Science Teachers’ Professional Development about Science Centers

Enhancing Science Teachers’ Views Concerning Nature of Science

Abstract

The purpose of this study is twofold: first, to delve into professional development (PD) of science teachers’ views about nature of science (NOS) throughout activities linking NOS aspects to science centers (SCs), and second, to reveal how a science teacher uses NOS aspects while teaching in SCs. An instrumental qualitative case study method with different data sources was used. There were 18 elementary science teachers participating voluntarily in this study. Additionally, one science teacher among the participants was observed two times during her SCs visit with her grade 6th and 7th students. Researchers trained science teachers for using the facilities of SCs and supported their understanding of NOS. Before and after the workshop, open-ended VNOS-C questionnaire was administered, and follow-up interviews were conducted. Observations in SCs were made to check whether the teacher were able to use NOS concepts while teaching science. Findings revealed that the majority of science teachers exhibited improved views about NOS, and improvement was attained particularly on the aspects of tentativeness, methods of scientific investigation, social and cultural embeddedness, and creativity and imagination, while the least improvement was noted for scientific theories and laws. During the SC visits, the teacher employed all aspects of NOS except the theory and law tenet and mostly discuss about the observation, inference, and experiment while teaching. Further PD activities are suggested to support teachers to develop their own teaching plans specific to each exhibit by employing NOS concepts for teaching with/in SCs.

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Acknowledgments

This study is based upon work supported by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, 1001-Scientific and Technological Research Project Support Program under Grant 114K646 entitled “BİLMER Project: A Teacher and Explainer Professional Development Model to Increase the Effectiveness of Science Centres in Science and Society Communication and Science Education.”

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Eren-Şişman, E.N., Çiğdemoğlu, C., Kanlı, U. et al. Science Teachers’ Professional Development about Science Centers. Sci & Educ (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11191-020-00136-4

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