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ERIC Number: EJ1096569
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-May
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0926-7220
Emphasizing the History of Genetics in an Explicit and Reflective Approach to Teaching the Nature of Science: A Pilot Study
Williams, Cody Tyler; Rudge, David Wÿss
Science & Education, v25 n3-4 p407-427 May 2016
Science education researchers have long advocated the central role of the nature of science (NOS) for our understanding of scientific literacy. NOS is often interpreted narrowly to refer to a host of epistemological issues associated with the process of science and the limitations of scientific knowledge. Despite its importance, practitioners and researchers alike acknowledge that students have difficulty learning NOS and that this in part reflects how difficult it is to teach. One particularly promising method for teaching NOS involves an explicit and reflective approach using the history of science. The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of a historically based genetics unit on undergraduates' understanding of NOS. The three-class unit developed for this study introduces students to Mendelian genetics using the story of Gregor Mendel's work. NOS learning objectives were emphasized through discussion questions and investigations. The unit was administered to undergraduates in an introductory biology course for pre-service elementary teachers. The influence of the unit was determined by students' responses to the SUSSI instrument, which was administered pre- and post-intervention. In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted that focused on changes in students' responses from pre- to post-test. Data collected indicated that students showed improved NOS understanding related to observations, inferences, and the influence of culture on science.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Preschool Education; Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A