Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, Volume 17, Issue 2, Article 10 (Dec., 2016)
Questioning in Tongan science classrooms: A pilot study to identify current practice, barriers and facilitators
Jacquie L BAY1*, Fehi FEHOKO2, Mumui LA’AKULU3, Ofa LEOTA2, Lesieli PULOTU4, Sina TU'IPULOTU3, Salesi TUTOE4, Oliveti TOVO4, ‘Ana VEIKOSO4, ‘Emeli H POUVALU5
1Liggins Institute, University of Auckland, Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
2Tonga High School, Nuku'alofa, Tongatapu, TONGA
3Tonga Side School, Nuku'alofa, Tongatapu, TONGA
4Kolisi Tonga ‘Atele, Funga Manamo’ui, Ha’ateiho, Tongatapu, TONGA
5Independent education consultant, Tonga (Ministry of Education and Training, Tonga at the time of the study)
*Corresponding author on behalf of the Pacific Science for Health Literacy Project, Tonga Team.
Received 21 Jun., 2016
Revised 26 Nov., 2016
- Findings and Discussion
Questioning is central to the development of scientific and health literacies. In exploring this concept, Tongan science teachers hypothesized that their ability to use and encourage questioning presented challenges in the context of Tongan social and cultural norms. This study set out to develop a peer-to-peer protocol to enable teachers to characterize current practice, and identify barriers and facilitators to the use of questioning in Tongan science classrooms. Participating teachers co-constructed a peer-to-peer observation protocol, collected, anonymized and analyzed observational data to identify current use, enablers and facilitators of questioning in their classrooms. Findings suggest that peer observation and talanoa (collective critical discussion) enabled teachers to characterize and critique their current practice, and increased teacher understanding of the process of questioning and its value in the development of scientific and health literacy. Three hypotheses were developed to explore potential strategies to increase the use questions in Tongan science classrooms.
Keywords: Questioning, scientific literacy; talanoa; Tongan science classrooms