Nature of Science

Incorporating Nature of Science in Science Teacher Education

Abstract: A central component of scientific literacy is having an adequate understanding of the ‘Nature of Science’ [NOS] (AAAS 1990, 1993, Klopfer 1969). Developing NOS understanding is one of the most commonly stated objectives for science education (Abd-El-Khalick and Lederman 2000).  The importance of this objective has recently been addressed in the proposed reform of the Irish Junior Cycle (middle school) Science curriculum, where the ‘Nature of Science’ (NOS) theme is an overarching feature of all teaching and learning in the draft curriculum document for consultation. Addressing NOS is now a key concern for initial teacher education programmes in Ireland, as it will be pivotal to its successful incorporation in the science classroom. To address NOS in Initial Teacher Science education programmes, a purpose built programme is being designed in this PhD research that will begin pre-service teachers thinking of NOS. The strategy will involve the development of assessment questions that teachers can use to promote learning of NOS in their own science classrooms. The programme will be theoretically based on an NOS model of the Family Resemblance Approach which highlights science as a cognitive-epistemic and a social-institutional system.

Researcher: Alison Cullinane
Commencement Date: November 2014
End Date: November 2018