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Teacher attention leading to student inquiry: A case study of an emergent 5th grade magnetism unit


In a fifth grade classroom, a planned 1-day inquiry turned into a 7-day detailed investigation in which students engaged in numerous scientific practices such a mechanistic reasoning and coordinating theory and evidence. I argue that a key factor in sustaining this inquiry was the teacher's close attention to the substance -- not just the correctness or incorrectness -- of her students' reasoning.