This study investigated what 13 secondary science teachers at various nature of science (NOS) instruction implementation levels talked about when they reflected on their teaching. We then determined if differences exist in the quality of those reflections between high, medium, and low NOS implementers. This study sought to answer the following questions: (1) What do teachers talk about when asked general questions about their pedagogy and NOS pedagogy and (2) what qualitative differences, if any, exist within variables across teachers of varying NOS implementation levels? Evidence derived from these teachers’ reflections indicated that self-efficacy and perceptions of general importance for NOS instruction were poor indicators of NOS implementation. However, several factors were associated with the extent that these teachers implemented NOS instruction, including the utility value they hold for NOS teaching, considerations of how people learn, understanding of NOS pedagogy, and their ability to accurately and deeply self-reflect about teaching. Notably, those teachers who effectively implemented the NOS at higher levels value NOS instruction for reasons that transcend immediate instructional objectives. That is, they value teaching NOS for achieving compelling ends realized long after formal schooling (e.g., lifelong socioscientific decision-making for civic reasons), and they deeply reflect about how to teach NOS by drawing from research about how people learn. Low NOS implementers’ simplistic notions and reflections about teaching and learning appeared to be impeding factors to accurate and consistent NOS implementation. This study has implications for science teacher education efforts that promote NOS instruction.
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Herman, B.C., Clough, M.P. & Olson, J.K. Pedagogical Reflections by Secondary Science Teachers at Different NOS Implementation Levels. Res Sci Educ 47, 161–184 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-015-9494-6
- Nature of science
- Science teacher education
- Reflective science teaching practices