ERIC Number: ED394817
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Mar-28
Reference Count: N/A
Elementary Teacher Candidates' Conceptions of the Nature of Science and Science Teaching.
Hammrich, Penny L.; Blouch, Kathleen K.
This study attempted to explore the relationship between elementary teacher candidates' conceptions of the nature of science and their consequent conceptions of teaching science. In order to measure patterns and trends in how elementary teacher candidates define the nature of science and the teaching of science, an open-ended qualitative questionnaire and follow-up interviews were administered to 47 elementary teacher candidates prior to and after the completion of a science methods course. Results indicated that few of the candidates had considered their ideas about the nature of science. In general, answers represented views of school science rather than science as practiced by scientists. Responses also indicated that the teacher candidates had developed their conception by what they had learned in past science classes or in textbooks and not from personal involvement and experience with the practice of science. After participating in the methods course, three-fourths of the teacher candidates described the nature of science as the process of discovery and saw science concepts as relative and subject to personal construction of meaning. Moreover, the candidates recognized that learning is an active process and is a construction of individual understanding and that their role should be to facilitate personal construction. Contains 53 references. (JRH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Nature of Science
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Science Teachers Association (St. Louis, MO, March 28, 1996).