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ERIC Number: EJ1149259
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1029-8457
The Relationship between Science Teachers' Understandings of the Nature of Science and Their Classroom Practices
Kurup, Raj
African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, v18 n1 p52-62 2014
An adequate understanding of the Nature of Science (NOS) has become increasingly important for science teachers in the context of the recent curriculum revisions being implemented in Grades R-9 in South African schools. This study explored the NOS conceptions and the influence of these conceptions on the classroom practice of two groups of practising science teachers--a group of three teachers who received explicit instruction in NOS in a semester-long (36 h) professional development programme and an alternative group of three teachers who had not received any explicit instruction in NOS previously. The quantitative data gathered from the responses to a 12-item Likert-scale questionnaire and the qualitative data from semi-structured interviews were analysed to seek the teachers' views on six NOS aspects related to the epistemological and ontological nature of science. A video-taped science lesson of each teacher was analysed using a classroom observation schedule to examine the extent to which each of the six NOS aspects targeted was mediated in the classroom. A mixed-methods approach has been adopted in this study. The results indicate that the teachers who received explicit instruction in NOS displayed better understandings in some aspects of NOS compared with those who were not exposed to NOS instruction. Nevertheless teachers from both groups continue to experience difficulties in mediating informed notions of the socio-cultural influence on the scientific enterprise, the role of imagination and creativity in scientific process and the purpose of and distinction between theories and laws. Implications of the findings for in-service teacher programmes and recommendations for further research are suggested.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A