Journal of Science Teacher Education

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 751-772

First online:

The Influence of Guided Inquiry and Explicit Instruction on K–6 Teachers’ Views of Nature of Science

  • Valarie L. AkersonAffiliated withSchool of Education, Indiana University Email author 
  • , Deborah L. HansonAffiliated withSchool of Education, Hanover College
  • , Theresa A. CullenAffiliated withDepartment of Educational Psychology, University of Oklahoma

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This study assessed the influence of guided inquiry and explicit reflective instruction on K-6 teachers’ views of nature of science (NOS). Using the Views of Nature of Science Elementary School Version 2 (VNOS-D2), and associated interviews we tracked the changes in NOS views of teacher participants prior to and following a summer professional development program. The teachers participated in guided inquiry to improve physics knowledge, and explicit-reflective NOS activities to improve their views of NOS. Videotaped records of the workshop ensured that explicit reflective NOS instruction took place in conjunction with physics inquiry instruction. Analysis indicated that teachers improved their NOS views by the conclusion of the institute Implications for providing professional development combining inquiry and NOS instruction are made.


Nature of science Inquiry Professional development Science Physics Elementary