Researchers say that teachers can implement an educational innovation without adhering to the principles underpinning its design. Such principles may not adequately take typical classroom conditions into account. The goal of this study was to explore tensions between attempts to implement the principles underpinning knowledge building and the influence of contextual factors that compete for the teacher’s attention. To this end, we discuss five excerpts from a discussion of the motion of spinning tops held by a class of Grade‐4 students, coming at the end of a five‐month implementation of knowledge building. Each excerpt is followed first by the teacher's perspective and then by the researcher's perspective. Our analysis highlights two tensions that constrain agency, arising from the students’ need for social development and their need to learn scientific concepts. We offer some suggestions for addressing these tensions.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2006|