ERIC Number: EJ1134410
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Informal Science Educators' Views about Nature of Scientific Knowledge
Holliday, Gary M.; Lederman, Norman G.
International Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement, v4 n2 p123-146 2014
Publications such as "Surrounded by science: Learning science in informal environments" [Fenichel, M., & Schweingruber, H. A. (2010). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press] and "Learning science in informal environments: People, places, and pursuits" [National Research Council. (2009). Washington, DC: National Academy Press] have documented a recent trend advocating a greater awareness and value of Nature of Science (NOS), also known as Nature of Scientific Knowledge [see Lederman, N. G. (2007). "Nature of science: Past, present, and future." In S. K. Abell & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), "Handbook of research on science education" (pp. 831-879). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum], for informal science learning experiences. However, little in the literature addresses what informal science educators know about science and, in particular, the views they have about NOS. In this study, informal science educators were asked to fill out an online version of the Views of Nature of Scientific Knowledge-Form C questionnaire [Abd-El-Khalick, F., & Lederman, N. G. (2000). The influence of history of science courses on students' views of nature of science. "Journal of Research in Science Teaching," 37(10), 1057-1095; Lederman, N. G., Schwartz, R. S., Abd-El-Khalick, F., & Bell, R. L. (2001). Preservice teachers' understanding and teaching of nature of science: An intervention study. "The Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education," 1(2), 135-160]. Along with interview responses, 20 of the fully completed questionnaires were purposefully selected to provide the data for this study. Participants were included if they were actively teaching full time to the public in informal science settings. This criterion for inclusion was utilized in order to address the lack of research about this category of individuals. The surveys underwent qualitative analysis and were coded using a scoring rubric. Overall, participants' demonstrated a strong understanding about NOS but views about the certainty of science were prevalent.
Descriptors: Informal Education, Science Teachers, Teacher Attitudes, Scientific Principles, Scientific Literacy, Knowledge Level, Questionnaires, Semi Structured Interviews, Statistical Analysis, Scoring Rubrics, Grounded Theory, Misconceptions, Scientific Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A