ERIC Number: EJ1130538
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 64
Making Learning Last: Teachers' Long-Term Retention of Improved Nature of Science Conceptions and Instructional Rationales
Mulvey, Bridget K.; Bell, Randy L.
International Journal of Science Education, v39 n1 p62-85 2017
Despite successful attempts to improve learners' nature of science (NOS) conceptions through explicit, reflective approaches, retention of improved conceptions is rarely addressed in research. The issue of context for NOS instruction has implications for this retention. Whether to contextualise has been the question occupying science educators' attention. We think this question is misplaced. Instead, we build upon recent research addressing a context continuum--drawing on the strengths of both contextualised and noncontextualised NOS instruction--to improve retention. Although there are many different potential contexts for NOS instruction, this investigation focuses on science content as context. The present investigation focused on long-term retention of improved NOS conceptions and rationales for NOS instruction. Participants were all 25 teachers who completed a professional development programme (PDP) utilising a mixed contextualisation approach to NOS instruction. We classified teachers' NOS conceptions into three levels of understanding using the Views of the Nature of Science Form-C responses and interviews three times over the year: pre-, post-, and 10-month delayed post-PDP. Results indicated that initially participants held many alternative NOS conceptions. Post-instruction, responses were substantially improved across all NOS concepts. Furthermore, nearly all of the participants' conceptions were retained across the academic year following the PDP. Participants offered varied rationales for NOS instruction including its potential to improve students' scientific literacy, perceptions of the relevance of science, improve positive risk-taking, and increase tolerance for differences. These results contrast favourably with previous reports of the retention of improvements in NOS conceptions over time.
Descriptors: Scientific Concepts, Science Instruction, Faculty Development, Teaching Methods, Retention (Psychology), Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Scientific Literacy, Teacher Attitudes, Risk, Intervention, Middle School Teachers, Science Teachers, Statistical Analysis, Questionnaires, Interviews
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A