gathered materials to help the children have a hands on experience. She brought in different types of seeds to observe and taste, pumpkins to explore, wasps to examine, and a wasp nest to observe. She also created mini posters to share with the students regarding the life cycles of the different small animals. She referred to these in four different lessons. Mrs. Kennedy introduc ed books about the different kinds of small animals and allotted time for the students to read them. Three of her lessons ended with the students reading science books on the floor. Many of the students seemed to enjoy this time of free reading about sci ence topics.

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99 When the students were learning about the crickets, Mrs. Kennedy created puzzles of the different cricket body parts for the children to assemble. She cut the parts out of different colors of construction paper and put them in baggies fo r each group of two or three children. The children assembled them on the floor before drawing the Mrs. Kennedy a lso added the sand pile to her final lesson to represent an anthill, as discussed earlier. Although this decision was made because the ants had not arrived, the activity helped the students think about how ants behave, which helped set the stage for the later learning that would occur. Mrs. Kennedy altered the lessons in the Young Scientist Series in several ways. The largest occurrences of curriculum modifications were omissions to the lessons regarding documentation, use of science tools, opportunities to compare and contrast, discussion topics, and remaining in the classroom instead of going outside in colder weather. She also added her own ideas to the lessons in smaller numbers. In this area, she brought in many of her own resources (puzzles, books wasp nests, pumpkins, seeds) and covered content not specifically addressed in the curriculum. Of all of the types of modifications, she made changes to the curriculum least of all. These few changes she made were related to the order of the lessons, d ocumentation methods, and use of science tools. While Mrs. Kennedy followed the basic structure of the Young Scientist Series curriculum, she did not follow it to the letter, but altered lessons depending upon her

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100 Decisions Made Many teacher decisions had to be made during the course of this study. Mrs. Kennedy had to determine when to schedule the lessons, when to move from Open to Focused Explorations, which topic to teach in Focused Exploration, and what spe cific topics to cover during the Focused Exploration. Scheduling Because Mrs. Kennedy taught in the afternoon, she did not have as many constr aints about t e a c h i n g specific content. The morning teachers covered the academic topics such as reading and wr iting. She had more flexibility about scheduling in the time periods this study required, and she had the support of her director in doing so. Mrs. Kennedy allotted 45 minutes every afternoon to teach science to her students. Since she had preschoolers two afternoons per week and kindergartners two afternoons per week, each child fully enrolled in the program received two 45 minute science lessons per week. On Monday and Tuesday afternoons, she taught the same lesson. On Mondays the preschoolers would experience the lesson, and on Tuesdays the kindergartners would experience it. Then she did the same rotation on Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday the preschoolers would receive the second science lesson, and on Thursday the kindergartners would recei ve it. I observed her lessons with both groups of students, and I did not notice differences in the way she delivered the lessons to the two age groups. In my observations, Mrs. Kennedy was very consistent about maintaining her schedule. She worked ve ry hard to adhere to the time parameters of the study, teaching two 45 minute science lessons each week. Even when I observed her lessons on Wednesdays or Thursdays, it was evident she had taught the Monday/Tuesday lessons. On at least two occasions she

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101 questions generated during the previous lesson in order to help them figure out how to answer them. She also placed little posters and observations on her science bulletin board that I realized ha d been covered when I was not there. I was confident that the students were receiving the science instruction even when I was not there to observe. She was very systematic in her scheduling. Student Choice Mrs. Kennedy did not usually give the student s a choice about whether or not to participate in the science activities, at least at the beginning of her lessons. She had a definite structure to her science plans, and she expected the students to participate in the different aspects of the lesson. Th ere were several occasions when students were interested in free play. While Mrs. Kennedy encouraged them to stick with the science lesson, she did not force them to do so. In the curriculum guide, it states, to look for and observe living things. Do two of her lessons, some children were still engaged in the science topic while others were playing in the make believe area. In the Exploring Nature with Young Children the authors give a picture of what the children are doing during the science explorations. They state the following: As children move into the open exploration, some will be immediately excite d by the ideas and challenges. Others will be more reluctant, perhaps observing a plant or animal for a minute or so before moving onto another activities. Still others will prefer to play on the swings or choose a different activity (Chalufour & Wor th, 2003, p. 117).

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102 participation, so she felt justified in allowing her students to go play or stay with the science materials. How Soon to Move From Open Exploration to Focused Exploration At the beginning of the study, we established a timeline of spending four weeks on Open Exploration and four weeks on Focused Exploration. Mrs. Kennedy often combined several lessons into one, which caused her to move through the Ope n Exploration phase more quickly. For i nstance, in the first lesson, she discussed the terrarium and the science tools, which had entire lessons specifically devoted to them. This caused her to move to the Focused Exploration by the fourth week of the study because she was ready to do so. she was more comfortable with the Focused Exploration: The only thing I would probably do differently is go straight to the focused piece. I like that so much. Because it really taught them how to think better rather than me feeding it f ocused (J. Kennedy, personal communication, December 2011). Perhaps she did not realize how quickly she moved from the Open Exploration to the Focused Exploration, as her comments above show that she might have moved even more quickly to the Focused Exploration than she did, if given a choice. She did acknowledge that the Open Exploration was harder for her:

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103 used to having a lesson plan. And I still did that to a certai n extent, I think. You probably saw me do that. But I think probably in the process, the open is thinking their interest might be, so I think I switch probably, learning ho w to do more open. An d I still need to learn more. Because I still try and structure somewhat of a lesson plan. I want to see how it goes. I have a thought in my s not the way this should go. I should do more their interest, follow that, and stick to it for two, probably two meetings with them (J. Kennedy, personal communication, December 2011). reflective. Her lessons were more structured on the inqu iry teaching continuum, and she realized it. While she commented that she would move more quickly to the focused, as she talked more she started to realize that there might have been value in the Open Exploration phase she had not considered before. It w as very self revealing. Focused Exploration: Plants or Animals When she had finished the Open Exploration phase, Mrs. Kennedy had to choose whether or not to study plants or animals for the Focused Exploration. During week four of the study, I gave the students an informal interest survey to determine their preferences. At that point, Mrs. Kennedy had already decided that she would study animals in the Focused Exploration. I informally asked her at the time what made her decide that, and she stated that the students had seemed more interested when they had looked at the animals.

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104 I administered the Preschool Student Interest Assessment to eight of Mrs. d to learn more about animals ( 88%), whi le only one wanted to learn more about plants (13%). These results confirmed what Mrs. Kennedy intuitively knew: Her students were more interested in animals. When I asked her to elaborate on her decision in her poststudy interview, she stated the follow ing: That was a huge interest to them. But whenever we found a worm or roly poly or something like that, they just lit up. So I thought for this group, the animal par t would hold their interest longer (J. Kennedy, personal communication, December 2011). What to Cover During Focused Exploration During Focused Exploration, the class begins by searching for animals, making a home for visiting animals, observing the a nimals up close, and then moving on to a more content based focus. Some of the Mrs. Kennedy did not teach the lessons concerned with searching for animals or making a h ome for visiting animals because I had given her the small animals, their habitats, and what they needed to stay alive. During the Focused Exploration I provided the class with mealworms, water snails, crickets, ants, and their habitats. I think that Mrs Kennedy did not cover this aspect of the curriculum because it had already been done. She moved directly into observing the animals up close and continued in that step for the remainder of the study.

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105 behavior, and life cycles in her lessons, but they were brought into each lesson all at once. For instance, when she taught a lesson about the mealworms, she talked about the parts of the mealworm and the life cycle of the mealworm. Instead of allocating more time to delve deeper into the study, she presented a lot of content at once and moved on to learn about another animal. While she did talk with the children about experiments, she did these fairly quickly. When the students were trying to see whe ther or not crickets jumped or flew, they put them down on the ground and observed them jumping. They then concluded that they jumped. None of the experiments seemed to take place over the course of several lessons. Sometimes Mrs. Kennedy would go to a book and read the answer to a to contradict what the Inquiry Teaching subscale and interviews revealed about her views on inquiry, that she valued it. I did feel like she tried to include that experimental phase of inquiry in her lessons, but those experiments did not take very long. Student Questions questions and then categorized them according to whether o r not they asked procedural questions or curiosity questions. Although I wrote down the questions on the first viewing of the videotape, I found that I was able to hear many more questions when I e so small and she taught the science lessons to the whole group, I believed that I was able to hear most of the unknown to my original categorization of questions.

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106 Table IV.4 Stu Student Questions by Lesson 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Total Mean Percentage Procedural 46 44 23 14 6 8 29 7 177 22.125 58 Curiosity 19 23 2 12 12 12 16 12 108 13.5 35 Unknown 6 1 4 6 0 2 0 1 20 2.5 7 lessons I observed. The following are some examples of questions categorized as procedural: Will I have a magnifying glass? Can you help me? Examples of curiosit y questions are as follows: Now where can I find a bug? Do you want to touch him? Where did you find that? The last category, with examples of questions marked as unknown, as listed below: What the heck? Hey, guess what?

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107 A majority of the questions asked were procedural (58%), some were curiosity (35%), and a small number were unknown (7%). It is interesting to note that in lessons 5, 6, and 8, the curiosity questions outnumbered the procedural ones. One note that was not reflected on the observation for ms was who asked the questions. There was one student student like that can influence the outcome of the percentages. Overall Level s of Inquiry When I originally created the Observational Scale, I included two different measures of the level of inquiry used. The first was a rubric developed by Fay and Bretz (2008) that looked at three aspects of a lesson, the problem/question, the procedure/method, and the solution. It looked at varying levels of student and teacher involvement in those three processes. For instance, a level 0 would be a lesson in which the problem/question, the procedure/method, and the solution were all provided to the student by the teacher. A level 3 would be a lesson where the problem/question, the procedure/method, and the solution were all constructed by the student. Levels 1 and 2 both show a combination of teacher and student involvement, with a level 1 showing higher teacher involvement and a level 2 showing higher student involvement. Before beginning the study I was not sure whether or not a preschool curriculum would have this level of specificity in terms of exploring a problem. Because of that, I also included another measure of the lev el of inquiry. My second measure of inquiry utilized three levels of inquiry defined by Yager et al. (2005), structured inquiry, guided inquiry, and full inquiry. My goal was to look at the overall lesson and determine which level most characterized the lesson as a whole.

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108 Table I Inquiry Lesson Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Numbered Scale 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 Overall Level S G/S S S G G S S *Note: O=open inquiry, G=guided inquiry, S=structured inquiry lessons. On the numbered scale, three scored a 0 and five scored a 1. In terms of the inquiry (5 lessons) category. Although 2 of her lessons utilized guided inquiry, none of the lessons used open inquiry. For one lesson, the outside portion of the lesson fell into the guided inquiry category, while the inside portion fell into the structured inquiry category. This was the reason why was one lesson was divided in half. Often Mrs. Kennedy had the students generate the problems/questions, but she told them the procedures/methods and solutions most of the time. The overall level of i nquiry did support the numbered rubric, because a majority of her lessons were structured and scored a 0 or 1 on the rubric. Usually Mrs. Kennedy did not focus on only one question during her lessons, but explored a variety of questions quickly. Although that might have altered the level of inquiry had she handled each question differently, she usually was consistent in how she tried to answer the questions.

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109 Connections Between Levels of Inquiry and Prest udy Attitudes o n STEBI, Inquiry Teaching Subscale, and Materials Checklist Mrs. Kennedy began the study with the second from the highest score on the STEBI. Her Inquiry Teaching subscale score was also second from the highest of the teachers who completed it prestudy. Additionally, she felt she had the resources she needed in order to teach science effectively. Mrs. Kennedy seemed to be confident in her ability to teach science during this study. She was a teacher with a love of science who wanted to prioritize it in her classroom. While she worked ha rd to document student questions and try to figure out the answers to them, her activities were often teacher led. Her interviews showed that she felt comfortable with a definite lesson plan. It may be that the Young Scientist Series did not offer her en ough structure. She made positive comments about the curriculum, but I wonder if she was reluctant to be critical to me because we had developed a comfortable rapport. This could be viewed as reactivity, which Onwuegbuzie and Leech define d That is one limitation in being so present for a study. Teachers may filter their comments so tha t the researcher will feel that it was successful. Student Data The student data consisted of pre and posttest scores on the SLA and posttest scores on the PISCES. I also gathered qualitative data by asking the teachers ponses to the curriculum in the poststudy interview. Since Mrs. Kennedy followed the same lesson plan format with her two different small groups of students, I have combined her student data into one group.

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110 Table I V.6 Descriptive Stat istics Burris Presch ool SLA Pre test and Posttest. Descriptive Statistics N Minimum Maximum Mean Std. Deviation SLA Pretest Total 7 2 6 4.71 1.604 SLA Posttest Total 7 3 7 5.00 1.291 Valid N (listwise) 7 Figure IV 4 The SLA Pretest Total Distribution (with the curve of the normal distribution s hown )

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111 Figure IV.5 SLA Posttest Total Distribution ( with the curve of the normal distribution s hown ) Pre and Post SLA. Because of the timing of consent/assent form returns, I collected data for different nu mbers of students for the various assessments. For clarity, in this section I will only include data from the students for which I have both pre and posttest data on the SLA. Table IV.6 shows the basic descriptive statistics for the pre and posttests. Fi gures IV.4 and IV.5 provide the distributions of scores on the pre SLA

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112 (Figure IV.4) and the post SLA (Figure IV.5). I used the SPSS program to run statistics on the student assessments. In order to see if there was a statistically significant increase between the SLA Pretest and SLA Posttest, I ran a paired samples t test. The p value of .689 showed that the differences between the pre and posttest scores were not statistically significant. The difference between pre and posttest scores was likely du e to chance. Looking at the descriptive statistics (Table IV.6 increased from the SLA pretest to the SLA posttest, but that mean increase was not statistically significant. One possible explanation for this may be the fac t that Mrs. Kennedy moved quickly from the Open to the Focused Exploration. Her lessons had a strong content basis. The lessons were structured and did not allow as much time for free exploration, which would have enabled the students to hone their proce ss skills. It is also important to note that the sample size for her students was low. Only seven students completed both the SLA pre and posttests. Given the small number of students, it would have taken a large difference in the mean to produce a stati stically significant result on the t test. Other possibilities also exist which be discussed in Chapter 6 when a comparison between the Wright Preschool and Burris Preschool occurs. PISCES The PISCES assessment was given to the students at the end of the study to determine their attitudes towards science. This assessment was not given as a pretest. I felt that preschool children would not really know what the word science meant before the cur riculum was used with them. Mantzicopoulos et al. (2007) found that when children start kindergarten, only a few of them have knowledge of science events and activities. Since the children in this study were even younger than kindergarten, I did not

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113 Figure IV.6 The PISCES To t al Distribution (with the curve of the normal distribution s hown ) want to confuse them or cause them anxiety. Since all of the questions on the PISCES used the word science I thought it better to administer this at the end when the children had a better sense of what science is. Even though I could not compare pre and posttest scores for the same group of children, I looked at trends in the hows the distribution of scores of the students from Burris Preschool and Table IV.7 shows the descriptive statisti s t i c s

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114 Table IV 7 Descriptive Statistics Burris Preschool PISCES Statistics PISCES Total N Valid 7 Missing 0 Mean 9.43 Median 10.00 Mode Std. Deviation 2.573 Skewness .584 Std. Error of Skewness .794 a. Multiple modes exist. The smallest value is shown Along with the PISCES quantitative scale, I also asked Mrs. Kennedy about how her students responded to the science lessons. By addressing this in the qualitative science. Mrs. Kennedy indicated that her students responded positively to the lessons. After chunking and coding the data from the interview (for more detail, please see Appendix Q), the emergent theme statement on this topic is as follows: Most of the student s loved the lessons. They loved figuring things out for themselves, and now they know a lot about insects. Although I did not score the students on engagement during the lessons I observed, I noticed that there were times when some of the students be came disinterested

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1 15 in the lessons and wanted to do other activities, such as play. Mrs. Kennedy was aware of this, as she stated the following in the poststudy interview: o just try and bring them back somehow (J. Kennedy, personal communication, December 2011). Although the students seemed to enjoy the lessons for the most part, the PISCES and teacher interview showed that their attitudes towards science were not over whelmingly positive. Conclusion Mrs. Kennedy was a teacher with a strong commitment to science as a subject. She started the study with positive attitudes towards science and inquiry teaching. Her results on the Materials Checklist showed a teacher wh o had science resources available to her, and she scored the highest of all of the teachers on this measure. She was positive about using the Young Scientist Series and allocated distinct times when she would teach from it. When Mrs. Kennedy taught the c urriculum she made many choices about how to implement it. She made more attempts to follow the curriculum than not. This number was followed by a large number of omissions. Her omissions were largely related to documentation, science tools, comparisons discussion topics, and outside exploration. She included additions, changes, and new methods in smaller numbers. Mrs. Kennedy spent three weeks on the Open Exploration phase, moving on to study animals for the Focused Exploration. When she taught the F ocused Exploration, she included several

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116 kinds of small animals. She covered content, such as animal behavior, body parts, and life cycles, but often discussed all of these topics during the same lesson. Mrs. Kennedy incorporated inquiry into her lesson s. However, a majority of her lessons were teacher they investigated, but the inquiry process was never completely determined by the students. This was likely due to her personal comfor t level with having a more structured lesson plan. In terms of the overall level of inquiry of her lessons, a majority were structured inquiry and the rest were guided inquiry. Her interview results supported this finding. The student data from Mrs. Ken statistically significant increase on their science process skills from the beginning of the study to the end. Some of the students seemed to lose their engagement near the end of the study, and Mrs. Kennedy rec ognized this and reflected upon it. Mrs. Kennedy enjoyed science, cared about her students, and felt most comfortable with structured lesson plans. She followed the lesson ideas more than she omitted them. She took the curriculum and made it work in a way that was comfortable for her. While the use of the curriculum did not show noticeable changes in Mrs. information. She reflected upon her own teaching style and how that a ffected her choices. She became more self aware and was already thinking of ways she could engage all of the children and become more comfortable with Open Exploration. These thoughts of hers will likely result in stronger science instruction.

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117 CHAPTER V. CASE STUDY OF MRS. BENEDICT Structure of the Chapter This chapter will present the data I collected from Mrs. Benedict and her students. qualitative and quantitative data. Both her pretest and posttest scores on the survey s and her interview data will be discussed. Then I will compare and contrast her beliefs about science teaching both prestudy and poststudy. At the end of that section I will address her beliefs about inquiry as shown on her scores on the Inquiry Teachin g subscale and the interviews. I will compare and contrast her beliefs about inquiry, incorporating the prestudy and poststudy data into my discussion. I will then share the results of the Materials Checklist to determine the resources Mrs. Benedict had available before the curriculum implementation began. I will finish information gathered in her pre and poststudy interviews. Her general views on curriculum imp lementation and her specific opinions on the Young Scientist Series will both be considered. The second section of the chapter will present information collected from the videotaped observations made during the eight weeks of the curriculum implementation. I will include the results of the different sections on the Observational Scale. These wil l

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118 types of questions her students asked, and the levels of inquiry she incorporated in her lessons. For the final section, I will explore the student data collected from t he SLA Young Scientist Series teaching Mrs. Benedict: Description of the Classroom Mrs. Benedict taught preschool full time at Wright Elementary School. The preschool students who attended for the full day began school at 8:36 a.m. and ended at 3:13 p.m. Because parents were offered a choice of whether to enroll their children for full days or half days, the number of students in the classroom varied depending upon the day of the week and the time of day. The largest num ber of students in the classroom at any one time was 24. Mrs. Benedict shared the teaching responsibilities with another teacher, so there were a minimum of two teachers in the classroom at all times. A third teacher assisted them for 4 hours per day be tween 10:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., which reduced the teacher student ratio during those times. For the purposes of this study, Mrs. Benedict was considered the lead teacher for science instruction, making the decisions and implementing the curriculum. The p hysical classroom was originally designed for kindergarten students and was spacious enough to accommodate the varied activi ties occurring there. Figure V.1 provides a diagram of the classroom. Learning centers were designated and labeled, such as the ma th center, the writing center, the science center, and the housekeeping center.

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119 Figure (not to scale). Unlabeled rectangles are shelving units. desk table table table table table table bathrooms coathooks reading nook SMART Board cabinets counter make believe door entryway counters and windows sink

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120 Materials were well organized in labeled bins and appeared to be in good condition. The classroom also had an interactive SMART board the teachers used during their instruction. The classroom was an attractive, orderly, clean space; the general atmosphere was warm and welcoming. Beliefs understanding of inquiry, her materials in the classroom, her beliefs about curriculum, and her opinions about the Young Scientist Series Beliefs About Science Teaching I determined Mrs. science teaching with the STEBI instrument and th e pre study interview. Table V.1 Teacher #2 on the table and is highlighted in bold. At the beginning of the study Mrs. Benedict scored a 33 on the Personal Science Teaching Efficacy Belief (PSTEB) scale, one of the two subscales of the STEBI. Compared to the other six teachers who completed the questionnaire, she scored the lowest on that subscale. Her score of 33 out of 65 fell at the bottom of a range of 33 52. On the Science Teaching Outcome Expecta ncy (STOE) scale, she scored a 46 out of a total of 60. The range of scores for the teachers on this subscale was 40 48, so Mrs. Benedict scored second from the top out of the seven teachers. Her total STEBI score was a 79 out of a possible 125. Her tea prestudy. Her scores on the STEBI at the beginning of the study reflected a teacher who was unsure of her ability to teach science effectively. An interesting sidenote is that all

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121 Table V.1 STEBI Scores for Teachers STEBI Scores Pre Post Teacher PSTEB STOE Total PSTEB STOE Total 1 37 48 85 ---2 33 46 79 44 47 91 3 50 40 90 ---4 50 44 94 52 42 94 5 52 45 97 ---6 40 40 80 ---7 44 40 84 ----Teacher 2 and Teacher 4 were the two fully participating teachers. -Poststudy data was not collected on Teachers 1, 3, 5, 6, and 7 because these teachers did not participate in the entire study. Teacher 2. of the other teachers were given the opportunity to participate in this study. Although their scores on did not elect to participate. bscale scores to a group of 26 kindergarten teachers, her score of 33 on the PSTEB subscale was below the mean of the kindergarten teachers, which was 58.52 (Riggs & Enochs, 1990). Her total for the STOE subscale also

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122 fell below that of the kindergarten tea chers. Her score of 46 wa s lower than the difference (Riggs & Enochs, 1990). same three steps I used to analyze see Chapter 4. comparative analysis, I consoli dated the codes into an emergent theme statement. For detailed examples of how the chunks were coded, how the codes were grouped, and the theme statement that emerged, please see Appendix R. This theme statement was as follows: Science was often taught a t a science center connected to a classroom theme. The teacher might pull out games or experiments on such topics as colors, baking, volcanoes, and oceans for around 45 minutes per week. up science was not taught explicitly to the whole group of students. oth subscales (shown in Table V.1 ). She scored a 44 on the Personal Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Scale, an increase of 11 from her prestudy score. On the Science Teaching Outcome Expectancy scale she scored a 47, slightly higher than her prestudy score of 46 on that subscale. Her total sc ore of 91 was 12 points higher than her prestudy total score.

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123 Table V Shift of STEBI Items Agree to disagree 0 Disagree to agree 2 Uncertain to agree 5 Uncertain to disagree 0 Disagree to uncertain 5 Remained the same 13 a positive direction. This was calculated after reverse scoring of negative items had occurred. She did not answer any questions with a strongly disagree or strongly agree response on the pretest or the posttest. Although she did have some responses that remained the same, the responses that changed all changed in a positive direction, ei ther from disagree to uncertain, disagree to agree or uncertain to agree Her respons e shifts can be seen in Table V.2 Her pre and posttest results show e d a teacher who gained confidence in her ability to teach science effectively. Specific examples of described in the section discussing the observations made during the study. Beliefs About Inquiry course of this study. When she originally completed the Inquiry Teaching subscale, she scored a 56 out of a possible 76. For the six teachers who fully completed this subscale at the beginning of the study, the scores ranged from 50 to 69, so Mrs. fell in the middle. Out of the four possible responses ( strongly disagree, disagree, agree,

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124 and strongly agree ), she avoided extremes. In fact, she did not answer any of the questions with a strongly disagree or strongly agree response. Out of the 19 items on the subscale, she responded negatively to only one: I feel comfortable with the science content in my curriculum. All others were answered positively after rescoring negatively worded items. Her initial completion of this instrument reflected a teacher who was genera lly comfortable with the concept of science inquiry, but not to an extreme level. When analyzing Mrs. several themes emerged. These themes are consolidated in the following statement (for more detail, see Appendix S): In inquiry the teacher guides the children to question, think, explore, and talk about topics like the seasons. If the teacher cannot answer a question, she helps the students look it up. Mrs. Benedict does a lot of that, but is exci ted about having the researcher tell her more about inquiry, which she thinks is a part of the curriculum. After the constant comparative and domain analyses, I developed a taxonomic analysis in the same manner as described in Chapter 4. The taxonomic analysis for the inquiry teaching category used the attribution domain and is shown in Figure V.2 As r eflected in the taxonomy, Mrs. what the children do, what the teacher does, and what she belie ves about inquiry. Mrs. Benedict had ideas of what inquiry teaching entailed at the beginning of the study. She acknowledged skills the students use during inquiry, such as questioning, s one of a guide, helping the students look up answers to their questions. Although she mentioned exploration in

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125 questioning guides excited (teacher) thinking looks it up talking exploring Figure V.2 Prestudy her interview, she did not discuss experiments in an explicit way. She specifically spoke of helping students answer their questions through technology: things work, and the n maybe looking it up in a book or on the computer if, and then google it or see, and we can show pictures and that kind of thing (L. Benedict, personal communication, September 2011). appeared to value science instruction and inquiry. She also possessed a basic understanding of some processes of inquiry. She acknowledge d her own shortcomings in terms of science content knowledge, but used tools (such as books and the internet) to Inquiry Science Children Teachers Feelings

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126 help her address her perceived deficits. The excitement she shared in her interview about using the curriculum was also reflected in her answe r to an item on the Inquiry Teaching subscale. She agreed with the following statement from the Inquiry Teaching subscale: I would be interested in working in an experimental science curriculum. Mrs. her ideas about inquiry science. Her posttest total on the Inquiry Teaching subscale was a 65 out of 76, reflecting a 9 point increase on her views of inquiry from the prestudy total. On the initial administration of this subscale, she did not mark any i tems as strongly disagree or strongly agree This changed, however, on the posttest. All of her statements with a strongly agree answer (after adjusting for negatively scored items) were positive statements about inquiry, and she answered eight items in that manner. Although the STEBI scores showed a trend towards more positive responses at the end of the study, this trend for the Inquiry Teaching subscale was different because her posttest answers were more extreme. For one question, she shifted from d isagree to strongly agree : I feel comfortable with the science content in my curriculum. On one question, she shifted from disagree to agree which was the following: I have a difficult time understanding science. This was the only item that moved from a positive to a negative view. I thought about this, and I have developed two hypotheses for why this question moved from a positive to a negative response. One possible explanation is that Mrs. Benedict still had insecurities about her inquiry teaching and these insecurities were likely to emerge in some response. A second explanation is that when a person gains more knowledge, that person then can realize her or his deficits more clearly. Since Mrs. Benedict had a deeper understanding of inquiry whe n the study

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127 Table V Subscale Response Shifts. Shift of Inquiry Teaching Subscale Items Agree to disagree 2 Agree to strongly agree 8 Staying the same 9 ended she became more aware of her own lack of content knowledge. For all of the other questions she either stayed the same, shifted from agree to strongly agree or shifted from disagree to strongly disagree Table V.3 reflects this data. It appears that M rs. Benedict, who had positive views about inquiry at the beginning of the study, became even more positive about it at the end as reflected on the Inquiry Teaching subscale. For the poststudy interview, I analyzed the data in the same manner as the pres tudy. After chunking and coding the interview transcript for the constant comparative analysis, I wrote an emergent theme statement that consolidated the interview information. For detailed examples of how the chunks were coded, how the codes were groupe d, and the theme statement that emerged, please see Appendix T. This theme statement was as follows: The flow chart of having the students wonder, question, observe, try things, and figure them out was inquiry. Sometimes Mrs. Benedict wanted to show the m the book too soon because she was uncomfortable with questions, so she said she

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128 questioning slow down interest observing uncomfortable with questions wonder trying show book figuring out Figure Poststudy. should slow down. She would hone in on their interests and keep the circle of inquiry going. Mrs. Benedict saw inquiry as more of a circular process at the end of the study. She still acknowledged the use of process skills with the students as well as the importance of considering their interests. She also admitted that, because of her own discomfort with questions she cannot initially answer, she was too quick to go to a book to find the answer. Although this was reflected in her prestudy interview, her self reflection in realizing that she does this too readil y was more apparent in the post study Inquiry Science Teacher Student Processes Affective

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129 before they were asking questions, and maybe I needed to slow down a little Benedict, personal communication, December 2011). The poststudy taxonomic analysis was similar to the prestudy one. The three general categories remained the same, although I labeled them slightly differently. For instance, children on the prestudy analysis became student processes on the poststudy one. Particularly on the teacher virtually the same. For that category, she discussed more of her personal experiences in the poststudy intervie w. Figure V.3 shows the taxonomy of her responses to the pos tstudy interview Mrs. Benedict had positive views of inquiry before and after the study. Her positive views became more extreme when the study was completed. Probably her deepest realizatio n was that she needs to slow down and not be so quick to answer the she uses books and computers, but tried to help the children experiment first: What would happen i f we did this, what are you interested in knowing about. Writing that down and talking about if we did this, what would happen. Just like when we did the crickets and trying different things, so just experimenting with it then trying it if they have a question about something, trying to figure out how we can answer that question, how they can answer it (L. Benedict, personal communication, December 2011). Materials Checklist preschool sci ence environment found that half of all preschool classrooms had a science

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130 this finding. Her science area was located on a windowsill next to a table that was used a s a science center during center time. She had many materials available to her at the beginning of the study. Of the six teachers who completed the Materials Checklist at the beginning of the study, she scored her availability of materials highly. On the subscale of Science Materials, her score of 13 was at the top of the range of 7 13. Most notably, she had living things in the classroom, including fish, frogs, and plants. She also had an outdoor garden available just outside the classroom. On the Science Equipment subscale, her score of 14 feel near the median of a range of 10 17. She had items such as binoculars, funnels, measuring equipment, prisms, and rulers. On the Natural Materials subscale, her score of 7 fell near the median of a range of 3 insects, seeds, pine cones, and seashells. Her total score also fell near the median: She scored a 34 in a range of 20 39. by her score on the Materials Checklist. When appropriate materials are not available for enabled her to include science as an area of study in her classroom. Belief s About Curriculum determined from her pre and poststudy interviews. For detailed examples of how the chunks were coded, how the codes were grouped, and the theme statement that emerged, please see Appendix U. Using the codes derived from the constant comparative analysis, I created an emergent theme statement:

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131 The only set curriculum Mrs. Benedict used prior to this study was the preschool literacy program. She draws upon past ideas, resources, and websi tes, and likes to choose activities you want to do within time constraints. When choosing activ music, movement, games, talking, tools, and experiments. She uses what is in the tudy views on curriculum show a teacher who sees both the positives and negatives of utilizing a curricular package. While she shared her excitement about trying something new, she acknowledged the difficulty of figuring out what to teach within the time frame she had available. changed as a result of the study. This information was largely gleaned from the observations that occurred, which will be shared in detail in the n ext section. At the end of her interview, however, I asked if there was anything else she wanted to add. At that time, she spontaneously shared how her views of science teaching had changed: se now it makes what we were doing before kind of seem pretty pathetic. But the other thing, too, is book when we had the crickets and just bringing in other things to g o with it. It doing science at the science center. We could do things, science around the room,

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132 so they were writing and drawing. I mean it incorporated a lot of center, a lot of different activities and areas where the kids could participate and not just be in science (L. Benedict, personal communication, December 2011). After using the Young Scientist Series science teac hing shifted. Her view that science was largely isolated to the science center changed to one that integrated science into the other subject areas. Beliefs About The Young Scientist Series At the conclusion of the study I asked Mrs. Benedict to share he r feelings about the Young Scientist Series curriculum. I first asked about what she perceived the strengths of the program to be. I consolidated the codes from the constant comparative analysis to develop a theme statement on her views (for more detail, see Appendix V): The book was perfect and easy to follow, with helpful examples. The circle time was short to accommodate attention spans, though students did well when it went longer. She felt the students could have stayed outside longer. She woul d have When asked about the weaknesses of the curriculum, she was reluctant to mention anything specific to the curriculum. She stated that the weakness was not in the curriculum, but in the preschool. They had difficulty fitting it into their schedule with their time constraints. Mrs. Benedict thought highly of this curricular package. It is important to note, though, that she mentioned time constraints in her responses regarding to the pre and poststudy interview questions.

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133 Observational Scale For the purposes of this study, I formally observed Mrs. Benedict once a week for a total of eight observations. As with Mrs. Kennedy, I videotaped each observation, viewed each lesson two times, and completed the Preschool Science Lesson Observational Scale afterwards. Table V.4 shows the information I collected regarding the curriculum implementat ion process fo r Mrs. Benedict. It is interesting not only to examine the trends of how closely Mrs. Benedict followed the curriculum from lesson to lesson, but also to look at the averages for each category on the instrument. The two most frequent obse rvable actions were attempts and omissions. Their averages were roughly equal. Additions occurred, but not as frequently. Changes and new methods used were the least recorded. I will now go through each category of the Curriculum Implementation subscal e of the Observational Scale and dis cuss the types of choices Mrs. Benedict made. I will not address the attempts she made: My focus will be on the ways she deviated from the curriculum. Occasionally Mrs. Benedict made changes to the lesson. Sometimes this occurred when she altered the content of the whole group discussion at the beginning of the lesson and replaced it with another related topic. For instance, after a field trip to a botanical garden she reviewed the living things the children had seen there, helping them make connections between the field trip and their science instruction. Changes also occurred in the order in which steps in the lesson occurred. In terms of safety issues, instead of discussing these with the whole group, she often talked about them in the small groups as the safety issues arose. This also occurred when discussing

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134 Lesson Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Total Mean Content Attempts 8 14 4 8 10 6 5 7 62 7.75 Changes 2 3 0 3 1 2 1 3 15 1.875 Omissions 14 9 8 1 8 6 7 5 58 7.25 Additions 2 2 1 3 3 1 4 2 18 2.25 Methods New Methods 1 2 0 2 2 0 2 1 10 1.25 respect for the living things. She reminded the children frequently to treat the animals kindly and gently, but it was usually during the exploration instead of during the whole group discussion. The weather sometimes factored into the changes Mrs. Benedict made. Several of the observations occurred on snowy days when the children were not going to go outside. She tried to create an inside environment to help them understand the concepts. For instance, when it was snowy outside and the children were suppos ed to learn about the tools, she created an inside exploratory space. She put dirt into bins, along with seeds and small fake insects. The children were then encouraged to use the science tools to explore the materials in the bins.

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135 Mrs. Benedict gener ally handled additions in two ways. First, sometimes she maintained an activity as prescribed in the curriculum, but added it sooner. For instance, on lesson one she discussed the science tools. While that was in the curriculum, it was supposed to be in troduced in a later lesson. The same thing happened with the introduction of the mealworms for the Focused Exploration. I had brought the mealworms into the classroom and she had placed them in the windowsill. During the center time some of the children discovered the mealworms. Instead of making them wait to examine them, she got them out at the time the children showed interest in them. She also introduced supplemental books at the science center before that was actually mentioned in the curriculum. Although most of those books were non fiction, when the students were learning about crickets, she read the fictional story, The Very Quiet Cricket to integrate science and language arts. Occasionally Mrs. Benedict added other activities to the progres sion of the lesson. For instance, sometimes she led a whole class discussion, then had the children go out to recess. She had the entire class play, then selected a small group to do the science exploration. For another lesson, she inserted a music and movement time into the lesson. It was an inside snow day, so the children needed some gross motor movement at that time in order to stay focused on the instruction. One interesting activity Mrs. Benedict added she termed Science Around the Room The st udents had engaged in Reading Around the Room and Writing Around the Room Mrs. Benedict took this one step further and introduced Science Around the Room as a time the students took clipboards and paper and went around the classroom on a quest to find li ving things.

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136 Occasionally she also introduced content that was not yet specified in the curriculum. She talked often about living and non living things. In at least three of the observed lessons she discussed the needs of living things with the studen ts. Along with the needs of living things, she also spoke with the children about the life cycles of the different living organisms in the classroom during at least two observations. One of the primary additions Mrs. Benedict incorporated into her whol e group lessons was a review of previous material. She often went over what had been covered in the previous lesson even if that step was not explicitly stated in the prescribed lesson. During the last two lessons Mrs. Benedict set up two science cent ers, one with the crickets and one with the mealworms. Students could spend time at one or both tables. Often students went from one table to the other, examining the different living creatures. The new methods section of the Preschool Science Lesson Ob servational Scale often overlapped with the additions section, and those new methods have already been discussed. When looking at the difference between additional and new methods, it was determined that additions were additions to the content of the less on. For instance, if a lesson was about exploring science tools, and Mrs. Benedict discussed the needs of living things, that was considered strictly an addition because it was related to content. New methods were something completely new or different th at was included in a lesson. One new method was the Science Around the Room activity mentioned earlier because it was a completely new activity that was not addressed in the curriculum at all. During the discussion of inter rater reliability, it was decid ed that double coding could occur on this instrument. Therefore, all of the new methods were labeled as additions, but some of the additions were not considered new methods.

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137 Omissions were many, and they generally followed a pattern. Although Mrs. Be nedict began each lesson with a large group discussion, sometimes the topics of the discussion varied from what the curriculum recommended. Omissions of documentation also occurred regularly throughout the course of the study. Mrs. Benedict did not use any of the documentation forms during the small group time with the students. This was consistent through all of the observations. She also did not complete charts and documentation panels the curriculum recommended, especially at the end of her lessons Although Mr s. Benedict encouraged the students to record their observations, she did not capitalize on the chance to help them refine their drawings by probing them further. The curriculum also involves regular outside exploration. This happened du ring the first two lessons, but did not happen after that point. While weather was a contributing factor, there were times when the students could have been encouraged to go outside and make comparisons between their observations during different types of weather. Probably the most glaring omissions occurred at the end of the lessons. The small group discussion and large group discussion did not occur. Because of this, most of the activities described at the end of the lessons were absent. Summaries of the content did not happen at the end of the lessons. Instead, several times Mrs. Benedict used the whole group time at the beginning of the lesson to review information previously covered. Mrs. Benedict did not seize opportunities to help the students compare themselves with animals. These chances to explore some higher level thinking did not explicitly

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138 occur. For instance, one activity during the Observing Animals Up Close allows the children to move like the animals, but this did not happen. This omission was interesting Mrs. Benedict omitted important components of the Young Scientist Series curriculum, such as specific discussion topics, documentation of learnin g, end of lesson discussions, and making comparisons. While she maintained the basic philosophy of the curriculum, she omitted as many activities as she included. Decisions Made During the course of this study Mrs. Benedict had many decisions to make. She had to decide when to implement the instruction, when to incorporate whole group versus small group discussion, when to move from Open to Focused exploration, which topic to cover in Focused Exploration, and what to cover during Focused Exploration. S cheduling Scheduling was one of the most difficult aspects of curriculum implementation for Mrs. Benedict. At the beginning of the study, she wondered how she was going to fit the science instruction into her busy schedule. In the prestudy interview, she stated the following: sometimes hard to get everything in in the amount of time that we have. Everything we want to do. Way too much that we want to do (L. B enedict, personal communication, September 2011). The issue of time was echoed at the end of the student in her poststudy interview. When asked about the weaknesses of the curriculum, she stated the following:

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139 number of children and different schedules and different other things that we do as well, so it was, our weakness is trying to get that was difficult or, everything was helpful in the curriculum. It was basically us, I think, trying to implement it and not having as much time as we would have liked to have (L. Benedict, personal communication December 2011). The way Mrs. Benedict handled scheduling was conducting large group science talks right before center time. Then the students could engage in the science exploration during their center time. In this way, she was able to squeeze scienc e instruction into an already full schedule. Whole Group Versus Small Group Mrs. Benedict had a large number of students in her class, so balancing whole group and small group activities was a consideration in her curriculum implementation. For the e ight lessons observed, Mrs. Benedict conducted a whole group discussion at the beginning of all of them. Some were brief and some were more lengthy. Outdoor explorations in small groups happened for two observations until the weather got colder and more snowy. The rest of the small group time happened during the centers for six of the eight lessons. Though each lesson in the curriculum had a large group discussion as its conclusion, I did not observe Mrs. Benedict conduct any large group discussions at the end of the lessons. Student Choice choices. Except for the large group discussions occurring at the beginning of each lesson, students were allowed to choose to spend time at the science c enter or not. Mrs.

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140 Benedict was aware of the time requirements of the study, so she told me she would encourage all of the participants who took the SLA prestudy to spend time at the center. Still, the times each student spent of the science center vari ed. Some stayed for the full center time, some stayed for part of the time, and some did not spent much time there at all. These variations in time spent at the center may have affected the results of the study. How Soon to Move From Open Exploration to Focused Exploration We established a timeline at the beginning of the study that the teachers would spend four weeks on Open Exploration and four weeks on Focused Exploration. Mrs. Benedict spent time on the different steps of the curriculum and did no t rush into new steps. She spent two weeks on Step 1 of the Open Exploration, one week on Step 2, one week on Step 3, and one week on Step 4. Because of her decision to spend more time on Step 1, she moved into Focused Exploration during week six of the study instead of week five. Mrs. Benedict seemed very comfortable allotting more time to concepts if she thought it was something the students needed. Focused Exploration: Plants or Animals At the conclusion of Open Exploration, Mrs. Benedict had t o decide whether or not to focus more closely on plants or animals. During week four of the study, I gave the students an informal interest assessment to determine their preferences. Mrs. Benedict waited until I had completed the assessments to decide wh ich subject to study. She wanted to make sure she I administered the Preschool Student Interest Assessment to 28 of the students. Of the 28 students, 18 preferred animals (64%), 9 preferred plants (32%), and 1 ( 4%)

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141 liked them equally. A clear preference for animals existed in this class. When Mrs. Be nedict learned the results of this assessment, she decided to pursue the topic of animals in Focused Exploration. She stated it in the following way: I think we could have easily done either one. The fact that the kids were so interested in animals. I mean they were totally interested in the plants. I almost felt like, and I know you did the assessment, kind of a little assessment with them, too just to see where they were, so I wanted to go with their interest as well (L. Benedict, personal commun ication, December 2011). What to Cover During Focused Exploration During Focused Exploration, teachers begin by searching for animals, making a home for visiting animals, observing the animals up close, and then moving on to a more content based focus At that point, behavior, and/or life cycles. I did not observe Mrs. Benedict searching for animals or making a home for visiting animals, largely because I had provide d animals and their habitat needs to her already. During the Focused Exploration I provided the class with mealworms, crickets, ants, and their corresponding habitats. I believe it was because this was already done that Mrs. Benedict did not include th ose steps in the Focused Exploration process. She seemed to move directly to observing the animals up close and continued in that step for the duration of the study. cycles du ring the center times, those topics were not included in an explicit way. They were more an extension of examining the animals. Because of this, I felt that she spent

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142 the last three weeks of the study having the children observe the mealworms, crickets, and ants up close in a manner more closely resembling Open Exploration. She recognized this when asked about the levels of inquiry in the curriculum, stating the following: You can take it where wherever they are. So you know I would say that we did it. I think we were a little more loose with it and kind of let the kids go, they took it where they wanted to go or where they were ready to go with it. As far as, is very easy to do with preschool. But you could go, I think do even more structure with think you could do it either way. We did more loose. Not quite as detail oriented with the actual the inquiry process and all that (L. Benedict, personal communication December 2011). Student Questions questions and categorized them according to whether or not they asked procedural questions or curiosity questions. I found that a second viewing of the videotap es usually revealed more student questions than I had heard during the first viewing, so I watched each videotaped lesson two times. involved videotaping the children at the science center while the other students worked at other centers in the room. Since this class had up to 24 students, often the sound level in the room was very high and made it difficult to hear everything that happened at the science table distinctly I noted on the Observational Scale that for lessons 4, 6, and 7, it was difficult to hear everything that was said clearly. This may have caused my data to

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143 Table V Student Questions by Lesson 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Total Mean Percentage Procedural 7 17 9 10 16 10 3 8 80 10 53 Curiosity 14 13 3 1 18 6 0 4 59 7.38 39 Unknown 1 3 2 1 0 2 0 2 11 1.38 7 * *The noise level made it difficult to hear the questions during these lessons be less accurate. Because of this, I added a category on the Observation Scale of unknown If I could tell a question was being asked, but I could not hear it clearly, I marked it as unknown A few other questions I marked as unknown because it was d ifficult to categorize them into procedural or curiosity For examples of how questions were categorized, please see Chapter 4. Table V.5 shows the breakdown of student questions during the eight lessons I observed. A majority of the questions asked we re procedural (53%), some were curiosity (39%), and a small number were unknown (7 %). Overall Levels of Inquiry For a review on how the Observation Scale was created, please see Chapter 4. Table V.6 shows the breakdown of levels of inquiry for Mrs. Ben edict. On the numbered scale, two of the lessons scored a 0, three scored a 1, two scored between a 1 and a 2, and one scored a 2. In terms of the overall level of inquiry in her lessons, all eight lessons were labeled guided inquiry. Mrs. Benedict bala nced her lessons in terms of the levels of inquiry. For some lessons she provided the

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144 Table V Inquiry Lesson Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Numbered Scale 0 1 2 1 1 1 2 2 0 0 Overall Level G G G G G G G G *Note: O= open inquiry, G=guided inquiry, S=structured inquiry problems/questions, procedures/methods, and solutions, and for some she and the students figured these out together. I did not observe a ny lesson where the students constructed the problem/question, the procedure/method, and the solution themselves. This goes along with the overall level of inquiry of the lessons, because the guided inquiry designation states that there is a balance betwe en teacher led and student led activities. Connection Between Levels of Inquiry and Prestudy Attitudes o n STEBI, Inquiry Teaching Subscale, and Materials Checklist Mrs. Benedict started the study with the lowest score of her peers on the STEBI. Her sc ore on the Inquiry Teaching subscale was close to the median score. The materials she had available in her classroom were also in the median range when compared to the other teachers who completed the survey. Mrs. Benedict seemed tentative when beginni ng the study. When I walked in, she often would tell me about her plans in a questioning manner. This was supported by her

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145 lower score on the STEBI. I often felt that she wanted approval for what she had ink is best. Part of this study involves seemed to gain confidence in what she was doing. She did not talk with me as much about her plans: She just implemented them. Ne ar the end of the study I watched as she and the students devised an experiment to see if the crickets in the classroom would chirp. While she started off by turning off the lights and gave the students suggestions for what they could do, the students qui ckly got involved and made some of their own choices. They decided that turning off the lights was not enough, so they decided to hide so that the crickets would not see them moving. Watching this simple experiment exemplified inquiry teaching for me at this preschool level. group of teachers. Before the study began her interview showed a better understanding of inquiry science than that of most of the other teachers inte rviewed. When implementing the curriculum, she moved back and forth from teacher led to a combination of teacher and student interests and needs, and she met them where they were. Student Data The student data consisted of pre and posttest scores on the SLA responses to the curriculum in the poststudy interview. Pre and Post SLA As explained previously, beca use of the timing of consent/assent form returns, I collected data for different numbers of students for the various assessments. I administered the SLA posttest to more students because more

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146 Table V 7 Descriptive Statistics Wright Preschool SLA Pretest and Posttest Descriptive Statistics for SLA SLA Pretest Total SLA Posttest Total N Valid 17 17 Missing 0 0 Mean 4.82 5.82 Median 5.00 6.00 Mode 4 6 Std Deviation 1.551 1.425 Figure V 4 SLA Pretest Total Distribution (with the curve of the normal distribution s hown ).

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147 Figure V 5 The SLA Posttest Total Distribution (with the curve of the normal d is tribution s hown ) students had joined the study after the curriculum implementation began. For clarity, in this section I will only include data from the students for which I have both pre and pos ttest data on the SLA. Table V.7 shows the basic descriptive statistics for the pre and posttests. Figure V.4 and Figure V.5 show the total distribution of scores on the SLA pretest and SLA posttest. I used SPSS to run statistics on the student assessments. In order to determine if there was a statistically significant increase between the SLA Pretest

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148 and SLA Posttest, I ran a paired samples t test. The p value of .004 shows statistical significance, reflecting that the difference was not likely due to chance. The students at Wright Preschool performed better on the SLA posttest tha n the SLA pretest, and their increased performance was statistically significant. One possibl e explanation was that the way Mrs. Benedict used the Young Scientist Series curriculum helped her students develop their science process skills. PISCES The PISCES assessment was given to the students at the end of the study to determine their attitudes towards science. This assessment was not given as a pretest for reasons stated in Chapter 4, so I could not compare pre and posttest scores for the same g roup of children. I did look at trends in the distributions and compared the from the two schools. Figure V.6 shows the distribution of scores of the students fro m Wright Preschool, and Table V.8 shows the descriptive statistics. The di stribution was negatively skewed, as the mean was lower than the median and the mode was higher than the median (Bluman, 2003). This indicated that a majority of students scored highly on the assessment. I also completed the PISCES analysis on the full s tudy population and found that that information corroborated the information from the complete study population. Along with the PISCES quantitative scale, I also asked Mrs. Benedict about how her students responded to the science lessons. By addressin g this in the qualitative science. Mrs. Benedict indicated that her students responded positively to the lessons. After chunking and coding the data from the interview, t he emergent theme statement on this topic was as follows (for more detail, see Appendix W):

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149 Figure V.6 The PISCES Total Distribution (with the curve of the normal distribution s hown ) The students were eager and went bonkers. It was great for them, as they engaged in questioning, sharing, and drawing. They shared and found plants and animals. Some were on and some were confused, but they felt good about sharing. They were into it outside and stayed at the indoor center a long time, which was unusual. They had a great response to the curriculum, including their reactions during large circle time.

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150 Table V 8 Descriptive Statistics Wright Preschool PISCES Statistics PISCES Total N Valid 16 Missing 0 Mean 10.31 Median 11.00 Mode 12 Std. Deviation 2.152 Skewness 1.290 Std. Error of Skewness .564 Although I did not score the students on engagement during the lessons I participating in the science activities. They spent large amounts of time observing and often ex citedly shared their thoughts and observations with the teacher and with other students. teacher interview, indicated that the students at Wright Preschool felt positively abo ut science. Conclusion At the beginning of this study Mrs. Benedict was a preschool teacher with some self doubt about her ability to teach science effectively. While she had positive views about inquiry, she felt insecure about using it in the classro om. She was open to using the Young Scientist Series curriculum even though she knew she would have to do some

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151 problem solving to fit it into her already full schedule. She acknowledged that using a new curriculum required hard work, but also saw the opp ortunities available in trying something new. When Mrs. Benedict taught the curriculum she made many decisions about how to use it. She included about the same number of activities from the lessons as she excluded, and she incorporated changes and additi ons in smaller numbers. Her omissions were largely related to debriefing discussions at the end of lessons, documentation of student learning (both teacher and student), and making comparisons. Most of the activities were included in the center time alre ady established, with some brief whole group discussions prior to center time beginning. She spent five weeks on the Open Exploration phase, moving on to study animals for the Focused Exploration. When she taught the Focused Exploration, she included sev eral kinds of small animals. In terms of content, however, she did not delve into specific content knowledge in an intentional way. Mrs. Benedict incorporated inquiry into her lessons. The levels of inquiry ranged from teacher directed to teacher and student directed, but were never completely determined by the students. This may have been due to the young age of her students. In terms of the overall level of inquiry of her lessons, they were all guided inquiry, offering a balance between teacher a nd student led activities. increase on their science process skills. They also had positive views of science. It style may have affected her students

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152 quietly talking with her students about their questions, modeling wondering for them, and providing them with open ended materials worked. Although she omitted components of the lessons, her choices were philosophically aligned with it, reflecting one of the goals eagerness to find out, an open mind respect for life, and delight in being a young classroom situation. Her use of the curriculum not only helped her students, it helped her become more confident as an inqui ry based science preschool teacher. This curriculum implementation was a positive experience for Mrs. Benedict and her preschool students.

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153 CHAPTER VI. COMPARISONS AND CONCLUSIONS Structure of the Chapter In this final chapter, I will provide a comparison between Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Benedict. I will discuss their similarities and differences on science teaching efficacy, beliefs about inquiry teaching, materials available, observations, decisions, student questions, levels of inquiry employed, and student data. Teacher d ata was consolidated in Table VI.1 and student d ata was consolidated in Table VI.2 After that, I will revisit the research questions presented in Chapter 1 and determine whether or not those questions were answered by the study. Part of this discussion will include the hypotheses shared in Chapter 1 and whether or not they were s u p p o r t e d b y t h e d a t a o r n o t Following this section, I will discuss the limitations of the study. I will then offer some ideas for future researc h in early childhood science education. After that, I will offer suggestions for helping early childhood teachers teach science more effectively. I will conclude the chapter with a brief synthesis of the information gathered. Efficacy and Science Teach ing At the beginning of the study, Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Benedict had different totals on the STEBI. Mrs. Kennedy scored second from the highest of the seven teachers who completed this questionnaire prestudy, and Mrs. Benedict scored the lowest. Mrs. K ennedy seemed confident in her ability to teach science effectively, while Mrs. Benedict felt more unsure of herself.

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154 Table VI.1 Comparison of Teacher Data Comparison of Teacher Data Kennedy Benedict STEBI Pretest 94 79 STEBI Posttest 94 91 Difference Pre to Post 0 +12 Inquiry Pretest 67 56 Inquiry Posttest 60 65 Difference Pre to Post 7 +9 Materials Checklist 39 34 Observations Attempts total/mean 71/8.875 62/7.75 Changes total/mean 17/2.125 15/1 8 75 Omissions total/mean 42/5.25 58/7.25 Additions total/mean 24/3 18/2.25 New Methods total/mean 10/1.25 10/1.25 Numbered Levels of Inquiry Z ero (0) 3 3 One (1) 5 3 Two (2) 0 2 Three (3) 0 0 Overall Levels of I nquiry Open 0 of 8 0 of 8 Guided 2.5 of 8 8 of 8 Structured 5.5 of 8 0 of 8

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155 When I asked the teachers to describe how they had taught science previously, they answered in similar ways. Both of them shared how they had handled science topics during center times as part of their thematic units. Neither of them had taught science in a deliberate, intentional way previously. Mrs. Kennedy expressed that she had wanted to include more science in her schedule. Both teachers were positive about th e study at the beginning, though tentative about how it would evolve. When the study was complete, Mrs. Kennedy scored the same total on the STEBI that she had at the beginning of the study. Mrs. Benedict, however, gained 12 points on her poststudy score on which Mrs. Kennedy scored more negatively were all related to believing that good teaching can overcome student limitations. In some ways Mrs. Kennedy felt less confidence as the study continued. This was reflected not only in her scores on the STEBI, but in her basic demeanor during the study. At the beginning, she often asked me about the activities she had planned or told me about them with a questioning tone. As the study progressed, she did this less and less and started trusting her own decisions more. When con sidering beliefs about science teaching, the data reflected that Mrs. Benedict benefitted most from the curriculum implementation. She worked the curriculum into her existing schedule, often using center time to engage the students in science. Her comfor t level with open ended activities showed. Mrs. Kennedy taught the curriculum, but she handled her lessons in a more structured manner. Near the end of the

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156 study, a couple of her students wanted to play instead of participating in the science activities. While this was normal for preschoolers, I think that Mrs. Kennedy internalized it and felt discouraged by it. She executed her lessons with conscientiousness, going to great lengths to plan meaningful activities. It is my hope that she can feel empower ed again as she continues to work on her science instruction. Inquiry Subscale: Pre and Post At the beginning of the study, Mrs. Kennedy scored highly on the Inquiry Teaching subscale, with a total of 67 out of 76. Her score fell second from the top of the six teachers who completed the instrument. After rescoring negatively worded items, she answered every item with an agree or strongly agree response. Mrs. Benedict, however, scored lower on this subscale with a total of 56 out of 76, placing her in the middle of the group of teachers who completed the survey. She never responded with a strongly agree or strongly disagree answer on the pretest. She answered only one question in a negative way, the question about feeling comfortable with the science content in her curriculum. Both Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Benedict were positive about inquiry teaching at the beginning of the study. declined from 67 to 60. While she answered all of the items in a positive way, they were Teaching subscale increased by 9 points, from 56 to 65. At the beginning, she did not answer any items with a strongly agree or strongly disagree but by the end of the study she answered more items as strongly agree As on the prestudy survey, she responded to only one item with a negative response. That item was the following: I have a difficult time understanding science. All of her other responses were positive.

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157 Mrs. Kennedy had a basic understanding of inquiry science at the beginning of the study, as evidenced by her responses to the interview questions. She stated that inquiry science was when the kids asked question s, were enthused, and wanted to figure out what was next. When the study concluded, she maintained a similar definition of inquiry science. At the end, she included the process of answering questions with experiments to her definition, which was new. Th e taxonomies of her pre and poststudy responses reflected a basic understanding of inquiry science, and they were very similar. Mrs. Benedict also possessed an understanding of inquiry science when the study began. She stated that the students question, think, explore, talk, and look up information. She also acknowledged student excitement as being a component of inquiry science. The taxonomy of her response showed three categories: teachers, students, and affect. Her poststudy taxonomy was very simila r to her prestudy one. Those same three categories (though perhaps labeled with slightly different terms) existed on the poststudy important in inquiry science. Inquiry Teaching subscale poststudy, she still answered all items with positive responses. Two possible explanations might explain the difference in her scores. She might have, through experience with the curriculum, realized the challenges of teaching with an inquiry focus. The qualitative data also indicated that Mrs. Kennedy felt most comfortable with structured lesson plans. Since inquiry ca n lend itself to more open ended exploration, Mrs. Kennedy might have been less comfortable with this aspect of inquiry.

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158 ative way. While she started the study with a positive view of inquiry, she ended with an even more pronounced positive feeling about it. She realized that, although she wants to find answers in books or on the internet, she needs to slow down and help t he students figure out ways to answer their questions. Her teaching style was compatible with an inquiry focus. Materials Checklist At the beginning of the study, both teachers completed the Preschool Classroom Science Materials/Equipment Checklist. On the Science Materials subscale, both teachers scored an identical total of 13. One of the most notable similarities between them was the outdoor garden that was available to both of them on the school grounds. At Burris Preschool, the spacious garden wa s available to all of the doors. On the Science Equipment subscale Mrs. Kennedy scored a 17, the highest of the six teachers who completed the instrument. Mrs. Benedict scored a 14, near the middle. For Natural Materials, Mrs. Kennedy totaled 9, the top of the range of teachers, while Mrs. Benedict totaled a 7 near the middle of the range. Their totals showed that Mrs. Kennedy scored the highest of all of the teachers with a 39 and Mrs. Benedict fell in the middle with a score of 34. Both teachers had science materials available to them at the beginning of the study, most notably an outdoor area to explore. On the topic of materials, Mrs. Kennedy often collec ted materials from her own yard, garden, or home. For instance, she brought in seeds and pumpkins from her personal garden and wasps from her home. Although

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159 she scored highly on this instrument, I believe that part of what made her score so high was her awareness of all of the materials she had available to her and her willingness to plan ahead and bring them to her classroom. Both teachers were given identical resources as the study began. For the Open Exploration phase of the curriculum, I gave them both al l of the items listed in Table III.4 in Chapter 3. One difference occurred during the Focused Exploration phase. Mrs. Kennedy had moved to the Focused Exploration phase of the study two weeks ahead of Mrs. Benedict, so I provided her with an add itional example of small animals (water snails) and their habitat. I feel that the variations in materials evidenced in the Materials Checklist and the one difference in resources provided to the teachers was not a variable in this study. Both teachers ha d ample materials to teach science effectively. Beliefs About Curriculum Both Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Benedict had distinct views on how they implemented a curricular program at the beginning of the study. Their responses showed more differences than similarities. This is not surprising given the more open ended nature of the inter view process. Mrs. Kennedy stated that she had not used a packaged curriculum before at Burris Preschool. When starting to use a curricular program, she said she needed time to familiarize herself with the curriculum and see how it was going to flow. Sh e liked to connect the curriculum to whatever theme they were studying in the classroom. She responded that at first she follows a curriculum closely, but adjusts it as time goes by when she develops a comfort level with it. Mrs. Benedict remarked that she had used a literacy curriculum with her students. She often looked at past lesson plans, resources, and websites to figure out what to teach.

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160 While she felt that it was exciting to use a new curriculum, she also acknowledged that it takes work to gai n familiarity with the program at first. When she started to use a curriculum, she first used what was in the package. When she taught it after that, she eliminated the activities that did not work for her students. Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Benedict had one very important similarity in how they implemented a curriculum. Both of them considered student needs when utilizing a program. Mrs. Kennedy commented that she considered the age of her students, which was appropriate since she taught two different a ge groups. Mrs. Benedict stated that she accommodate their needs. Both teachers focused on the students when asked about how they utilized a curriculum. Young Scientist S eries Both Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Benedict identified strengths in the Young Scientist Series when the study ended. Mrs. Kennedy felt that the greatest strength of the curriculum was the hands on nature of it. She liked how the students were able to immerse themselves in their study of the different animals. Mrs. Benedict cited different streng ths of the program. Most notably, she responded that the Young Scientist Series science had been more isola ted to the science center. Through the course of the study, she was able to see how she could integrate science into other subject areas. Both teachers were reluctant to share their perceived weaknesses in the curriculum. Although I think they were bein g honest in their interviews, they were both thankful to have been given the curriculum and all of the materials to teach it. This might

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161 have caused them to downplay their perceived weaknesses of the program. Mrs. Kennedy stated that she would have move d from the Open Exploration phase to the Focused Exploration phase sooner than the curriculum dictated. The inference drawn from this statement was that she felt the Open Exploration phase was too long. Mrs. Benedict, however, said that the weakness was not in the curriculum, but in how she implemented it. She said it was difficult to fit all of the components of it into her already full schedule. Both teachers made many more positive statements about the Young Scientist Series than negative ones. Ob servations For the observational data, Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Benedict had similarities and differences in how they implemented the curriculum. Looking at the raw data, Mrs. Kennedy made more attempts to fol low the curriculum (see Table VI.1 ). Her attemp ts outnumbered her omissions. Mrs. Benedict, however, made approximately the same number of attempts to follow the curriculum as she did omissions to the program. Both teachers omitted material in similar manners. Both of them left out having the stud valuable information about their understanding, so omitting that component deprived the teachers of assessment opportunities. Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Benedict often overlooked the end of lesson discussions suggested in the lesson plans, which also could have helped to help the children compare and contrast the different small animals to each other and to themselves. Both teachers did not take the children outside when the weather got colder. All lessons past the first few occurred inside. The only omission that occurred with Mrs. Benedict that did not occur with Mrs. Kennedy was the documen tation of student

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162 responses. While Mrs. Kennedy used her own format to record student questions and comments, Mrs. Benedict did not include this component of the curriculum. Mrs. Benedict omitted more material from the lessons, but her omissions were sim ilar to Mrs. Both of the teachers made additions to the lessons. Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Benedict introduced material meant for later lessons at earlier times in the curriculum ed to bringing in more hands reading time at the end of several of her lessons. Mrs. Benedict changed the lessons by inserting different activities (music and movement, recess) into the middle of the science lessons to help the students exercise their gross motor skills. Probably her most additions were related to materials, Mrs. Benedic Mrs. Kennedy made slightly more changes to the curriculum than Mrs. Benedict, but their numbers on this item were similar. Both teachers changed the order of activities of the lessons. Mrs. Kennedy also changed her docume ntation, her use of tools and resources, and the materials she used to teach. While it appeared that Mrs. Kennedy made more changes to the curriculum than Mrs. Benedict, some of her changes were alterations of components Mrs. Benedict omitted entirely. Both teachers worked hard to plan and implement this curriculum. In terms of fidelity of implementation, Mrs. Kennedy included more components listed in the curriculum. She made more attempts and fewer omissions than Mrs. Benedict. She also made slight ly more changes and additions to the curriculum.

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163 Student Questions The types of questions the students in these two classrooms procedural questions, while the students in Mrs. Be procedural questions. curiosity questions, while in Mrs. curiosity questions. The unknown category was Since these teachers implemented the curriculum in different ways, the data regarding student responses were surprising. The data for their questions were very similar even though the lessons we re handled in different ways. Most of the questions the students asked were procedural Perhaps this should not be surprising given the young age of the students. After all, they need to clarify directions in order to understand what they need to do. It was interesting to note that the curiosity questions outnumbered the procedural ones. I looked to see if there was a connection between levels of inquiry and the number of curiosity questions. For two of the three lessons in which this occurred, t he lessons were guided inquiry and for one it was structured inquiry guided inquiry lessons were in the minority, so there may have been a connection between a more open level of inquiry and the types of questions students asked in her cl curiosity questions outnumbered the procedural ones. In her case, it was more difficult to see a connection because all of her lessons were rated guided inquiry lessons. This subject would be interesting t o pursue in more depth. Inquiry The levels of inquiry used in these two classrooms were different. For Mrs. Kennedy, a majority (5 out of 8) lessons incorporated structured inquiry while 3

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164 utilized guided inquiry On the numbered rubric, all of her 0 scores happened during the structured inquiry lessons. There was not much range to her numbered scores: They were either a 0 or a 1. Her teaching style of feeling more comfortable with structure was supported by th e observations of the level s of inquiry utilized in her classroom. Mrs. Benedict used guided inquiry in all of her lessons. Her numbered scores ranged from a 0 to a 2, depending upon the lesson. She was more comfortable with open inquiry and described he rself as loosely following the lessons. Decisions Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Benedict made different types of decisions in their classrooms. In looking at their decisions, however, it is important to note that they had some important differences in their cla ssrooms. Mrs. Kennedy had much smaller class sizes and teacher student ratios than Mrs. Benedict. Therefore, one must consider this profound difference when considering how their decisions were made. In terms of scheduling, Mrs. Kennedy allotted a set time when she would teach science each day. She planned a 45 minute session each day, and she adhered to that. Mrs. Kennedy, however, was more loose in her scheduling. She often squeezed in her whole group discussion, but used the center time already a llotted to cover the science topics in the curriculum. While both teachers utilized the science curriculum, Mrs. Kennedy was more intentional about it. Both Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Benedict incorporated whole group time in their ass sizes were so small, however, that her whole group Benedict incorporated large group discussions into her teaching, but a majority of the lesson time was handled in sm all groups of four to eight during the center times.

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165 On the topic of student choice, Mrs. Benedict allowed more student choice than Mrs. Kennedy. Mrs. Kennedy taught structured lessons in which she expected the students to participate, at least at the beginning of them. She worked hard to maintain the 45 minute, two times per week time frame we had established at the beginning of the study. I always felt that, even when I was not there to observe, she was teaching science. Part of this was because I saw evidence of prior science learning on charts and illustrations on the science bulletin board. Mrs. Benedict had all of the children choice. Students could move from one center to another freely as long as there was space. She told me at the beginning she would encourage the students who were assessed at the beginning of the study to visit the science center during the week, but I did not see evidence of it being documented. So Mrs. Benedict allowed more choice than Mrs. Kennedy, but this might have affected the amount of time the students spent learning science. At the beginning of the study, we had established that the Open Exploration timeframe would take fou r weeks and the Focused Exploration four weeks. Mrs. Kennedy seemed eager to move from Open Exploration to Focused Exploration, and she did this after the third week of the curriculum implementation. I did not discourage this, as I felt it was a teacher choice and the study was designed to examine teacher choices. She mentioned in her interviews that she felt more comfortable with the Focused Exploration. Mrs. Benedict, on the other hand, was not as quick to move from Open to Focused Exploration. She s pent two more weeks on the Open Exploration phase of the

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166 curriculum than Mrs. Kennedy, moving to it one week later than what we had outlined. She seemed comfortable with the Open Exploration phase. Both teachers chose to learn about animals during the Focused Exploration phase of the curriculum implementation. Mrs. Kennedy decided to do this before I had given her students the interest assessment. When I asked her about how she determined this, she answered that the students were more engaged when lea rning about animals during Open Exploration. I then assessed them, and my assessment results confirmed this. Mrs. Kennedy intuitively knew what the assessment showed: Her students were more interested in animals. Mrs. Benedict also chose to cover anim als during the Focused Exploration, but she waited until I had assessed her students before making this decision. The choice was made in similar ways, however, by both teachers. Both of them based it upon the students and their interests, not on what the y themselves felt most comfortable teaching. Both of them were student centered in this decision. Both teachers moved into the Focused Exploration phase of the curriculum, and they handled it in similar ways. Both of them skipped the first two lessons, probably because I had already provided them with resources. Both of them skipped to the third step of the Focused Exploration, observing the animals up close, and both remained there for the duration of the study. While they both covered content, such a s animal body parts and life cycles, neither of them followed the lesson plans intended for these topics. While they acknowledged the value of experimentation, both teachers admitted to finding answers to student questions with resources such as books. M rs. Benedict realized this

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167 and made a point that she needed to slow down and help the children figure out how to answer the questions first. Student Data Both sets of students took the S LA pre and poststudy. Table VI.2 shows the means of the groups of students pre and post. I ran a t test at the beginning to check to see if a statistical difference existed between the students at Burris Preschool and Wright Preschool prestudy. The p value of that test was .941, indicating there was not a statistical difference between the two groups of students at the beginning of the study. On the pretest the students of Burris scored a mean of 4.71, while the students at Wright scored a mean of 4.82. These were very similar. On the posttest, however, there were larger differences. On the posttest the students of Burris scored a mean of 5, while the students at Wright scored a mean of 5.82. Although this may not look very different at first glance, the t test results indicated that there was not a statistical s ignificance in the scores from Burris Preschool pre and poststudy, but there was a statistical significance for the Wright Preschool students pre and poststudy. While the means of both groups e to chance, while the Preschool improved on their ability to use science process skills at the end of the study in a statistically significant way. On the PISCES att itude assessment, the students from Burris Preschool had a mean of 9.42, while the students from Wright Preschool had a higher mean of 10.31. The higher mean of the Wright students reflected they had more positive views about science. Additionally, the f requency distribution from Burris Preschool followed an

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168 Student Data Kennedy (N=7) Benedict (N=16) SLA Pretest Mean 4.71 4. 82 SLA Posttest Mean 5.00 5. 82 S ignificance level pre to post .689 .004 Student Interest Assessment Plants 13 % 32 % Animals 88 % 64 % Both plants and animals 0% 4% Questions Procedural 58% 53 % Curiosity 35 % 39 % Unknown 7 % 7% PISCES Posttest Mean 9.43 10.31 approximately normal distribution, while the frequency distribution from Wright Preschool was negatively skewed. This negative skew indicated that a majority of the students at Wright Preschool scored highly on this assessment. Although the sample sizes were very different for these two groups of students, I would have expected the smaller group of students to score higher on these assessments because their teacher student ratios were lower. Had this happened, the students from Burris Preschool would ha ve scored higher than those of Wright Preschool. I would have also expected the group that included kindergarten students to score more highly. The

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169 sample from Burris Preschool included three kindergarten students, but the Burris scores were lower than t he Wright scores. Therefore, I think the results reflected more dramatic differences. The students of Wright performed higher on both assessments despite their larger class size, higher teacher student ratios, and younger students. Revisit Research Que stions At this point, I will revisit the research questions and hypotheses. The overarching question of this study was the following: How do two different preschool teachers implement a packaged science curriculum? The specific research questions under this broad category were as follows: 1. What variations exist in how the teachers implement the curriculum? In what ways do the teachers follow the directions of the program? In what ways do they alter the directions of the program (attempts, change s, additions, omissions)? What teaching choices do the teachers make in relationship to science inquiry? 2. How do variations in curriculum implementation affect student science process skills (prediction, observation, investigation, using science tool s) acquisition? 3. How d o variations in curriculum implementation affect student attitudes towards science? The first hypothesis was as follows: Hypothesis 1 : Different preschool teachers will implement a packaged science curriculum in a variety of ways, depending upon their comfort level teaching science and their philosophies regarding science inquiry.

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170 This hypothesis was supported by the data Mrs. Kennedy was initially more comfortable with science instruction and inquiry while Mrs. Benedict was not quite as comfortable. The teachers started out with different comfort levels, and they implemented the curriculum in different ways. Hypothesis 2: Teachers with an initial higher comfort level teaching science will implement the curriculum making more personal teaching choices. This hypothesis was not supported by the data When looking at the initial truction and inquiry teaching, I would have expected M rs. Kennedy to make more personal teaching choices. She had higher scores on the STEBI and the Inquiry Teaching subscale than Mrs. Benedict at the beginning of the study. When looking at th e observational data, however, Mrs. Kennedy actually made more at tempts to follow the curriculum than omissions, while Mrs. Benedict had roughly the same number of attempts as omissions. Hypothesis 3: Teachers who value science inquiry will feel freer to make adjustments to the curriculum. This hypothesis was difficu lt to prove, but it seems to be unsupported by the data as well. Mrs. Kennedy scored higher on the Inquiry Teaching subscale at the beginning o f the study than Mrs. Benedict, but she adhered more closely to the curriculum. Hypothesis 4: In classrooms wher e teachers utilize more inquiry activities, students will show more gains in science process skills.

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171 This hypothesis was supported by the data Mrs. Benedict utilized higher levels of inquiry in her lessons, as all of her lessons fell into the guided inq uiry c ategory. A lessons followed the structured inquiry designation. O nly in a statistically significant way on the SLA Posttest. H er method of having the children freely explore may have helped them develop their process skills. Hypothesis 5 : In classrooms where teachers utilize more inquiry activities (implement the curriculum more freely, making their own choices when necessary), students will reflect more positive views of scienc e. This hypothesis was also supported by the data Mrs. Benedict made more curricular modifications than Mrs. Kennedy. While both groups of students had positive views of science, mean on the PISCES was higher than Mrs. c lass mean. Although other teacher variables may have influenced this as well, h er students may have benefitted from the way she freely made choices regarding the curriculum implementation. Limitations of the Study This study had limitations which make i t difficult to generalize the findings. The main limitation of this study was the sample used. First, the students involved in the study were children of parents who could afford a tuition based preschool program. None of them received any scholarship a ssistance, so the socio economic status of the families enabled them to pay tuition for their children to attend preschool. These same parents may have had a commitment to early childhood education, as evidenced by the

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172 fact that they enrolled their childr en in these preschool programs which were not compulsory. Additionally, the participating students were mostly Caucasian, so there was little ethnic diversity in the group. These limitations made it difficult to generalize the findings to the larger earl y childhood population. Another limitation was sample size. The sample sizes for the students were small. Having only 7 students from Burris Preschool and 17 students from Wright Preschool made the conclusions tenuous. It was difficult to make inference s based on a t test with such small samples of students. The teachers who participated in this study were a volunteer sample. At the beginning of the study, nine teachers had the opportunity to be a part of the study. Only two felt they could fully impl ement the curriculum. Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Benedict may have deviated from the norm in several ways. They may have been more willing to try a new curricular program, they may have been more committed to science instruction, and they may have felt more c omfortable with having an observer present for their lessons. These factors all make the two teachers involved in this study unique. Therefore, it was difficult to generalize the findings to a larger population of teachers. The novelty effect may have come into play during the study. When this occurs, (Onwuegbuzie & Leech, 2007, p. 236). Therefore, the teachers may have taught differently simply as a result of my observing and videotaping their lessons. Additionally, the teachers may not have felt entirely comfortable sharing their full reactions to the curriculum implementation. I had developed a positive rapport with both

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173 teachers, and I think they felt very thankful I had provided them with materials, resources, and training. Although they did share some weaknesses they perceived, they may not have felt that they could complet ely share their true feelings. One of my reasons for not administering the PISCES prestudy was because Patrick et al. (2009) did not do this in their study of kindergarten students. They questioned whether or not pretesting students about their scienc e motivation was beneficial since a majority of children do not understand what science means when they start kindergarten. However, had I administered a pretest of the PISCES, I would have had better comparative data. It would have been interesting to attitudes towards science changed during the course of the study. As it was, it was interesting to see the descriptive data poststudy, but more information could have been gained by administering the PISCES pre and poststudy. Last o f all, one of the teachers participating in the study was a teacher I have worked with before. When that occurs, there is always the chance that the results will be biased. I addressed this in two ways. First, I looked carefully at both the quantitativ e and qualitative data to make sure they converged. Second, I had another Ph.D. candidate score complete the Observational Scale for three lessons. Although I knew and liked that teacher, I also developed a good rapport with the other teacher I did not k now before the study began. I would have liked to see results that reflected statistically significant results for all of the students, but this did not happen. By using quantitative data, I was able to reduce the bias inherent in including a participant I already knew. The last limitation lies in the low inter rater reliability (69%) of the Curriculum Implementation section of the Preschool Science Lesson Observational Scale. While I

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174 tried to establish 80% inter rater reliability on this instrument, it did not occur on that subscale in this study. I feel that, had time allowed, better inter rater reliability could have been achieved, especially since the inter rater reliability of the instrument was over 80% when Ringwalt et al. (2010) calculated it in their study. However, the reality was that it was not. Therefore, the results gained on that section on the instrument should be viewed with caution. Future Research This study gave me much to contemplate in terms of future research. For this study, t he teachers were given free reign to implement the curriculum the way they wanted to implement it. I was interested in finding out how their choices affected their the y should do. A future study, though, might involve one teacher who agreed to fully implement the curriculum with fidelity, following all of the components in the program. Then the other participating teachers could make their own choices regarding the cu rriculum. It would be interesting to see which teachers had better results in terms of Investigating science content knowledge would be enlightening. Since early childhood teachers feel uncomfortable with th eir science content knowledge ( Forbes & Davis, 2008; Gilbert, 2009; Kallery, 2004; Kallery et al., 2009; Lewthwaite & Fisher, their content knowledge affects their scie nce instruction. It would also be useful to assess

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175 focused on process skills for this study, I felt that one of the student groups would have performed well on a conte nt based assessment. Student questions were tallied and analyzed for content. As I watched the DVDs questions, too. A future study could categorize teacher questions to see if the teachers asked more open ended or closed ended questions of the students. A researcher could examine those types of questions, look at the overall levels of inquiry, and determine if a connection existed between them. I would be interested in conducting this study in a preschool where the students were enrolled for the same amount of time. Going to a preschool with a Monday/Wednesday and Tuesday/Thursday class breakdown would have mitigated the problems with the samples. For instance, if the children all attended for half days, two days a week, this would have controlled for variables more effectively. Also, including children of more diverse ethnicities and socio economic levels would have added to the generalizability of the study. Synthesis This study offered food for thought of ways to support early childhood teachers in their science teaching development. These teachers encounter many challenges in trying to implement science instruction in their classrooms. One challenge many early childhood teachers science teachers face is the issue of time (Burgess et al., 2010; Penuel et al., 2009). This issue was evident in this study. It manifested itself first by virtue of the fact that, out of nine teachers who had administrative supp ort for using the curriculum, only two felt that they could participate in it fully. Additionally, Mrs.

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176 Benedict shared several times in her interviews, both prestudy and poststudy, that time was a limiting factor in doing what she needed to do. In a bu sy school day with a focus on literacy and numeracy, how can a teacher include science instruction? Looking at how the two teachers in this study found time to include science can help trainers enable teachers to find ways to teach science. Mrs. Kennedy had a natural interest in science, an d she valued it as a subject. The way we feel intrinsically about a subject strongly influences our teaching of the subjects. We devote more time to it and p. 595). Mrs. Kennedy brought science ideas to her preschool and initially stated that she felt she needed to include more science in their school day. When the study began she was able to schedule 45 minutes of science instructional time in each day. I think that her belief that science was important helped her prioritize it. It is important to figure out ways educators can realize the value of science instruction. If a teacher believes that a subject is important, he or she will make the time to tea ch it. Early childhood science educators must find ways to present reasons why science is important to other ed ucators through conferences and inservice training. If teachers can be helped to see that science is naturally engaging to the students, that it taps into their natural curiosity, and that it helps them develop thinking skills that will help them in all subjects, they will realize that including it is vital. Teachers of young children need to be given opportunities to see science instruction in practice, because looking at how the students respond to strong science instruction will help them realize how beneficial it can be for their students. Mrs. Benedict had another way of handling her time issues. She used her already scheduled circle time s, center times, and recess times to do her lessons. She primarily

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177 used the circle times for whole group discussion, review, and instructions for the centers. She used the center time to enable the children to freely explore the science equipment, materi als, and creatures. Last, near the end of the recess time, she pulled small groups of children from the group and explored the environment outside with them. Helping teachers look at what they are already doing and showing them that they can fit science instruction into their predetermined schedule can help them realize the following: It is possible to include science instruction without scheduling an isolated time for it. Another way of helping teachers overcome the time issue is to integrate science i nstruction into other subject areas. Several times Mrs. Kennedy used the end of her allotted science time to allow the children to freely explore books, which helped them develop their literacy skills. She also helped them count the body parts of the ins ects, connecting science and math. Mrs. Benedict integrated science into other areas, too. The Very Quiet Cricket and shared it with the students. Reading this book enabled them to thin k about the sounds the crickets made. It may have sparked the experiment they conducted when they changed the environment to try to get the crickets to make sounds. Mrs. Benedict also used the Science Around the Room activity as an extension of Reading A round the Room and Writing Around the Room. Since the children were already familiar with those activities, it was easy for them to transfer them to science. By drawing and labeling the living creatures they found in their classroom, they exercised their reading and writing skills. The Young Scientist Series offers the teacher enough freedom and flexibility to find ways to integrate other subjects into the curriculum.

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178 Time can also be related to gathering resources in order to teach hands on science. Sometimes teachers may not feel that they have the time to look for materials or the money to pay for them. Providing them with simple lists of the types of materials the y can find at regular stores can also enable them to see how easy it is to find these materials. All a teacher needs to help the children explore mealworms is a container of the worms, food for the worms, and a piece of a small water soaked sponge. The c ontainers of mealworms were inexpensive, and they have provided the teachers and students with interesting activities over an extended time period. In fact, Mrs. Benedict kept the container of mealworms after the study concluded, and the students were abl e to observe the mealworms moving into the pupa and adult stages of their life cycles. It is also important to help teachers look at what they already have in their environments that they can use. Mrs. Kennedy was particularly effective at this. She bro ught in different kinds of seeds during the Open Exploration phase, and these seeds did not cost her any money. During inservice trainings, teachers can brainstorm together what items from their environment they can use. The Preschool Classroom Science Ma terials/Equipment Checklist had many items that teachers already have in their classrooms. Seeing these items listed on a science materials checklist can help them think creatively about how to use everyday materials. Another problematic topic for teac hers is a lack of confidence with subject matter. Many early childhood teachers do not feel confident in their abilities to teach science because they do not think they have strong enough content knowledge (Forbes & Davis, 2008; Gilbert, 2009; Kallery, 20 04; Kallery et al., 2009; Lewthwaite & Fisher, 2005;

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179 content knowledge, several ideas for addressing this issue did emerge. First, teachers have more science content knowledge than they realize. Many of them have had science courses in their schooling, and many have had informal science experiences. Tapping into these experiences and helping teachers realize they have more knowledge then they realize is paramount to helping them develop confidence in their science teaching. During trainings, having teachers list all of the science experiences they have had in their lives and sharing them would help them see that they know more than they realize. It would also be hel pful to have teachers brainstorm ideas of how they can handle questions to which they do not know the answers. The key word here is inquiry. If early childhood teachers understand the inquiry process, even if they do not feel comfortable with science con tent, they can teach science more effectively. The key is helping them use the process they will use with their students to enhance their own knowledge. They can formulate questions about the topics on which they have less knowledge. Then they can formu late investigations, make observations, collect data, and share with others what they have learned. If teachers can shift their teaching identity to that of being a facilitator and learner along with their students, they can guide their students through t he inquiry process successfully. Vygotskian theory supports this view of teachers and students co constructing knowledge together (Roopnarine & Johnson, 2009). Mrs. Benedict demonstrated this. She felt uncertain about her ability to teach science at the b eginning of the study, but gained confidence as the study progressed. She explored the science materials and creatures alongside the students, modeling her heart of the inquiry process. Teachers do not have to be science content experts to teach

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180 early childhood science effectively, and if they realize this, they can be freed to explore science topics along with their students. In order to do this, the teacher needs to think of her or his role in an inquiry based classroom. If teachers can start viewing themselves as facilitators of learning instead of imparters of knowledge, their teaching can shift to become more constructivist in nature. For some teachers, this may be difficult. For instance, Mrs. Kennedy knew a lot about science, and she enjoyed sharing that knowledge with her students. She wanted to answer questions when they arose. Helping the teacher make a simple shift from telling to asking would help th at teacher make a subtle shift towards a more student centered classroom. For instance, when a child asks a question, instead of answering it, the to become more actively involved in constructing their own knowledge. Providing teachers with open ended teaching stems, such as those above, would help them see how they can shift t heir thinking about their role with the students. From a Vygotskian perspective, knowledge is created through social interactions classroom. She sat alongside the st udents and modeled her wondering out loud. She also her, they also shared their observations with each other. The engaged interactions between students as they made observations and shared them with each other likely enabled them to construct and retain the knowledge.

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181 Helping teachers implement curriculum is also an important component of helping them teach science effectively. It is important to select a program that provides questions instead of answers. It is also vital that the curriculum provide the teacher with some flexibility for implementation. For instance, one basis of inquiry is allowing the students to ask questions and formulate investigations. There fore, a scripted curriculum seems at odds with the nature of inquiry science instruction. If a teacher has a strong, inquiry based science curriculum, she or he can use that to help make sure the students are learning. In this study, I played the role of researcher, not of coach. If I were a coach, I would take a different role in helping the teachers implement the curriculum. In my opinion, some important components of the curriculum were omitted by both teachers. Both groups of students would have be nefitted with more outside exploration and more discussions at the end of the lessons, among other things. In training the teachers, I would have had them select what they felt were the essential components, or heart of the program. Then as I observed them, I would point out when I saw these components included or left out. I think that if teachers understand why a certain component of a lesson is included, they w i l l be more likely to include it. For instance, brainstorming what students can learn ab out nature by going outside on a snowy day might help teachers see that cold weather does not have to hinder outside science exploration. Talking about the importance of verbal processing would help them understand why it is important to include discussio ns at the ends of the lessons to help the students share their thoughts and observations with e a c h other, which is a component of the inquiry process.

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182 If a teacher like Mrs. Kennedy felt uncomfortable with less structured activities, I might play a point cou nterpoint discussion between that teacher and others. That teacher could come up with ideas why providing more open ended activities would benefit the students, while the other teacher could talk about her need for a lesson plan. I think that openly disc ussing these issues would help the teacher realize that these open ended activities could benefit the students. Mrs. Kennedy, while she felt more comfortable with a structured lesson plan, also realized at the end of the study that she needed to learn mor e about Open Exploration. Having conversations about these issues would help the teachers gain insight into why they make the choices they do. Most of the challenges of teaching science in early childhood can be handled using inquiry methods with the tea chers. In inservice trainings, teachers can be provided with ideas of questions they can work to answer, such as the following: Why teach science in early childhood? Even if I want to teach science, how can I figure out how to do it with limited time and resources? How do we know that teaching using inquiry is mor e advantageous for the students ? What are some simple things I can do to help me view myself as a facilitator instead of imparter of knowledge? In closing, it is important to help early childhoo d teachers understand the importance of science instruction and offer them ideas of how they can face the challenges of limited time, resources, and insecurity about their own knowledge. Helping them view their role as a learner alongside the students ins tead of an expert imparting

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183 knowledge is crucial. Teachers need opportunities to engage in inquiry themselves, including chances to communicate with each other about their experiences and observations. Providing these opportunities can help teachers incr ease their effectiveness through inquiry, the method that is advocated for use with their students (Aulls & Shore, 2010). Conclusion The purpose of this study was to ex science curriculum with their students. It specifically investigated how their choices in implementation regarding components of the lessons and levels of inquiry affected their tudes towards science. Although this study had limitations, most notably the samples used, some rich information was gained from it. The two teachers were both committed to science instruction and students. They were both willing to implement a new curr iculum and participate in videotaped observations of half of their lessons. Both were positive teachers with an attitude of wanting to continue to learn themselves. Mrs. Kennedy was very comfortable with science and inquiry at the beginning of the study. Her views of science did not change during the course of the study. Her views of inquiry actually declined, though they were still positive. When she implemented the Benedict. Her lessons included the whole group in her small classes. When looking at

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184 did not s how significant gains in their process skills. On the PISCES, they had p ositive views of science, but not overwhelmingly so. Mrs. Benedict started the study more tentatively in terms of her comfort level with science and inquiry at the beginning of the study. She grew in both her views of science and her views of inquiry at the end of the study. When she implemented the curriculum, she made roughly the same number of attempts as she did omissions. Most of the science in her classroom was taught in small groups at centers where she facilitated the learning of the students. T he level of inquiry she utilized was guided inquiry throughout all of the higher when assessed on their science process skills. The attitude assessment also reflected positive views of science, as the majority of her students scored highly on the PISCES. Examining the data at face value, it appears that a teacher does not have to follow a curriculum strictly in order to help the students learn and enjoy science. Mrs. Benedict followed the curriculum less closely than Mrs. Kennedy, and her students showed larger gains in their process skills and higher scores on their attitude assessment. They also benefitted from a level of inquiry that was more guided than structure d. Preschool teachers have a unique opportunity to help their children start on a lifetime journey of science instruction. Although even preschool teachers face time constraints, these are not as rigid as those the teachers of older students experience. It is my hope that the findings of this study will help early childhood teachers realize how important science instruction is for their students and prioritize it in their schedules. Science is more than a subject, it is a way of thinking. Being able to use process skills to

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185 solve problems is a skill that all of our students need to exercise and hone, and science offers the perfect route to achieving this goal. There is no better time to start meaningful science instruction than in early childhood.

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186 APPENDIX A DEMOGRAPHIC BREAKDOWN OF BURRIS AND WRIGHT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL S

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187 Figure A.1 Demographic breakdown of Burris and Wright Elementary School s ( k i n d e r g a r t e n t h r o u g h f i f t h g r a d e s t u d e n t s ) 0 4 0.5 16 86 0.3 4 1 18 87 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 American Indian/Alaskan Native Asian African American Hispanic Caucasian Percentages Ethnic Groups Burris Wright

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188 APPENDIX B SCIENCE TEACHING EFFICACY BELIEF INSTRUMENT

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189 Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument Please indicate the degree to which you agree or disagree with each statement below by circling the appropriate letter to the right of each statement. SA strongly agree A= agree UN= uncertain D=disagree SD=strongly disagree 1. When a student does better than usual in science, it is often because the teacher exerted a little extra effort. 2. I am continually finding better ways to teach science. 4. When the science grades of students improve, it is most often due to t heir teacher having found a more effective teaching approach. 5. I know the steps necessary to teach science concepts effectively. 6. I am not very effective in monitoring science experiments. 7. If students are underachieving in science, it is most lik ely due to ineffective science teaching. 8. I generally teach science ineffectively. 10. The low science achievement of some students cannot generally be blamed on the ir teachers. 11. When a low achieving child progresses in science, it is usually due to extra attention given by the teacher. 12. I understand science concepts well enough to be effectively in teaching elementary science. 13. Increased effort in science achievement. 14. The teacher is generally responsible for the achievement of students in science achievement. ness in science teaching. 16. If parents comment that their child is showing more interest in science at school, it is 17. I find it difficult to explain to students why science experiments work. 18 19. I wonder if I have the necessary skills to teach science. 20. Effectiveness in science teaching has little influence on the achievement of students with low motivation. 21. Given a choice I would not invite the principal to evaluate my science teaching. 22. When a student has difficulty understanding a science concept, I am usually at a loss as to how to help the student understand it better.

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190 23. When teaching science, I usually welcome student questions. 25. Even teachers with good science teaching abilities cannot help some kids learn science. ( Riggs & Enochs, 1990 )

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191 APPENDIX C ATTITUDES AND BELIEFS ABOUT SCIENCE QUESTIONNAIRE INQUIRY TEACHING SUBSCALE

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192 1=strongly disagree 2=disagree 3=agree 4=strongly agree 1. I feel uncomfortable teaching scientific inquiry. 2. The teaching of the inquiry process is important. 3. I fear that I will be unable to teach inquiry adequately. 4. Teaching inquiry takes too much time. 5. I enjoy using experiments during my science lessons. (adjusted for ECE with permission of the author) 6. I have a difficult time understanding science. 7. I feel comfortable with the science content in my curriculum. 8. I would be interested in working in an experimental science curriculum. 9. I am not afraid to demonstrate science phenomena in the classroom. 10. I am willing to spend time setting up equipment for an experiment. (adjusted for ECE with permission of the author) 11. I am afraid that students will ask me questions that I cannot answer. 13. I enjoy manipulating science equipment. 15. Science would be one of my preferred subjects to teach if given a choice. 16. Teaching inquiry takes too much effort. 17. Children are not curious about scientific matters. 18. I plan to integrate science into other areas. 19. Field experiences are not necessary in teaching science. Used with permission by the author, Karen Joh nson, Ph.D. ( Johnson, 2004 )

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193 APPENDIX D PRESCHOOL SCIENCE CLASSROOM MATERIALS/EQUIPMENT CHECKLIST

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194 Preschool Classroom Science Materials/Equipment Checklist Date____________________________ School__________________________ Classroom_______________________ Science Materials Aquarium ________ Books ________ Flashlights ________ Living animals ________ Magnets ________ Magnifying glasses ________ Metric balance ________ Microscope ________ Mirrors ________ Outdoor garden ________ Planting materials ________ Plants ________ Posters/chart ________ (i.e. life cycle, squirrel vs. chipmunk, etc.) Puzzles ________ (record number) Scales ________ Sensory table ________ T hermometers ________ Videotapes/DVDs ________ (record number) Vinyl animals ________ Science Equipment Binoculars ________ Candles ________ Cardboard tubes ________ Coffee cans ________ Egg cartons ________ Egg timer ________ Flower pots ________ Food coloring ________ Funnels ________ Latches ________ Locks and keys ________ Measuring cups and spoons ________ Milk cartons ________

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195 Old sheets and pillowcase ________ Pitchers ________ Plastic jars and containers ________ Potti ng soil ________ Prisms ________ Pulleys ________ Rubber tubing ________ Rulers ________ Small cages ________ Sponges ________ Spools ________ Tape measures ________ Yarn ________ Natural Materials ________ Dried flowers ________ Feathers ________ Fossils ________ Gourds ________ Insects ________ Nuts and seeds ________ Pine cones ________ Plants ________ Seashells ________ Other Items _______________________ ________ _______________________ ________ _______________________ ________ _______________________ ________ Tsunghui Tu ( 2006). Preschool science environment: What is available in a preschool classroom? Early Childhood Education Journal, 33 (4), 245 251.

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196 APPENDIX E QUESTIONS FOR TEACHER INTERVIEWS

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197 Questions for Teacher Interview #1 Describe how you taught science, if at all, last year. Please share how you feel when a supervisor hands you a packaged curriculum and tells you to start implementing it. When you teach a lesson from a pre packaged curricular unit, describe the process you go through in deciding what to do, change, or leave out of the lesson. What is your understanding of what inquiry science means? Question s for Teacher Interview #2 Describe the process you went through to implement this curriculum. Tell me the strengths of this curriculum. Share with me what you think the weaknesses are of this curriculum. In general, how did the students respond to the lessons? What is your understa nding of what inquiry science means? How did you decide which focused exploration to teach? What do you feel about its appropriateness for preschoolers?

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198 APPENDIX F SCIENCE LEARNING ASSESSMENT ITEM DESCRIPTIONS

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199 Science Learning Assessment Item Descriptions Name_____________________________ Date______________________________ italics.) 1. Here are pictures of three children (show pictures): (a) James practices dancing ; (b) Tom plays the guitar; (c) Gina observes a butterfly Which of these children is doing science? 2. Here is a picture of a frog (show picture). These girls ask questions about the frog (show pictures). Listen to each question and tell me which girl asked a science question: (a) What does this frog eat? (b) Do you like this frog? (c) Can I call this frog Lilly? 3. Here is a picture of a fish (show picture of blac k and white striped fish). Here are three boys (show pictures). I will tell you what each boy said about the fish. (a ) I have a pet goldfish at home ; (b) That fish has black and white stripes ; (c) Fish like to swim in groups. Which of these boys saw t he fish in this picture? 4. Here is a picture of a ball (show picture of red ball at rest). Here are three girls (show pictures). I will tell you what each girl said: (a ) This ball can bounce ; (b) This ball is red; (c) My dress is green. Which of these girls made a prediction about the ball? 5. Terri, John, and Jenny are on the playground (show picture: John and Jenny are on the teeter totter. Terri is sitting on the middle of the teeter totter.). Listen to

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200 what each child says. Then tell me which c hild makes a prediction about the teeter totter: (a ) Which of these children made a prediction about the teeter totter? 6. (Show pictures) Two girls found an egg. The girl in polka dots thinks it is a duck egg. The girl in the pink jacket thinks it is a goose egg. How can they find out what it is? (correct answer: watch it hatch/study its shape, color etc.; partially correct answer: ask expert) __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ ________________________ 7. Here are some tools we use to do science (show items): Which of these can help you figure out what plant or animal you saw outside? (a) Thermometer ; (b) Field guide ; (c) Stopwatch. 8. Here are some tools we use to do science (show items): Which of these can you use to look at something very small such as a bug? (a) Digital scale; (b)Rain gauge; (c) Magnifying glass 9. Here are some tools we use to do science (show items): Which of these can you use to carefully dig up a plant? (a ) Trowel ; (b) Penlight; (c) Pan scale. Samarapungavan, A., Mantzicopoulos, P., & Patrick, H. (2008). Learning science through inquiry in kindergarten. Science Education, 92 (5), 868 908. Items 7, 8, and 9 modified by Shamas Brandt to accommodate the specific curriculum being ta ught.

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201 APPENDIX G TRAINING SESSION 1

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202 Training Sessio n 1 The Young Scientist Series (2 hours) G uiding Principles Hand out and talk through. Read through Teachers A, B, and C. (pages 2 Show Vignette #1 and discuss. Previous nature experiences. Go outside. Discussion about what was discovered. Look at Inquiry handout. How did they use inquiry in their outside investigations? Introduce Science Concepts handout. Do reflection page. Discuss the outdoor environment. Prepare the indoor environment. (Directions for terrariums are on page 123 of Guide.) Do the roundabout with different environments. Open E xploration handout. Vignette #2 with observation form. Needs. Share bins. (pages 16 Discuss scheduling issues. Parent consent forms. Quest ions.

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203 APPENDIX H PRESCHOOL SCIENCE LESSON OBSERVATIONAL SCALE

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204 Preschool Science Lesson Observational Scale Lesson Title____________________________________________ Date_________________________ Curriculum Implementation (Tally each instance observed during the lesson.) Content Attempt s ________________________ Total________ Changes __________________ Total________ Omissions_________________ Total________ A dditions__________________ Total________ Methods New methods______________ Total________ Student Questions Procedural __________________ Total________ Cur iosity____________________ Total________ Levels of Inquiry Level Pro blem/Question Procedure/Method Solution___ 0 provided to student provided to student provided to student 1 provided to student provided to student constructed by student 2 provided to student constructed by stude nt constructed by student 3 constructed by student constructed by student constructed by student

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205 ( Fay & Bretz, 2008 ) Structured Inquiry: Although this employs hands on activities, it is mostly teacher led. For example, a question or problem would be posed to students. Students may be given a worksheet to complete, directions, and materials to complete the a ctivity. The outcome may be stated Guided Inquiry: This uses hands on activities. There is a balance b etween teacher led and student led activities. The teacher might pose the problem, and the students might devise ways to solve it. Or the students might pose a problem, and the teacher might facilitate the students figuring out how to solve it. Full Inquiry: This uses hands on activities, but is basically student led. Students are i n charge of developing questions and figuring out how to answer them. The teacher facilitates and helps the learners in their quest for knowledge. Into which level of inquiry did the lesson as a whole fall? _______________________________________________ ( Yager et al., 2005 ) Definitions Attempts: Whether or not the teacher attempted each step in each lesson. The smallest for teachers to follow, and sp ecific prompts for student Content adaptations: Adaptations to the substantive component of the material. Changes: Any rewording of material as written, including modifications to statements, questions, or instructions (beyond simpl e rephrasing). This includes alterations to content, but does not include modifications involving the teaching method or strategies. Omissions: Any deletion of content within a step. Additions: Any new material presented not specified in the curricu lum. Teaching method adaptations: The instructional strategies by which the content was delivered to students.

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206 New methods: Whether or not new strategies were used during the delivery of the material in each step. Any change in teaching strategy a s prescribed by the curriculum. ( Ringwalt et al., 2010 ) Examples of Types of Questions Procedural Which soap do we use? Shall we add more soap? How much water did you add? Can we have more time? Curiosity What makes bubbles? What would happen if we changed the water temperature? Why do the dowels have points? What would happen if you baked a cake with shaving cream? ( Yager et al., 2005 )

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207 APPE NDIX I PRESCHOOL STUDENT INTEREST ASSESSMENT

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208 Preschool Student Interest Assessment Name_____________________________ Date______________________________ School____________________________ Class______________________________ 1. Place an index card with a smiley face on one side and one with a frown on the other. responses.) Ant Flower Butterfly Tree 2. Spread out 3. What do you want to keep learning about? (Show a picture of a plant and a picture of an animal.) plant animal response.) 4. Which book would you like to read more? (show two books, one about plants and one about animals) book abo ut plants book about animals 5. Which would you rather talk to a friend about? (Show a picture of a plant and a picture of an animal.) Show picture of animal Show picture of animal Dorling Kindersley. (1996). In the garden flash cards New York, NY. Developed by Shamas Brandt.

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209 APPENDIX J TRAINING SESSION 2

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210 Training Sessi on 2 The Young Scientist Series (1 1/2 hours) Discuss Open Exploration. Focused Exploration of m ealworms. Introduce observe, think about questions, and take notes. Discuss 2 3 observations and 2 charts). Continue go over activity i nstructions. Process a gain categorize questions (O observation, E experiment, S through sources) Resume select question to be answered by observation or simple experiment suggest questions. ole Review inquiry d iagram. What inquiry skills have the children been using? Purpose of Focused Exploration O verhead 5.1. How did t he mealworm activity exemplify Focused E xploration? How was that different from Open E xploration? Elements of Focused Exploration (How could these be carried out over the course of a year?) Transit ion from Open Exploration to Focused Exploration (connect to 5.1) Show vignette and d iscuss. discuss choices of Focused Exploration and choices within Focused Exploration. Conclusion materials

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211 two 45 minute periods of science per week remind them that all children present during videotaping must have parent consent forms.

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212 APPENDIX K PUPPET INTERVIEW SCALES FOR COMPETENCE IN AND ENJOYMENT OF SCIENCE (PISCES)

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213 Administration The child is shown five ethnically diverse puppets. The researcher will explain that the puppets will talk about things that happen in school and ask the child to choose a puppet that is most like her/him. The child then will name the puppet and make a nametag for puppet to the one the child selected and say: friend of _______ (Puppet 1). you like to call him [her]? Ok, he [she] is ________. And here is his [her] name tag. _________(Puppet 1) and ________ (Puppet 2) go to the same school and they have the same teacher. They have a teacher just l ike yours. They will talk about themselves and what they like. They like different things, Samarapungavan, A., Mantzicopoulos, P., & Patrick, H. (2008). Le arning science through inquiry in kindergarten. Science Education, 92 (5), 868 908.

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214 Including these practice items will help make sure t he children understand the format of the assessment before beginning. If children need more practice, it will be offered to them. PISCES Name______________________________________Date___________________ School____________________________________________ ___ Questions Perceived Science Competence Subscale Puppet 1: I know how to do science. Puppet 2: I do not know how to do science. Puppet 2 Puppet 1 : I can do science. Puppet 1: I know how to use different science tools. Puppet 2: I do not know how to use different science tools. Puppet 2: I know a lot about different kinds of living things. P uppet 2: I know a lot about science. Puppet 1 : I about science. Puppet 2 Puppet 1 : I can remember new science words. Science Liking Subscale Puppet 2: I like science. Puppet 2: I want to know more about science. Puppet 1: I do not want to know more about science. Puppet 2: I feel happy when I am learning science. Puppet 1: I feel sad when I am learning science. Puppet 2: Learning science is not fun for me. Puppet 1: I have fun learning science. Puppet 1: I do not like to draw science pictures. Puppet 2: I like to draw science pictures. Puppet 1: I like using different science tools. Puppet 2: I do not like using different science tools. Patr ick, H., Mantzicopoulos, P., & Samarapungavan, A. (2009). Motivation for learning science in kindergarten: Is there a gender gap and does integrated inquiry and

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215 literacy instruction make a difference. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46 (2), 166 191. doi: 10.1002/tea.2027 Samarapungavan, A., Mantzicopoulos, P., & Patrick, H. (2008). Learning science through inquiry in kindergarten. Science Education, 92 (5), 868 908. Used with permission from Dr. Mantzicopoulos and Dr. Patrick.

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216 APPENDIX L CONSTANT COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS MRS. KENNEDY PRE INTERVIEW : SCIENCE INSTRUCTION

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217 Constant Comparative Analysis Mrs. Kennedy Pre Interview : Science Instruction Chunks Codes what our theme was, we would try and tie in a project projects Uh, the big one that comes to mind is in the spring, we, I got some tadpoles, and I made a chart showing the life cycle of a frog ta dpoles And we discussed and read books on all the life cycle and how that went, discussed/read and then we got to watch the actual frog, tadpoles turn, get their legs, their front legs first, no their back legs first, then their front legs watch And most of them did not change all the way by the end of the year did not change But at least got to see and they were fascinated fascinated and see what was going on in there. w atch So it was a great project project but we, how many of these do you need to know think

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218 Um, we did Colorado and we made a cardboard box and put Velcro o n the inside, a big cardboard box, like a refrigerator box, painted the outside brown like it looked like a mine, mine uh, then we would Velcro gold nuggets on the inside and the kids would go we had um, it was set up as a center, center a nd one of us would be there watching the kids go in and mine gold. mine hat, and a vest and uh, they loved that. mine And then we had the second center was our water table where we pu t, I put gold beads into sand and center/water table geology so um, I have a pan, panning gold, and they would learn how to pan gold for these bea ds that were in the, pan gold we had two centers, seems to me we had a third, Those are the two that come to mind centers There were huge huge Were huge huge

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219 That they loved, loved loved Um, probably, not as, I think not as much as we should have not as much In fact, at the end of the year I said, I think that we should do a lot more science and _____________ told me you were um, gonna be coming into the ait and see do more Um, but we, we need to do more do more They love it love We try and do a little bit with each theme, try theme not as much Grouping of Codes projects (2) tadpoles discussed center (3)/water table did not change read theme mine watch huge geology (think she was) fascinated pan gold loved not as much (2) do more

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220 Emergent Theme Statement Science was handled as projects or centers connected to themes, such as tadpoles or geology concepts (mining and panning for gold) where the children read, discussed, and watched to learn. These were huge projects the students loved that fascinated them. have been, and she thinks they need to do it more.

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221 APPENDIX M CONSTANT COMPARATIVE AND DOMAIN ANALYSES: MRS. KENNEDY PRE INTERVIEW : INQUIRY SCIENCE

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222 Constant Comparative Analysis: Mrs. Kennedy Pre Interview : Inquiry Science Chunks Codes Inquiry is asking questions questions So to me it would be inquiry science is where the kids are enthused enough to ask a lot of questions questions And what happens, you know, how does it begin, middle, what happens No. Grouping of Codes questions what happens Emergent Theme Statement Inquiry is where the kids ask questions abo ut what happens. Domain Analysis Mrs. Kennedy Pre Interview : Inquiry Science

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223 Semantic Relationship: Strict Inclusion Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Asking questions is a kind of inquiry science Figuring out what happen s is a kind of inquiry science Semantic Relationship: Spatial Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Asking questions is a part of inquiry science Asking what happens is a part of inquiry science Semantic Relationship: Cause Effect Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Questions are a result of inquiry science Figuring out what happens is a result of inquiry science Semantic Relationship: Rationale Included Terms Semantic Relationship Co ver Term Questions are a reason for doing inquiry science Figuring out what happens is a reason for doing inquiry science Semantic Relationship: Location for Action

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224 Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term (None for this semantic re lationship.) Semantic Relationship: Function Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Questions are used for inquiry science Figuring out what happens is used for inquiry science Semantic Relationship: Means End Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Questions are a way to inquiry science Figuring out what happens is a way to inquiry science Semantic Relationship: Sequence Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Asking questions is a step in inquiry science Figuring out what happens is a step in inquiry science Semantic Relationship: Attribution Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Asking questions is an attribute of inquiry science Figuring out what h appens is an attribute of inquiry science

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225 APPENDIX N CONSTANT COMPARATIVE AND DOMAIN ANALYSE S MRS. KENNEDY POST INTERVIEW: INQUIRY SCIENCE Constant Comparative Analysis Mrs. Kennedy Post Interview : Inquiry Science

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226 Chunks Codes Inquiry science would be finding out the questions that to them, whatever the bug is, whatever the seed or whatever. finding out questions Their inquiries you would do experiments to find out the answer to their questions. experiments to answer For their age level I would say. age level Grouping of Codes finding out questions experiments to answer age level Emergent Theme Statement Inquiry science enta the answers to them. Domain Analysis Mrs. Kennedy Post Interview : Inquiry Science

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227 Semantic Relationship: Strict Inclusion Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Finding out questions is a kind of inquiry science Using experiments to answer questions is a kind of inquiry science Semantic Relationship: Spatial Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Finding out ques tions is a part of inquiry science Using experiments to answer questions is a part of inquiry science Semantic Relationship: Cause Effect Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Finding out questions is a result of inquiry science Using experiments to answer questions is a result of inquiry science Semantic Relationship: Rationale Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Finding out questions is a reason for doing inquiry science Using experiments to answer questions is a reason for doing inquiry science Semantic Relationship: Location for Action

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228 Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term (None for this semantic relationship.) Semantic Relationship: Function Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Finding out questions is used for inquiry science Using experiments to answer questions is used for inquiry science Semantic Relationship: Means End Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Finding out questions is a way to inquiry science Using experiments to answer questions is a way to inquiry science Semantic Relationship: Sequence Included Terms S emantic Relationship Cover Term Finding out questions is a step in inquiry science Using experiments to answer questions is a step in inquiry science Semantic Relationship: Attribution

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229 Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Finding out questions is an attribute of inquiry science Using experiments to answer questions is an attribute of inquiry science

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230 APPENDIX O CONSTANT COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS MRS. KENNEDY PRE INTERVIEW : CURRICULUM

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231 Constant Comparative Analysis Mrs. Kennedy Pre Interview : Curriculum Chunks Codes gonna flow. time Um, and I do well with that, do well create the thing in the classroom flow So I like to do that, um, as long as I have time to review it and get it straight. time how envision Well, I would, I would go on what, what I think the kids can handle kids probably try and make it a fit fine motor grasping as much as say a four year old not grasping And the five year olds even more more So I would, I would look at what the materials are and, then I would adjust it to their age adjust

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232 for her to see what she could do. adjust And, and if there are advanced kids, then I would try and go to the high end of whatever the package gives me high end level But the main thing is dividing them up because three year dividing em to sit hard follow and then and then as time goes o n adjust it to add or you know, take away whatever adjust in time and if I can add that in I would probably do that. theme Just to give it a little, uh, continuity. Is that what I mean? Look for the word. continuity d o Grouping of Codes time (2) do well flow follow how adjust in time envision kids do

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233 fit theme fine motor continuity not grasping more adjust (2) high end level dividing hard (attention span) Emergent Theme Statement This teacher does well if she has time to see how the curriculum flows and can envision how to go about teaching it. She considers if the activities are a good fit for her kids, considering what they can grasp, their fine motor skills, attention spans, and levels of learning. She divides the children by age and adjusts the curriculum to fi t their needs, often connecting it to their theme to provide continuity. She tend s to follow a curriculum closely at first, adjusting it as time goes on.

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234 APPENDIX P CONSTANT COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS MRS. KENNEDY POST INTERVIEW : CURRICULUM

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235 Constant Comparative Analysis Mrs. Kennedy Post Interview : Curriculum Strengths Chunks Codes hands on the kids get to do with bugs and or in our case it was bugs. hands on talk in the early part it was about the seeds and the um, bugs we found and the worms and the dry leaves, talk on. hands on When we got the bugs actuall y and we, um, got to hold them. hold And they got to pretend they were that bug. pretend And they uh, then wrote things that they saw about the bug or or I wrote what they saw about the bug. wrote about And then when they had questions we would do an experiment about, like for instance, do crickets jump? experiment

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236 We got them out on the floor and we would watch them and watch (observe) And, and uh, and those are little experiments we were able to do in the classroom. experiments So I think it was the hands on just them being able to hands on I think that was great. great I loved it. loved it Grouping of Codes hands on (3) talk (2) pretend to be hold wrote about experiment (2) great loved watch/observe

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237 Emergent Theme Statement She thought the hands on nature of the curriculum was its greatest strength. They got to hold the animals, talk about them, pretend to be them, write about them, watch and observe them, and conduct experiments about them. She thought it was great, and she loved it.

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238 Constant Comparative Analysis Mrs. Kennedy Post Interview : Curriculum Weaknesses Chunks Codes because I love the whole program so much I want to continue it. love Um. You know I I would, the only thing I would probably do differently is go straight to the focused piece. I like that so much. go to Focused Because it really teached them how to think better rather than me feeding it to them. And I think for a young taught to think to the focused. shorten first

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239 Grouping of Codes love go to Focused taught to think shorten first Emergent Theme Statement She loved the curriculum because it taught the students to think. She would probably shorten the Open Exploration and move to the Focused Exploration sooner.

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240 APPENDIX Q CONSTANT COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS MRS. KENNEDY POST INTERVIEW : STUDENT RESPONSE

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241 Constant Comparative Analysis Mrs. Kennedy Post Interview : Student Response Chunks Codes most loved They loved the hands on, they loved looking, and figuring it out for themselves. loved figuring it out And by now, they all know all about an insect. They all know all the parts of an insect and how to look 4 year olds. It is. know insects Grouping of Codes most loved (2) figuring it out know insects

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242 Emergent Theme Statement Most of the students lo ved the lessons. They loved figuring things out themselves, and now they know a lot about insects.

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2 43 APPENDIX R CONSTANT COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS MRS. BENEDICT PRE INTERVIEW : SCIENCE INSTRUCTION Constant Comparative Analysis Mrs. Benedict Pre Interview : Science Instruction

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244 Chunks Codes Um, mainly as a center, science center science center And we try to do it based on the theme that we have so, um, for instance, if we did a fall theme theme We usually do a theme a week, so fall theme we try to bring in things that pertain to fall theme colors, we do color mixing um, colors um, jus t trying to think, um, you know gingerbread men or bread, baking or um when we do the, uh, dinosaurs we make volcanoes volcanoes We build the little baking soda and vinegar and do the little experiment with that experiment ually just either that or memory games games different kinds of leaves, and just a matching memory type game with that game So it, kind of, we have shells, and we have, um, you ocean But we pull those things out from time to time, anyway, not just when we have the theme, pull out

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245 we just, what we have in our science center s cience center not always theme To science. Like I say, pretty much just the theme theme Every now and then we would do a group experiment experiment Or a group project, project but pretty much, our center time, we have a set up science things at that, science center so um, our center time is like 30 minutes to um the first center time which is more of a free choice center, cen ter and then, um, about 45 minutes, um, for our theme based centers, theme based center based center time. 45 minutes Grouping of Codes science center (5) colors theme (3)/but not always baking volcanoes experiments (2)/project ocean games (2) pull out 45 minutes

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246 Emergent Theme Statement Science is often taught at a science center connected to a classroom theme. The teacher may pull out games or experiments on such topics as colors, baking, volcanoes, and oceans for around 45 minutes per week.

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247 APPENDIX S CONSTANT COMPARATIVE AND DOMAIN ANALYSE S: MRS. BENEDICT PRE INTERVIEW : INQUIRY SCIENCE Constant Comparative Analysis: Mrs. Benedict Pre Interview : Inquiry Science

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248 Chunks Codes you know question, children question but let them think about things and ask questions about it think/question and maybe a teacher would guide them or try to bring out questions just to make them think teacher guide exploring inquiring an d questioning and, and talking about how things work, ` question and then maybe looking it up in a book or on um, the computer if, you know, and the n google it or whatever look it up swer Google it and see, and we can show pictures and that kind of thing look it up even have it in my pocket.) --------inquiry, I think I think we do a lot of that already do a lot I think. You know, because we just talk about why are the leaves turning tal k

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249 What causes, you know, we talk about the seasons, what are some of the signs of fall, seasons and then they can, you know, question or, you know, question see what they know about it, answer and kind of do some dialogue with it. talk about the inquiry thing tell me the curriculum, ri in curriculum e xcited Grouping of Codes children question (4) teacher guide think explore look it up (2) talk (2) do a lot Emergent Theme Stateme nt In inquiry, the teacher guides the children to question, think, explore, and talk about it up. This teacher does a lot of that, but is excited about having th e researcher tell her more about inquiry, which she thinks is in the curriculum.

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250 Domain Analysis Mrs. Benedict Pre Interview : Inquiry Science Semantic Relationship: Strict Inclusion Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Childre n questioning is a kind of inquiry science Thinking is a kind of inquiry science The tea cher guiding is a kind of inquiry science Exploring is a kind of inquiry science Looking u p information is a kind of inquiry science Talking is a kind of inquiry science Semantic Relationship: Spatial Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term The children questioning is a part of inquiry science Thinking is a part of inquiry science The teacher guidin g is a part of inquiry science Exploring is a part of inquiry science Looking up information is a part of inquiry science Not always knowi ng the answers is a part of inquiry science Talking is a part of inquiry science

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251 Semantic Relationship: Cause Effect Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Children questionin g is a result of inquiry science Thinking is a result of inquiry science The tea cher guiding is a cause of inquiry science Expl oring is a result of inquiry science Talking is a result of inquiry science Looking it up is a res ult of inquiry science Excitement is a result of inquiry science Not finding all of the answers is a result of inquiry science Semantic Relationship: Rationale Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Children questioning is a reason for doing inquiry science Thin king is a reason for doing inquiry science The teacher gu iding is a reason for doing inqui ry science Explo ring is a reason for doing inquiry science Tal king is a reason for doing inquiry science Having a curri culum is a reason for doing inquiry science Being exc ited is a reason for doing inquiry science

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252 Semantic Relationship: Location for Action Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term (None for this semantic relationship.) Semantic Relationship: Function Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term The child ren questioning is used f or inquiry science Thinking is used for inquiry science The t eacher guiding is used for inquiry science Exploring is used for inquiry science Looking it up is used for inquiry science Talking is used for inquiry science A curriculum is used for inquiry science Semantic Relationship: Means End Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Childre n questioning is a way to inquiry science Thinking is a way to inquiry science The tea ching guiding is a way to inquiry science Exploring is a way to inquiry science Looking up information is a way to inquiry science

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253 Talking is a way to inquiry science Semantic Relationship: Sequence Included Terms Semantic Relationsh ip Cover Term Children questioning is a stage in inquiry science Thinking is a stage in inquiry science Looking it up is a stage in inquiry science Talking is a stage in inquiry science Exploring is a stage in inquiry science Figuring out what yo is a step in inquiry science Excitement is a stage in inquiry science Semantic Relationship: Attribution Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Children que stioning is an attribu te of inquiry science T hinking is an attribute of inquiry science The teacher guiding is an attribute of inquiry science Lookin g it up is an attribute of inquiry science Talking is an attribute of inquiry science Ex ploring is an at tribute of inquiry science Figuring out what you ca is an attribute of inquiry science Exc itement is an attribute of inquiry science

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254 APPENDIX T CONSTANT COMPARATIVE AND DOMAIN ANALYSES MRS. BENEDICT POST INTERVIEW : INQUIRY SCIENCE

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255 Constant Comparative Analysis Mrs. Benedict Post Interview : Inquiry Science Chunks Codes Inquiry science is? Okay, the flow chart. (laughter) flow chart you know just to watch them wonder, to ask questions, to just observe. wonder, questioning/observing observing But then they would have some questions about what um, what was going o n or what would happen, questioning you know, I think for me a lot of times I was trying to show them the book maybe before they were asking questions, show book and maybe I needed to slow down a little bit, slow down but but to have the books the thing with science you know, and that was one of the questions. books

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256 uncomfortable with questions but having books, having resources, knowing that you can always google stuff and um, books/resources and to make that process you know keep that circle going with wonder what would happen if we did this, circle what are you interested in knowing about. interest Writing that down and um, talking about um, you know just um, you know if we did this, what would happen. wondering what would happen Just like when we did the crickets and trying different things, trying so um just experimenting with it then trying it if they have a question about something, trying trying to figure out how we can answer that question, how they can answer it, figure out

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257 and then maybe also go to a book or computer or something. book Grouping of Codes flow chart wonder show book (resources) circle questioning slow down observing uncomfortable with questions interest trying figure out Emergent Theme Statement The flow chart of having the students wonder, ques tion, observe, try things, and figure them out was inquiry. Sometimes she wanted to show them the book too soon because she was uncomfortable with questions, so she said she should slow down. She would hone in on their interests and keep the circle of in quiry going.

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258 Domain Analysis Mrs. Benedict Post Interview : Inquiry Science Semantic Relationship: Strict Inclusion Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Using the flow chart is a kind of inquiry science Wonder is a kind of inquiry science Showing the book is a kind of inquiry science Questioning is a kind of inquiry science Slowing down is a kind of inquiry science Observing is a kind of inquiry science Being uncomfortable with questions is a kind of inquiry science Showing interest is a kind of inquiry science Trying things is a kind of inquiry science Figuring things out is a kind of inquiry science Semantic Relati o nship: Spatial Included Ter ms Semantic Relationship Cover Term The flow chart is a part of inquiry science Wondering is a part of inquiry science Showing the book is a part of inquiry science Usin g the circle is a part of inquiry science Questioning is a part of inquiry science S lowing down is a part of inquiry science

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259 Observing is a part of inquiry science Being uncomfortable with qu estions is a part of inquiry science Show ing interest is a part of inquiry science Tr ying things is a part of inquiry science Figurin g things out is a part of inquiry science Semantic Relationship: Cause Effect Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Wondering is a result of inquiry science Showi ng the book is a result of inquiry science Cir cling back is a result of inquiry science The flow chart is a result of inquiry science Questioning is a result of inquiry science Sl owing down is a result of inquiry science Observing is a result of inquiry science Being uncomfortable with questions is a result of inquiry science Showi ng interest is a result of inquiry science Try ing things is a result of inquiry science Figuring things out is a result of inquir y science

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260 Semantic Relationship: Rationale Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Wonde ring is a reason for doing inquiry science Circl ing is a reason for doing inquiry science Questio ning is a reason for doing inquiry science Slowing down is a reason for doing inquiry science Obser ving is a reason for doing inquiry science Inter est is a reason for doing inquiry science Trying th ings is a reason for doing inquiry science Figuring thing s out is a reason for doing inquiry science Semantic Relationship: Location for Action Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term (None for this semantic relationship.) Semantic Relationship: Function Included Terms Semantic Relation ship Cover Term T he flow chart is used for inquiry science Wondering is used for inquiry science Sh owing the book is used for inquiry science Circling is used for inquiry science Questioning is used for inquiry science Slowing down is used for inquiry science

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261 Observing is used for inquiry science Trying things is used for inquiry science Fi guring it out is used for inquiry science Semantic Relationship: Means End Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Th e flow chart is a way to inquiry science Wondering is a way to inquiry science Sho wing the book is a way to inquiry science Circ ling is a way to inquiry science Questioning is a way to inquiry science Slowing down is a way to inquiry science Observing is a way to inquiry science T rying things is a way to inquiry science Figuring it out is a way to inquiry science Semantic Relationship: Sequence Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Wondering is a stage in inquiry science Showi ng the book is a stage in inquiry science Circling is a stage in inquiry science Q uestioning is a stage in inquiry science

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262 Sl owing down is a stage in inquiry science Observing is a step in inquiry science Interest is a stage in inquiry science Try ing things is a stage in inquiry science Figur ing it out is a stage in inquiry science Semantic Relationship: Attribution Included Terms Semantic Relationship Cover Term Using the fl ow chart is an attribute of inquiry science Wo ndering is an attribute of inquiry science Showing the book is an attribute of inquiry science C ircling is an at tribute of inquiry science Ques tioning is an attribute of inquiry science Slowi ng down is an attribute of inquiry science Ob serving is an attribute of inquiry science Being uncomfortable with q uestions is an attribute of inquiry science In terest is an attribute of inquiry science Trying things is an attribute of inquiry science Figuring it out is an attribute of inquiry science

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263 APPENDIX U CONSTANT COMPARATIVE ANALYSI S MRS. BENEDICT PRE INTERVIEW : CURRICULU M

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264 Constant Comparative Analysis Mrs. Benedict Pre Interview : Curriculum Chunks Codes it for us in preschool exciting no set curriculum past resources the Alpha Friends for the literacy part of the, literacy program and the Writing Without Tears and literacy program and that, um great to implement This is our third year, I think of doing Alpha Friends and it, you know we were able to get a preschool curricu lum with that and as, as well as with the Writing Without Tears, preschool curriculum so um, you know, it takes a little bit of work, work just reading through the the books and picking and choosing you know what we can do pick and choose We time time in the amount of time that we have time

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265 Everything we want to do want to do Way too much that we want to do want to do Yeah, um, you know, because you know it is preschool and their attention span is, you know, shorter, attention span um, we try to just, you know, do anything that has music and movement with it music/movement Um, as a group doing some movement with it music/movement and talking about the letter A and then as and then we try to, or B whatever, talking we or something, games like think of something that starts with a B, games in without going, you know, losing their attention attention sp an You know a lot of it we just, we have some of the basic tools to use, tools e xperiment with it, experiment see what they can do with it, and once again we have

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266 a CD that has music music and, um, little games to play with, they call them sticks, but the long line and the short line, and the curved line. Big line, and um, little curve and big curve, so yeah, games music And movement, and at least with writing and literacy movement curric. curriculum we pretty much, um, pull out of, you know, what we can find on websites websites and what we have, um, done in the past and that kind of thing past new stuff I think we play with it at first so play with it try with it and see what works and, if it does play with it but yeah, definitely I think we kind of, um, you know, package but we definitely play around with it and see what works best play with it

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267 Grouping of Codes exciting no set curriculum great to implement past (2) work resources/websites pick and choose literacy program time (3) preschool curriculum (2) want to do (2) new stuff attention spa n (2) music/movement (5) try talking play with it (3) games (2)/ tools/ experiments Emergent Theme Statement The only set curriculum this teacher uses is the preschool literacy program She draws upon past ideas, resources, and websites, and like s to try and play with new ideas. because you have to pick and choose activities you want to do within time constraints. When choosing

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268 APPENDIX V CONSTANT COM PARATIVE ANALYSIS MRS. BENEDICT POST INTERVIEW : CURRICULUM STRENGTHS

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269 Constant Comparative Analysis Mrs. Benedict Post Interview : Curriculum Strengths Chunks Codes Strengths of the curriculum. Well, I think the book is awesome. I really do. book Um, on the you know in the on the side just a you know suggestions on what to do. examples But it during cen circle time for uh, preschool, I think it wa circle time short circle time Large circle because you know their little attentions spans, attention spans into it when we did the sometimes the large circle time took a little bit longer, large circle longer was just perfect. perfect

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270 Um, the open the outside exploration time, some of them could have stayed out longer I think at times. outside longer You know the only you know our, we just have that time constraint and that was the only thing that was a little frustrating. time constraint You know for me because I think we could have done even more with that. done more But the book is, you know the appendix and all the stuff in the back, the help, the letters, the you know it, book all kinds of ways want to use In the future, I definitely want to use this again, so. want to use

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271 Grouping of Codes book (2) easy circle time short (2) perfect examples attention spans large circle longer time constraint outside longer done more into it want to use Emergent Theme Statement The book was perfect and easy to follow with helpful examples. The circle time was short to accommodate attention spans, though students did well when it went longer. She felt the students could have stayed outside longer. She would have liked to do more and

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272 APPENDIX W CONSTANT COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS MRS. BENEDICT POST INTERVIEW : STUDENT RESPONSE

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273 Constant Comparative Analysis Mrs. Benedict Post Interview : Student Response Chunks Codes Oh, I think great. great You know, it um, as far as um when we did our large circle time. large circle time You know and just asking questions. questioning They were all so eager to give their you know two eager Some of them were right on, some of them, you know, were a little confused. some on, some confused Not confused, but they wanted to say, they just wanted to say something. wanted to share It might not have been quite the answer we were loo king for, preschool great You know, just want to make sure that they felt good about

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274 raising their hand. felt good Um, so um, you know, the kids um, really got into it, especially, like I said, when we were outside, into it outside it it was just fun to see them going bonkers over everything that they you know, you know just going bonkers That they could find. find I was gonna say, yeah, and the same with especially when we brought the little animals into the classroom. animals And the plants, too, when they were watering the plants, and. plants You know, some of the children would stay there the whole time, which is unu sual, because usually especially at science you know we try to put out things that you know maybe go with our curriculum, stay unusual spending that much time in science, theme

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275 and to be eager and to draw the pictures and to look through the magnifying glasses and all that was really fun to see. draw Grouping of Codes great large circle time questioning going bonkers theme want to share eager some on, some confused draw preschool great into it outside felt good find stay unusual animals plants Emergent Theme Statement The students were eager and went bonkers. It was great for them, as they e ngaged in questions, sharing, and drawing. They found plants and animals. Some were on and some were confused, but they felt good about sharing. They were into it outside and stayed at the indoor center a long time, which was unusual. They had a great response to the curriculum, including large circle time.

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