PRESERVICE TEACHERS’ VIEWS ABOUT NATURE OF SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT: AN INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATIVE STUDY

  • Ling L. Liang
  • Sufen Chen
  • Xian Chen
  • Osman Nafiz Kaya
  • April Dean Adams
  • Monica Macklin
  • Jazlin Ebenezer
Article

Abstract

This article presents the findings of an international collaborative investigation into preservice teachers’ views on the nature of scientific knowledge development with respect to six elements: observations and inferences, tentativeness, scientific theories and laws, social and cultural embeddedness, creativity and imagination, and scientific methods. A total of 640 preservice teachers, 209 from the United States, 212 from China, and 219 from Turkey, participated in the study. The survey “Student Understanding of Science and Scientific Inquiry (SUSSI)”, having a blend of Likert-type items and related open-ended questions, was used to gain a fuller understanding of the preservice teachers’ views of the nature of scientific knowledge development. Across the three countries, the participants demonstrated better understanding of the tentative NOS aspect but less understanding of the nature of and relationship between scientific theories and scientific laws. The Chinese sample scored highest on five of the six Likert sub-scales, the USA sample demonstrated more informed views on observation and inference, and the Turkish preservice teachers possessed relatively more traditional views in all six NOS aspects. Conclusions and limitations of the present study as well as implications and recommendations for future studies, are also discussed.

Keywords

international collaborative study nature of science nature of scientific knowledge development pre-service science teacher education 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abd-El-Khalick, F. & BouJaoude, S. (1997). An exploratory study of the knowledge base for science teaching. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 34, 673–699.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aikenhead, G. S. & Ryan, A. G. (1992). The development of a new instrument: “Views on science-technology-society” (VOSTS). Science Education, 76, 477–491.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Akerson, V. L., Abd-El-Khalick, F. & Lederman, N. (2000). Influence of a reflective explicit activity-based approach on elementary teachers’ conceptions of nature of science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37, 295–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. American Association for the Advancement of Science (1990). Science for all Americans. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. American Association for the Advancement of Science (1993). Benchmarks for science literacy: Project 2061. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bird, A. (1998). Philosophy of Science. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Bora, N. D., Aslan, O. & Cakiroglu, J. (2006, April). Investigating science teachers’ and high school students’ views on the nature of science in Turkey. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, San Francisco, CA.Google Scholar
  8. Chen, S. (2006). Development of an instrument to assess views on nature of science and attitudes toward teaching science. Science Education, 90, 803–819.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cheung, K. C. & Toh, K. A. (1990). In the eyes of the beholder: Beginning teachers’ conception of the nature of science and science teaching. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Educational Research Association, Singapore.Google Scholar
  10. Cobern, W. W. (1989). A comparative analysis of NOSS profiles on Nigerian and American pre-service, secondary science teachers. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 26, 533–541.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Desautels, J. & Larochelle, M. (1998). The epistemology of students: The ’thingified’ nature of scientific knowledge. In B.J. Fraser & K.G. Tobin (Eds.), International handbook of science education (pp. 115–128). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  12. Erdogan, R., Cakiroglu, J. & Tekkaya, C. (2006). Investigating Turkish Pre-service science teachers’ views of the nature of science. In C.V. Sunal & K. Mutua (Eds.), Research on education in Africa, The Caribbean and the Middle East (pp. 273–285). Greenwich: Information Age Publishing Inc.Google Scholar
  13. Hodson, D. (1991). Philosophy of science and science education. In M.R. Matthews (Ed.), History, philosophy and science teaching: selected readings (pp. 19–32). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  14. Kuhn, T. S. (1970). The structure of scientific revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  15. Lederman, N. G. (1992). Students’ and teachers’ conceptions of the nature of science: a review of the research. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 29, 331–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lederman, N. G. (2007). Nature of science: Past, present, and future. In S.K. Abell & N.G. Lederman (Eds.), Handbook of research on science education (pp. 831–879). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Publishers.Google Scholar
  17. Lederman, N. G., Abd-El-Khalick, F., Bell, R. L. & Schwartz, R. S. (2002). Views of nature of science questionnaire: toward valid and meaningful assessment of learners’ conceptions of nature of science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39, 497–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Liang, L. L, Chen, S., Chen, X., Kaya, O. N., Adams, A. D., Macklin, M. & Ebenezer, J. (2008). Assessing preservice elementary teachers’ views on the nature of scientific knowledge: a dual-response instrument. Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching. Google Scholar
  19. Lin, H. S. & Chen, C. C. (2002). Promoting pre-service science teachers’ understanding about the nature of science through history. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39, 773–792.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Liu, S.-Y. & Lederman, N. G. (2007). Exploring prospective teachers’ worldviews and conceptions of nature of science. International Journal of Science Education, 29, 1281–1307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Matthews, M. R. (1988). A role for history and philosophy in science teaching. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 20, 67–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. McComas, W. (1998). The principal elements of the nature of science: Dispelling the myths. In W.F. McComas (Ed.), The nature of science in science education: rationales and strategies (pp. 53–70). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  23. McComas, W. & Olson, J. (1998). The nature of science in international science education standards documents. In W.F. McComas (Ed.), The nature of science in science education: rationales and strategies (pp. 41–52). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  24. Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China (2001). Science education standards (7–9). Beijing: Beijing Normal University.Google Scholar
  25. National Research Council (1996). National science education standards. Washington, DC: National Research Council.Google Scholar
  26. National Science Teachers Association (2000). NSTA position statement: the nature of science. Arlington, VA: National Science Teachers Association Press.Google Scholar
  27. Osborne, J., Collins, S., Ratcliffe, M., Millar, R. & Duschl, R. (2003). What “ideas-about-science” should be taught in school science? A Delphi study of the expert community. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40, 692–720.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Pomeroy, D. (1993). Implications of teachers’ beliefs about the nature of science. Science Education, 77, 261–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Popper, K. (1998). The rationality of science revolutions. In J.A. Kourany (Ed.), Scientific knowledge (pp. 286–300). Wadsworth, CA: Belmont. (Reprinted from Problems of scientific revolution: progress and obstacles to progress in the sciences, pp. 72–101, by R. Harre, Ed., 1975, Oxford: Clarendon Press)Google Scholar
  30. Rubba, P. A. (1977). The development, field testing and validation of an instrument to assess secondary school students’ understanding of the nature of scientific knowledge. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Indiana University, Indiana.Google Scholar
  31. Ryan, A. G. & Aikenhead, G. S. (1992). Students’ preconceptions about the epistemology of science. Science Education, 76, 559–580.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sutherland, D. & Dennick, R. (2002). Exploring culture, language and the perception of the nature of science. International Journal of Science Education, 24, 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Turkish Ministry of National Education (2005). New curriculum of science and technology education. Retrieved December 24, 2005, from Turkey’s National Board of Education Web site: http://ttkb.meb.gov.tr/ogretmen/.
  34. Yalvac, B., Tekkaya, C., Cakiroglu, J. & Kahyaoglu, E. (2007). Turkish pre-service science teachers’ views on science-technology-society issues. International Journal of Science Education, 29, 331–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Yuan, Y. & Cai, T. (2003). Science curriculum and instruction. Hangzhou, China: Zhejiang Education Press.Google Scholar
  36. Zhang, B. H., Krajcik, J. S., Sutherland, L. M., Wang, L., Wu, J. & Qian, Y. (2003). Opportunities and challenges of China’s inquiry-based education reform in middle and high schools: Perspectives of science teachers and teacher educators. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 1, 477–503.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© National Science Council, Taiwan 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ling L. Liang
    • 1
  • Sufen Chen
    • 2
  • Xian Chen
    • 3
  • Osman Nafiz Kaya
    • 4
  • April Dean Adams
    • 5
  • Monica Macklin
    • 5
  • Jazlin Ebenezer
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of EducationLa Salle UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.National Taiwan University of Science and TechnologyTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Nanjing Normal UniversityNanjingP. R. China
  4. 4.Firat UniversityElazigTurkey
  5. 5.Northeastern State UniversityTahlequahUSA
  6. 6.Wayne State UniversityDetroitUSA

Personalised recommendations