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ERIC Number: EJ977518
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1094-3277
Derivation and Implementation of a Model Teaching the Nature of Science Using Informal Science Education Venues
Spector, Barbara S.; Burkett, Ruth; Leard, Cyndy
Science Educator, v21 n1 p51-61 Sum 2012
This paper introduces a model for using informal science education venues as contexts within which to teach the nature of science. The model was initially developed to enable university education students to teach science in elementary schools so as to be consistent with "National Science Education Standards" (NSES) (1996) and "A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts and Core Ideas" (2011). The model has since been used in other university courses and professional development workshops for elementary, middle school, and high school teachers. Learners experience the Nature of Science (NOS) firsthand and develop their own understandings of NOS through interaction with exhibits and museum patrons. During experiential learning opportunities (Kolb, 1984), learners use the strategy of "using yourself as a learning laboratory" (Burkett, Leard, & Spector, 2003, p. 3) to gather data on how they learn science content information, experience NOS, and construct strategies for teaching science. Through reflection, face-to-face debriefings, and online discussion, learners incorporate experiences into their cognitive structures thereby constructing their own conceptions of NOS consistent with understandings commonly used in the science education enterprise (Lederman, 2003; McComas, Clough, & Almazroa, 1998). Examples are given of learners' statements indicating understanding of the NOS constructed during their work in the museum. The model for science education leaders' use of informal settings with educators learning about NOS is included. (Contains 3 tables.)
National Science Education Leadership Association. P.O. Box 99381, Raleigh, NC 27624-9381. Tel: 919-848-8171; Fax: 919-848-0496; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A