Advertisement

Science & Education

, Volume 22, Issue 10, pp 2593–2619 | Cite as

Teaching Nature of Science to Preservice Science Teachers: A Phenomenographic Study of Chinese Teacher Educators’ Conceptions

  • Zhi Hong Wan
  • Siu Ling Wong
  • Ying Zhan
Article

Abstract

Drawing from the phenomenographic perspective, this study investigated Chinese science teacher educators’ conceptions of teaching nature of science (NOS) to preservice science teachers through two semi-structured interviews. The subjects were twenty-four science teacher educators in the developed regions in China. Five key dimensions emerged from the data on the conceptions of teaching NOS, including value of teaching NOS, NOS content to be taught, incorporation of NOS instruction in courses, learning of NOS, and role of the teacher. While some of these dimensions share much similarity with those reported in the studies of conceptions of teaching in general, some are distinctively different, which is embedded in some unique features of teaching NOS to preservice science teachers. These key dimensions can constitute the valuable components of the module or course to train science teachers or teacher educators to teach NOS, provide a framework to interpret the practice of teaching NOS, as well as lay a foundation for probing the conceptions of teaching NOS of other groups of subjects (e.g., school teachers’ conceptions of teaching NOS) or in other contexts (e.g., teaching NOS to in-service teacher).

Keywords

Science Teaching Teacher Educator Science Teacher Science Teacher Educator Explicit Approach 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Abd-El-Khalick, F., & Akerson, V. L. (2004). Learning as conceptual change: Factors mediating the development of preservice elementary teacher’s views of nature of science. Science Education, 88, 785–810.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abd-El-Khalick, F., & Lederman, N. G. (2000). Improving science teachers’ conceptions of nature of science: A critical review of the literature. International Journal of Science Education, 22(7), 665–701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Abell, S. K. (2001). ‘That’s what scientists have to do’: Preservice elementary teachers’ conceptions of the nature of science during a moon investigation. International Journal of Science Education, 23(11), 1095–1109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Akerlind, G. (2005). Variation and commonality in phenomenographic research methods. Higher Education Research and Development, 24(4), 321–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Åkerlind, G. S. (2005). Variation and commonality in phenomenographic research methods. Higher Education Research & Development, 24(4), 321–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Akindehin, F. (1988). Effect of an instructional package on preservice science teachers’ understanding of the nature of science and acquisition of science-related attitudes. Science Education, 72, 73–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Alters, B. J. (1997a). Whose nature of science? Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 34(1), 39–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Alters, B. J. (1997b). Nature of science: A diversity or uniformity of ideas? Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 34(10), 1105–1108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bartholomew, H., Osborne, J., & Ratcliffe, M. (2004). Teaching students “ideas-about-science”: Five dimensions of effective practice. Science Education, 88, 655–682.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Barufaldi, J. P., Bethel, L. J., & Lamb, W. G. (1977). The effect of a science methods course on the philosophical view of science among elementary education majors. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 14, 289–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bell, R. L., Lederman, N. G., & Abd-El-Khalick, F. (1998). Implicit versus explicit nature of science instruction: An explicit response to Palmquist and Finley. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 35(9), 1057–1061.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bianchini, J. A., Johnston, C. C., Oram, S. Y., & Cavazos, L. M. (2003). Learning to teach science in contemporary and equitable ways: The successes and struggles of first-year science teachers. Science Education, 87(3), 419–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bianchini, J. A., & Solomon, E. M. (2003). Constructing views of science tied to issues of equity and diversity: A study of beginning science teachers. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40(1), 53–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Billeh, V., & Hasan, O. (1975). Factors affecting teachers’ gain in understanding the nature of science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 12(3), 209–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Boon, S., Johnston, B., & Webber, S. (2007). A phenomenographic study of English faculty’s conceptions of information literacy. Journal of Documentation, 63(2), 204–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Bowden, J. A. (2000). The nature of phenomenographic research. In J. A. Bowden & E. Walsh (Eds.), Phenomenography. Melbourne: RMIT University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Chen, Q., & Pang, L. J. (2005). On the nature of science and science education. Peiking University Education Review, 3(2), 70–74.Google Scholar
  18. Christensen, C. A., Massey, D. R., Isaacs, P. J., & Synott, J. (1995). Beginning teacher education students’ conceptions of teaching and approaches to learning. Australia Journal of Teacher Education, 20(1), 19–29.Google Scholar
  19. Clark, C. M., & Peterson, P. L. (1986). Teachers’ thought process. In M. C. Wittrock & P. L. Peterson (Eds.), Handbook of research on teaching (3rd ed., pp. 255–296). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  20. Clough, M. P. (2006). Learners’ responses to the demands of conceptual change: Considerations for effective nature of science instruction. Science & Education, 15(5), 463–494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Dall’Alba, G. (1990). Foreshadowing conceptions of teaching. Research and Development in Higher Education, 13, 291–297.Google Scholar
  22. Ding, B. (2002). HPS education and science curriculum reform (in Chinese). Comparative Educational Research, 6, 6–12.Google Scholar
  23. Driver, R., Leach, J., Miller, A., & Scott, P. (1996). Young peoples images of science. Bristol, PA: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Duit, R., & Treagust, D. (2003). Conceptual change: A framework for improving science teaching and learning. International Journal of Science Education, 25(6), 671–688.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Dunkin, R. (2000). Using phenomenography to study organisational change. In J. A. Bowden & E. Walsh (Eds.), Phenomenography (pp. 137–152). Melbourne: RMIT Publishing.Google Scholar
  26. Fox, D. (1983). Personal theories of teaching. Studies in Higher Education, 8(2), 151–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gao, L. B. (1998). Cultural context of school science teaching and learning in the People’s Republic of China. Science Education, 82, 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gao, L. B., & Watkins, D. (2001). Identifying and assessing the conceptions of teaching secondary school physics teachers in China. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 71, 443–469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gao, L. B., & Watkins, D. A. (2002). Conceptions of teaching held by school science teachers in P.R. China: Identification and cross-cultural comparison. International Journal of Science Education, 24(1), 61–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Good, R., & Shymansky, J. (2001). Nature-of-science literacy in benchmarks and standards: Post-modern/relativist or modern/realist. In F. Bevilacqua, E. Ciannetto, & M. R. Matthews (Eds.), Science education and culture (pp. 53–65). Kluwer Academics Publishers.Google Scholar
  31. Gow, L., & Kember, D. (1993). Conceptions of teaching and their relationship to student learning. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 63, 20–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Haukoos, G. D., & Penick, J. E. (1983). The effects of classroom climate on science process and content achievement of community college students. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 1, 124–128.Google Scholar
  33. Haukoos, G. D., & Penick, J. E. (1985). The effect of classroom climate on college science students: A replication study. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 20, 731–743.Google Scholar
  34. Herron, M. D. (1969). Nature of science: Panacea or Pandora’s box. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 6, 105–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Irzik, G., & Nola, R. (2011). A family resemblance approach to the nature of science for science education. Science & Education, 20, 591–607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jenkin, E. W. (1996). The ‘nature of science’ as a curriculum component. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 28, 137–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kagan, D. M. (1992). Implications of research on teacher beliefs. Educational Psychologist, 27(1), 65–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kember, D. (1997). A review and reconceptualization of the research into academics’ conception of teaching. Learning and Instruction, 7(3), 255–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kozulin, A., & Presseisenm, B. Z. (1995). Mediated learning experience and psychological tools: Vygotsky’s and Feuerstein’s perspectives in a study of student learning. Educational Psychologist, 30(2), 67–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lam, R. H., & Kember, D. (2004). Conceptions of teaching art held by secondary school art teachers. International Journal of Art and Design Education, 23(3), 290–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lavach, J. F. (1969). Organization and evaluation of an inservice program in the history of science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 6, 166–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lawson, A. E. (1982). The nature of advanced reasoning and science instruction. Journal of Chemical Education, 19, 743–760.Google Scholar
  43. Lederman, N. G., Abd-El-Khalick, F., Bell, R. L., & Schwartz, R. S. (2002). View of nature of science questionnaire: Toward valid and meaningful assessment of learners’ conceptions of nature of science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39(6), 497–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lin, H. S., & Chen, C. C. (2002). Promoting preservice chemistry teachers’ understanding about the nature of science through history. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39(9), 773–792.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Martin, E., & Balla, M. (1990). Conceptions of teaching and implications for learning. Research and Development in Higher Education, 13, 298–304.Google Scholar
  46. Marton, F. (1981). Phenomenography—describing conceptions of the world around us. Instructional Science, 10, 177–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Marton, F. (1986). Phenomenography—a research approach to investigating different understandings of reality. Journal of Thought, 21(3), 28–49.Google Scholar
  48. Matthews, M. R. (1994). Science teaching: The role of history and philosophy of science. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  49. Matthews, M. R. (1998). In defense of modest goals when teaching about the nature of science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 35, 161–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. McComas, W. F. (1998). A thematic introduction to the nature of science: The rationale and content of a course for science educators. In W. F. McComas (Ed.), The nature of science in science education: Rationales and strategies (pp. 211–241). Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  51. McComas, W. F., Almazroa, H., & Clough, M. P. (1998). The nature of science in science education: An introduction. Science & Education, 7, 511–532.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Meichtry, Y. J. (1993). The impact of science curricula on student views about the nature of science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 30, 429–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Meichtry, Y. J. (1999). The nature of science and scientific knowledge: Implications for a preservice elementary methods course. Science & Education, 8, 173–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. MOE. (2012a). Chemistry curriculum standards (7–9 years). Beijing: Beijing Normal University Press.Google Scholar
  55. MOE. (2012b). Integrated science curriculum standards (7–9 years). Beijing: Beijing Normal University Press.Google Scholar
  56. MOE. (2012c). Physics curriculum standards (7–9 years). Beijing: Beijing Normal University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Nott, M., & Wellington, J. (1993). Your nature of science: An activity for science teachers. School Science Review, 75(270), 109–112.Google Scholar
  58. Nott, M., & Wellington, J. (1998). A programme for developing understanding of the nature of science in teacher education. In W. F. McComas (Ed.), The nature of science in science education: Rationales and strategies (pp. 293–312). Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  59. Osborne, J., Collins, S., Ratcliffe, M., & Duschl, R. A. (2003). What “ideas about science” should be taught in school science? A Delphi study of the expert community. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40(7), 692–720.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Palmquist, B. C., & Finley, F. N. (1997). Preservice teachers’ views of the nature of science during a postbaccalaureate science teaching programme. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 34, 595–615.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Pihl, E., Fridlund, B., & Mårtensson, J. (2011). Patients’ experiences of physical limitations in daily life activities when suffering from chronic heart failure; a phenomenographic analysis. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 25(1), 3–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Posner, G. J., Striker, K., & Hewson, M. (1982). Accommodation of a scientific conceptions: Toward a theory of conceptual change. Science Education, 66(2), 211–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Pratt, D. D. (1992). Conceptions of teaching. Adult Education Quarterly, 42, 203–220.Google Scholar
  64. Prosser, M., Trigwell, K., & Taylor, P. (1994). A phenomenographic academics’ conceptions of science learning and teaching. Learning and Instruction, 4, 217–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Reid, A., & Petocz, P. (2002). Students’ conceptions of statistics: a phenomenographic study. Journal of Statistics Education, 10(2). Retrieved November 3, 2012 from http://www.amstat.org/publications/jse/v10n2/reid.html.
  66. Richardson, J. T. E. (1999). The concepts and methods of phenomenographic research. Review of Educational Research, 69(1), 53–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Riley, J. P. (1979). The influence of hands-on science process training on preservice teachers’ acquisition of process skills and attitude toward science and science teaching. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 16, 373–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Rowe, M. B. (1974). A humanistic intent: The program of preservice elementary education at the University of Florida. Science Education, 58, 369–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Rudolph, J. L. (2000). Reconsidering the ‘nature of science’ as a curriculum component. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 32, 403–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Rudolph, J. L. (2003). Portraying epistemology: School science in historical context. Science Education, 87, 64–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Samuelowicz, K., & Bain, J. D. (1992). Conceptions of teaching held by academic teachers. Higher Education, 24, 93–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Schwartz, R. S., Lederman, N. G., & Crawford, B. A. (2004). Developing views of nature of science in an authentic context: An explicit approach to bridging the gap between nature of science and scientific inquiry. Science Education, 88, 610–645.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Shapiro, B. L. (1996). A case study of change in elementary student teacher thinking during an independent investigation in science: Learning about the ‘face of science that does not yet know’. Science Education, 80, 535–560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Siegel, H. (1993). Naturalized philosophy of science and natural science education. Science & Education, 2(1), 57–68.Google Scholar
  75. Tobin, K., & Tippins, D. J. (1996). Metaphors as seeds of conceptual change and improvement of science teaching. Science Education, 80(6), 711–730.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Trembath, R. J. (1972). The structure of science. The Australian Science Teachers Journal, 18, 59–63.Google Scholar
  77. Trigwell, K., Prosser, M., & Taylor, P. (1994). Qualitative difference in approaches to teaching first year university science. Higher Education, 27, 75–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Vygotsky, L. S. (1986). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  79. Wan, Z. H., Wong, S. L., & Yung, B. H. W. (2011). Common interest, common visions? Chinese science teacher educators’ views about the values of teaching nature of science. Science Education, 95(6), 1101–1123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Wan, Z. H., Wong, S. L., & Zhan, Y. (2012). When Nature of Science meets Marxism: Aspects of nature of science taught by Chinese science teacher educators to prospective science teachers. Science & Education. doi: 10.1007/s11191-012-9504-2.Google Scholar
  81. Wei, B. (2012). In pursuit of professionalism in the field of chemistry education in China: The story of Zhixin Liu. International Journal of Science Education, 34(13), 1971–1989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Wei, B., & Thomas, G. (2005). Explanations for the transition of the junior secondary school chemistry curriculum in the People’s Republic of China during the period from 1978 to 2001. Science Education, 89, 451–469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Wong, S. L., & Hodson, D. (2009). From the horse’s mouth: What scientists say about scientific investigation and scientific knowledge. Science Education, 93(1), 109–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Wong, S. L., & Hodson, D. (2010). More from the horse’s mouth: What scientists say about science as a social practice. International Journal of Science Education, 32(11), 1431–1463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Wong, S. L., Hodson, D., Kwan, J., & Yung, B. H. W. (2008). Turning crisis into opportunity: Enhancing student teachers’ understanding of the nature of science and scientific inquiry through a case study of the scientific research in severe acute respiratory syndrome. International Journal of Science Education, 30(11), 1417–1439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Xiang, H. Z. (2002). On the education of the essentials of science. Science and Technology Review, 11, 35–37.Google Scholar
  87. Yu, Z. Q. (2002). Science curriculum. Beijing: Educational Sciences Press.Google Scholar
  88. Yuan, Y. K., & Cai, T. Q. (2003). Science curriculum and instruction. Hangzhou: Zhejiang Education Press.Google Scholar
  89. Yuruk, N., Ozdemir, O., & Beeth, M. E. (2003). The role of metacognition in facilitating conceptual change. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of National Association for Research in Science Teaching.Google Scholar
  90. Zhao, P., & Lin, Y. Q. (2007). Analysis on psychological explanation of superstition among college students. Health Education and Health Promotion, 2(1), 55–57.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Science and Environmental StudiesThe Hong Kong Institute of EducationHong Kong SARChina
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationThe University of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina
  3. 3.Faculty of English and EducationGuangdong University of Foreign StudiesGuangzhouChina

Personalised recommendations