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Constructing graphs in biology class: Secondary biology teachers’ beliefs, motivation, and self-reported practices
Enzingmüller, C., Prechtl, H.

Constructing graphs in biology class: Secondary biology teachers’ beliefs, motivation, and self-reported practices

International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education. DOI: 10.1007/s10763-019-09975-2

There has been a growing awareness that graphing is an essential part of the science curriculum. While much research has focused on student conceptions and abilities regarding graphical representations, only few studies have investigated what teachers think about them and how they use graphs in science class. The purpose of this study is to explore educational beliefs, motivation, and teaching practices of German secondary biology teachers regarding graph construction. Via questionnaire surveys, 71 teachers from different regions in Germany rated their beliefs and motivation as well as the frequency of different graph construction activities in biology class. The teachers surveyed in this study were quite motivated in their teaching of graph construction. Furthermore, they tended to believe that graph construction should be practiced explicitly in biology class and that students should learn clear strategies for constructing graphs. We found that teaching subjects and own research experience make a difference in teachers’ beliefs and motivation regarding graph construction in biology class. The self-report on classroom practices revealed that participants may provide limited opportunities for students to experience graphing as a social and iterative practice. Implications are drawn for teacher education and professional development as well as for further research in teacher education contexts.