ERIC Number: EJ1093785
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 64
Outcomes of Nature of Science Instruction along a Context Continuum: Preservice Secondary Science Teachers' Conceptions and Instructional Intentions
Bell, Randy L.; Mulvey, Bridget K.; Maeng, Jennifer L.
International Journal of Science Education, v38 n3 p493-520 2016
This investigation examined outcomes associated with nature of science (NOS) instruction along a science-content context continuum on the development of secondary preservice science teachers' conceptions of and plans to teach NOS, moving beyond the common dichotomy of contextualized versus noncontextualized instruction. Participants comprised six teacher cohorts (n?=?70) enrolled in a two-year Master of Teaching program. Participants were explicitly taught current NOS conceptions using activities that incorporated varied degrees of contextualization and were informed by conceptual change principles during the first program year. Participants' pre- and post-instruction conceptions were assessed using VNOS-C questionnaire written responses and follow-up interviews. Participants' views were classified by degree of alignment (non, partially, or fully aligned) with current NOS conceptions. Interview transcripts were analyzed using analytic induction to verify/refine VNOS responses and to identify patterns in NOS instructional plans and rationales. Wilcoxon signed ranks tests were run to assess possible statistical significance of pre- to post-instruction changes. Participants' responses shifted markedly toward more aligned NOS conceptions post-instruction, with substantial and statistically significant gains for each assessed tenet (all p-values <.001). All participants planned future NOS instruction and most expressed a sophisticated rationale for this choice, including that NOS supported the teaching of key concepts such as evolution. These results indicate that teaching and scaffolding NOS lessons along a context continuum can be effective in eliciting desired changes in preservice teachers' NOS conceptions and instructional intentions within the confines of the science methods course. Future research will examine post-methods course and post-program NOS instruction.
Descriptors: Scientific Principles, Science Instruction, Outcomes of Education, Preservice Teachers, Secondary Education, Science Teachers, Graduate Students, Concept Formation, Pretests Posttests, Questionnaires, Interviews, Statistical Analysis, Scaffolding (Teaching Technique), Qualitative Research, Preservice Teacher Education
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A