Teacher Practices and Scientific Explanations

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Ibrahim Delen, Joe Krajcik
Although, Michigan science standards expect 4th graders develop explanations with reasoning, some studies noted not only middle school students but also teachers struggle to create scientific explanations. Therefore a number of studies have developed software programs to help students and teachers in this hard task. In a similar vein, the Zydeco group, of which I am a member, has designed a mobile application called Zydeco, which enables students to collect data inside and outside the classroom and then use the data to create scientific explanations by using claim-evidence-reasoning framework. Previous technologies designed to support scientific explanations focused on how these programs improve students’ scientific explanations, but these programs ignored how scientific explanation technologies can support teacher practices. Thus, to increase our knowledge about using mobile tablet devices in education, this study aims to portray a teacher’s implementations about scientific explanations by using Zydeco application when she organizes two units. In addition, this study investigates the role of professional development and how change in teacher practices affect students’ scientific explanations.

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