Developing teaching responsiveness to children’s inquiry in science: A case study of professional development for pre-school teachers

  • Loucas T. Louca European University Cyprus
  • Dora Tzialli University of Cyprus
  • Thea Skoulia University of Cyprus
  • Constantinos P. Constantinou University of Cyprus


Supporting inquiry in the science classroom is challenging work, demanding that teachers utilize abilities for addressing and responding to children’s inquiry. These abilities include, (a) knowledge of the various forms of in-class scientific inquiry; (b) abilities for evaluating elements of children’s inquiry which teachers identify; and (c) a repertoire of instructional strategies, from which to choose in order to respond to children’s in-class inquiry. Developing these abilities depends largely on teachers’ preparation and subsequent professional development (PD) in teaching science.  Our purpose in this paper is to describe the design of a professional development program (PDP) for pre-school teachers in Cyprus, seeking to help them develop teacher responsiveness to children’s inquiry. We draw on data from an implementation of this PDP to illustrate how teachers have begun developing their sensitivity towards children’s in-class inquiry and building a repertoire of responses.