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Professional Journals as a Source of PCK for Teaching Nature of Science: An Examination of Articles Published in The Science Teacher (TST) (an NSTA Journal), 1995–2010

Abstract

A number of science education policy documents recommend that students develop an understanding of the enterprise of science and the nature of science (NOS). Despite this emphasis, there is still a gap between policy and practice. Teacher professional literature provides one potential venue for bridging this gap, by providing “activities that work” (Appleton in elementary science teacher education: International perspectives on contemporary issues and practice. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ, 2006) that can scaffold teachers’ developing pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for teaching NOS. We analyzed articles published in the NSTA journal The Science Teacher (1995–2010) in terms of the degree to which they provide appropriate model activities and specific information that can support the development of teachers’ PCK for teaching NOS. Our analysis revealed a diversity of NOS aspects addressed by the authors and a wide range of variation in the percent of articles focused on each aspect. Additionally, we found that few articles provided robust information related to all the component knowledge bases of PCK for NOS. In particular, within the extant practitioner literature, there are few models for teaching the aspects of NOS, such as the function and nature of scientific theory. Furthermore, though articles provided information relevant to informing teachers’ knowledge of instructional strategies for NOS, relevant information to inform teachers’ knowledge of assessment in this regard was lacking. We provide recommendations for ways in which the practitioner literature may support teachers’ teaching of NOS through more robust attention to the types of knowledge research indicates are needed in order to teaching NOS effectively.

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Correspondence to Sevgi Aydın.

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Aydın, S., Demirdöğen, B., Muslu, N. et al. Professional Journals as a Source of PCK for Teaching Nature of Science: An Examination of Articles Published in The Science Teacher (TST) (an NSTA Journal), 1995–2010. J Sci Teacher Educ 24, 977–997 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10972-013-9345-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10972-013-9345-0

Keywords

  • Nature of science
  • Pedagogical content knowledge
  • Secondary science education
  • Professional journals