ERIC Number: EJ913431
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
If We Teach Them, They Can Learn: Young Students Views of Nature of Science during an Informal Science Education Program
Quigley, Cassie; Pongsanon, Khemmawadee; Akerson, Valarie L.
Journal of Science Teacher Education, v22 n2 p129-149 Mar 2011
There have been substantial reform efforts in science education to improve students' understandings of science and its processes and provide continual support for students becoming scientifically literate (AAAS, "Benchmarks for science literacy," Oxford University Press, New York, 1993; NRC, National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 1996; NSTA, "NSTA position statement: The nature of science," www.nsta.org/159&psid=22 , 2000). Despite previous research, it is still unclear whether young children are actually developmentally ready to conceptualize the ideas that are recommended in the reforms (Akerson and Volrich, "J Res Sci Teach" 43:377-394, 2006). The purpose of this study was to explore how explicit-reflective instruction could improve young students' understanding of NOS. During an informal education setting, the authors taught NOS aspects using explicit-reflective instruction. Overall the students participating in the program improved their understanding of the target aspects of NOS through use of explicit reflective instruction. However, the levels of improvement varied across different aspects. Students improved the most in their understanding of the tentative nature of science and the roles of observation in scientific work, although there was still some confusion regarding the distinction between observation and inference. More work needs to be done exploring these specific topics and the role explicit reflective practice can play in identifying the particular problems students have in distinguishing these constructs.
Descriptors: Informal Education, Scientific Principles, Educational Change, Scientific Literacy, Reflective Teaching, Science Education, Science Instruction, Student Improvement, Teaching Methods, Instructional Effectiveness, Scientific Attitudes, Student Attitudes, Achievement Gains
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A