ERIC Number: ED224705
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
Toward Understanding the Ideas About Science Communicated by Elementary School Teachers.
Wolfe, Lila F.
This study identified and conceptualized evidence of ideas about the nature of science to which elementary school students are exposed and the manner in which teachers provided these ideas. This was accomplished by developing a scheme for observing/analyzing classroom interaction (classroom dialogue and science activity). The scheme is theoretically based in science philosophy, particularly that of Norwood Russell Hanson, who characterizes two extreme views of science discerned in the work of practicing scientists: sensationalism and formalism (and a balanced or "via media" view). By adapting Hanson's work to the context of elementary school teaching and analyzing the discourse of four elementary science lessons (included in appendices), a set of observation clues for identifying Hanson's views were developed and refined. The clues, which comprise a nine-category analytical scheme, identify and characterize the polar views of sensationalism and formalism and reveal that "via media" views about science are being developed during ordinary science lessons. The scheme further indicates that students become aware of these ideas about science through observation, explanation, and experimentation. Results of two independent judges indicate that the clues are recognizable in the discourse of science lessons by persons other than the developer. The study concludes by examining the scheme's potential for understanding/improving science education practice. (Author/JN)
Descriptors: Classroom Communication, Classroom Observation Techniques, Comprehension, Concept Formation, Elementary Education, Elementary School Science, Elementary School Students, Philosophy, Questioning Techniques, Science Activities, Science Education, Science Instruction, Student Teacher Relationship, Teacher Behavior, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Science Education Research
Note: Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Toronto.