Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Education Theory and Practice

Content Description

1 online resource (xv, 177 pages) : illustrations

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Jianwei Zhang

Committee Members

David Yun Dai, Reza Feyzi Behnagh


Collaborative Inquiry, Knowledge Building, Reflective Structuration, Structures of Inquiry, Science, Inquiry-based learning, Fifth grade (Education)

Subject Categories

Science and Mathematics Education


Recent reforms in science education call for efforts to engage students in authentic and sustained science practices. In order to engage students in authentic science practices, students need to enact epistemic agency over the processes of inquiry in line with how knowledge is constructed and practiced in the real world. A critical research challenge is to understand how student agency-driven science practices can be socially organized and pedagogically supported over time without pre-defined tasks and procedures from the teacher in classrooms. Situated in the context of Knowledge Building pedagogy, this dissertation contributes to a reflective structuration approach of science practices in which students are positioned as epistemic agents by co-constructing shared structures of inquiry with their teacher to guide ongoing knowledge building actions.