Teaching nature of science in school year 4-9: teachers’ perspectives

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

Abstract

Nature of science (NOS) has for a long time, and for a number of reasons been regarded a key ingredient in the teaching for scientific literacy. Much has been written about teachers’ views of NOS and how NOS is taught in the science classroom, but little is known about teachers’ views of the teaching of NOS. To be able to better understand how NOS becomes (or does not become) a part of science education, teachers’ ways of making meaning of NOS teaching needs to be investigated. Therefore, in this project, we try to shed light on teachers’ perspectives on NOS teaching at different levels in compulsory school. We also explore how the teaching of NOS is planned for, and implemented, throughout a three-year research project. The participants are Swedish in-service science teachers (n=12) in grades 3-9. They are teachers who, initially, have no specific training in NOS or NOS teaching (something they have in common with most science teachers in Sweden), but expected to teach NOS according to the national curriculum. During the project the teachers meet in focus groups, guided by a researcher, and discuss NOS and the teaching of NOS. Sources of data are questionnaires, interviews, focus-group discussions and classroom observations. The analytical framework used in this study is an elaboration of the NOS tenets in Lederman (2007) from an interdisciplinary Science Studies perspective. The results from the first part of the study indicate that although the teachers have access to different ways of speaking about NOS their ways of speaking become less elaborated in reference to NOS teaching. The teachers discuss both possible pros (e.g. student motivation, and NOS as a counterpart to the image of science as “black-and-white”) and cons (e.g. “good students” will be disadvantaged and difficulties for students to handle abstract topics.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventThe 11th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA), Helsinki, August 31 - September 4, 2015 -
Duration: 1980-Jan-01 → …

Conference

ConferenceThe 11th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA), Helsinki, August 31 - September 4, 2015
Period80-01-01 → …

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Educational Sciences (503)

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