COMPARISON BETWEEN SCIENCE TEACHERS' AND PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS' CONTENT KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE NATURE OF SCIENCE

Gülcan Mıhladız, Alev Doğan
1.427 421

Abstract


Purpose: In science education, it is among the most important purposes that students become primarily scientific literate individuals. Scientific literacy is associated with deep understanding of “Nature of Science [NOS] and scientific inquiry processes. At this point, teachers' adequate level content knowledge about the nature of science gain importance because of responsibility of their students' getting contemporary understanding of the nature of science. In this study, it is aimed to determine and compare the status of pre-service science teachers and Science and Technology teachers' content knowledge about the nature of science.

Method: This study is a descriptive model in which qualitative research techniques are used. In 2009-2010 education year, 89 pre-service teachers who are studying in 4th class in one of the leading universities in science education in Turkey and 64 Science and Technology teachers who are working in small city in Turkey participated in the study. The situation of the knowledge of the participants about the nature of science is determined using “Views about Nature of Science (BDYG) questionnaire which is adapted to Turkish from “VOSTS (Views on Science-Technology-Society). In order to analyze the answers of participants to the questions in BDYG questionnaire, every questionnaire item placed under every question is encoded by 10 field experts as "Realistic ", "Has Merit" and "Naive ". After every item that pre-service and in-service science teachers chose in BDYG questionnaire is analyzed, frequencies and percentages for each item are calculated in accordance with the descriptive analysis.

Results and Suggestion: According to the results of the analysis, pre-service science and in-service teachers conducted in research are found to have a certain level of content knowledge about the nature of science. However, that level of knowledge they have about the nature of science does not sufficiently represent a contemporary vision at an adequate level. Moreover, as one of the most important results of the research, widespread realistic and naive views of the in-service teachers resulted from BDYG questionnaire are quite parallel with pre-service teachers in same categories. The realistic views that participants have in high percentage and that are parallel to each other are on "tentativeness of scientific knowledge", "mistakes in scientific studies, “precision and uncertainty in scientific knowledge, “influence of society on scientist and “defining science. Besides, both participant groups have same level naive views on “characteristics of hypothesis, theories and laws, “the epistemological status of laws, hypotheses and theories and “the nature of scientific models issues. In this context, it is thought that both groups should take field education about nature of science. This education, for pre-service science teachers, can be through lessons related to science and nature of science which are given in their university education and for in service teachers, through in-service education and seminars from which every teacher can get benefit.

Key Words: Content knowledge about the nature of science, Pre-service science teacher, Science and Technology teacher

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