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On Adopting an Inquiry Stance: A Case Study of Three Teachers as They Integrated the InterLACE Technology to Encourage Student Sharing and Reasoning

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Computers in Education Division - General Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.940.1 - 23.940.26



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Paper Authors

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Danielle Marie Dowling Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach


Morgan M Hynes Arizona State University

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Dr. Morgan Hynes is a research faculty associate at Arizona State University conducting research on the impact of product archaeology dissection activities on students’ knowledge and abilities to engineer in broader contexts. Before joining ASU, Hynes was a research assistant professor in the Education Department and Education Research Program Director at the Center of Engineering Education and Outreach at Tufts University. Hynes received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2001 and his Ph.D. in Engineering Education in 2009 (both degrees at Tufts University). In his current positions, Hynes serves as PI and Co-PI on a number of funded research projects investigating engineering education in the K-12 and college settings. He is particularly interested in how students and teachers engage in and reflect upon the engineering design process. His research includes investigating how teachers conceptualize and teach and how students engage in engineering through in-depth case study analysis.

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On Adopting an Inquiry Stance: A Case Study of Three Teachers as TheyIntegrated the InterLACE Technology to Encourage Student Sharing andReasoningShifting from the familiar, traditional lecture style to the more demanding yet potentiallyrewarding inquiry stance is no easy feat. Even when teachers are open to reforming theirinstructional approach and are given support, professional development, and atechnological tool they helped design to augment their attempts to probe studentreasoning and promote class-wide collaboration and discussion, the struggle to assimilatecan result in moments of regression, failure, and disillusionment. However, there aretriumphs and breakthroughs as well, and this case study will chronicle many aspects ofthe journey experienced by three high school physics teachers who agreed to participatein the InterLACE Project as both design team members and inaugural users. Throughrecords of design team meetings, transcripts of in-class observations and interviews, andanalyses of the activities that the teachers devised for the Thought Cloud, InterLACE’sfirst prototypical tool, we construct a portrait of the teachers’ excitement, concerns,conflicts, and successes as they helped design and then implemented the Thought Cloudin their classrooms.The three teachers we feature in this case study highlight the diversity of adoption wesaw among our design team. All three were either relatively new or brand new to theteaching profession, yet they implemented the Thought Cloud to differing degrees andwith varying efficacy: Sam, a first-year teacher, used the technology more often than anyother member of the design team and showed the most growth in his adoption of theinquiry stance. Kraig, a third-year teacher, implemented the tool on a number ofoccasions and successfully interacted with his students’ ideas, but particularly in times ofunease, he would slip back into his standard lecture mode. And Caroline, a second-yearteacher, struggled to integrate the technology into her classroom practice, despite hercontinuing enthusiasm and grand ambitions. In detailing these three cases we aim toexpose the sorts of challenges teachers face—and the benefits they reap—whenexperimenting with a new technology and its requisite pedagogical approach.

Dowling, D. M., & Hynes, M. M. (2013, June), On Adopting an Inquiry Stance: A Case Study of Three Teachers as They Integrated the InterLACE Technology to Encourage Student Sharing and Reasoning Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22325

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