, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 907-927
Date: 20 Mar 2012

Preservice Elementary Science Teachers’ Connections among Aspects of NOS: Toward a Consistent, Overarching Framework

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Abstract

This study examined the connections elementary preservice science teachers made among various aspects of nature of science (NOS). Totally, 45 preservice science teachers who were enrolled in the Laboratory Application in Science II course participated in the study. The course provided meaningful and practical inquiry-based experiences, as well as explicit and reflective instruction about NOS. Each week, instructors targeted a specific NOS aspect related to the laboratory investigation. The design of the study was qualitative and descriptive in nature. Data sources included preservice teachers’ responses for the VNOS-B, semi-structured interviews, and preservice teachers’ weekly written reflections about NOS. Data analysis focused on preservice teachers’ ability to connect their understandings of the various aspects of NOS to one another. 43(96 %) of preservice teachers made connections among NOS aspects and generally, these connections were emphasized at the end of the semester following the intervention. The findings support the notion that the reflective component of explicit-and-reflective instruction provides opportunities for preservice teachers to revisit their ideas about NOS aspects throughout instruction in such a way that fosters building of connections across aspects of NOS.