Engaging Students in Guided Science Inquiry Discussions: Elementary Teachers’ Oral Strategies
This study explores how elementary teachers perceive and use engaging oral strategies (i.e., manners of speaking that encourage students to participate and become engaged in science discussions). It is reported that the strategies employed as well as their frequency varied substantially depending upon on the teachers’ grade level and perceptions. While a kindergarten teacher viewed such strategies negatively and employed only a few figurative directives, fourth-grade teachers viewed them positively, frequently resorting to a variety of speech figures, parallel repetition and engaging questions. It is argued that teachers’ engaging oral strategies are multifunctional, serving important social and cognitive functions.