The purposes of the present study are to elicit pre-service elementary science teachers’ scientific and pseudoscientific beliefs about earthquake and to make inferences about their understandings of science. Although the subject of earthquake is not a pseudoscientific area, some pseudoscientific beliefs related to earthquake were used in this study. Forty-one pre-service elementary science teachers participated in the study voluntarily. The open-ended questionnaire involving eight items related to earthquake were administered to pre-service science teachers. The qualitative data were analyzed by applying interpretative analysis. The results of the analysis revealed that some of the pre-service science teachers had pseudoscientific beliefs about earthquake contexts, although they had science education background. Additionally, rest of the pre-service science teachers could not present any scientific evidences about why they are in favor of scientific explanation or why they do not believe pseudoscience. The pre-service science teachers were not able to articulate their knowledge learned in NOS (Nature of Science) course when they reason about pseudoscientific beliefs about earthquake. Therefore, it would be recommended that understanding of NOS and conceptualizing demarcation criteria between science and pseudoscience should be intended to be developed within the subject matter of science and it should be integrated into other courses by explicitly emphasizing in real science contexts.
Metin, D. & Ertepinar, H. (2016). Inferring pre-service science teachers’ understanding of science by using socially embedded pseudoscientific context. International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology, 4(4), 340-358. DOI:10.18404/ijemst.93129