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Reflections on reasoning

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posted on 2017-01-01, 00:00 authored by Russell TytlerRussell Tytler
The central aim of the EQUALPRIME project was to examine the ways in which teachers of science in the different countries support student reasoning. A significant methodological challenge in comparing classrooms from different cultures and contexts is the need to adopt a perspective that makes sense of what is happening in ways that allow informed comparison, yet does not privilege particular culturally framed views of the video data. A further challenge is presented by the fact that reasoning is not a unitary construct. There are many different perspectives on reasoning represented in the literature including teacher-student interactions, representation coordination and inquiry perspectives. This Chapter reviews a number of such perspectives that have been taken on reasoning during the analysis of the EQUALPRIME video data, each of which allows a different view of the variation in practice within and across countries. Each is valid, but each is partial. It is argued that practices in support of reasoning cannot be captured through a single lens, but in any classroom need to be viewed from multiple theoretical stances in order to adequately capture the particular forms of reasoning, the systemic context and individual teacher beliefs that underpin these different practices. In order to legitimately compare and contrast reasoning in these different classrooms in the three countries, a narrative must be constructed of each case that draws on these multiple perspectives. The Chapter will present analyses using different theoretical perspectives and the way they might be combined to open a richer window into the different beliefs and traditions that frame teacher support of student reasoning in the three countries.


Title of book

Quality teaching in primary science education: cross-cultural perspectives

Chapter number



225 - 243


Springer International Publishing

Place of publication

Cham, Switzerland





Publication classification

B Book chapter; B1 Book chapter

Copyright notice

2017, Springer International Publishing Switzerland




M Hackling, J Ramseger, H Chen