Influence of In-Service Teacher Education Program on Science Teachers’ Views of the Nature of Science

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Science education programs aim to introduce students to basic concepts of the nature of science (NOS) and, consequently develop scientifically literate person. The science teacher is an important actor for achieving this goal. Hence, educating science teachers with a contemporary view of NOS becomes an important issue in science education. For this reason, the purpose of the study was to examine the impact of in-service education program on elementary science teachers’ views of NOS. A total of 44 (24 Female, 20 Male) elementary science teachers with a teaching experience ranged from 1 to 21 years participated in one week intensive summer in-service program. Participants were engaged in different activities that explicitly addressed seven target aspects of NOS. The Views of Nature of Science (VNOS-C) questionnaire (Lederman, Scharwartz, Abd-El-Khalick, and Bell, 2001) was used to determine teachers’ initial views of NOS, and was administered again at the end of program as pre–post tests to determine changes in teachers’ views. During data analysis, each participant was treated as separate case and data from each questionnaire was used to generate in-depth profile of participants’ NOS views related with seven NOS aspects. The results of the current study described trends and shifts in participants’ views of NOS. In general, at the end of the in-service program majority of science teachers demonstrated substantial improvements in their understanding of some NOS aspects. However, they had some misconceptions on various aspects of NOS such as function of and relationship between laws and theories, subjective nature of scientific knowledge, and socio-cultural embeddedness of scientific knowledge.

Keywords: Science Education, In-Service Teacher Education Program, Nature of Science, Scientific Literacy
Stream: Teacher Training and Professional Development
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Influence of In-Service Teacher Education Program on Science Teachers’ Views of Nature of Science

Prof. Jale Cakiroglu

Assistant Professor, Department of Elementary Education, Middle East Technical University
Ankara, Turkey

I am Associate Professor at the Department of Elementary Education, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey.My research interests include teacher efficacy beliefs, learning environments research and the nature of science.

Nihal Dogan

Assistant Professor, Department of Science Education, Abant Izzet Baysal University
Bolu, Bolu, Turkey

I am working at Bolu Izzet Baysal University, department of science education as assistant professor. My area of work is science education in which nature of science, learning and teaching strategy, developing of teaching and learning material, informal learning and bioethics

Kader Bilican

Research Assistant, Department of Elementary Education, Ataturk University
Erzurum, Turkey

I am PhD student at Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. I am interested in students’ and teaches’ conceptions on nature of science.

Seda Cavus

Graduate Student, Department of Elementary Education, Abant Izzet Baysal University
Bolu, Turkey

I am graduate student. I am interested in nature of science.

Orhan Arslan

Professor, Department of Secondary Science And Mathematics Education, Gazi University
Ankara, Turkey

I am Professor at the Department of Secondary Science And Mathematics Education, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey. My research interests include genetics, biotechnology and biology education.

Ref: L09P1131