Early years education teachers’ perceptions of nature of science

Lindsay Schofield, Rachel Takriti, Lutfieh Rabbani, Iman AlAmirah, Olga Ioannidou, Najwa Alhosani, Hala Elhoweris, Sibel Erduran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research indicates that teachers lack a sophisticated understanding of Nature of Science (NOS), which in turn, can impact their instructional decisions and students’ understanding of NOS. The aim of the study was to investigate United Arab Emirates (UAE) early years’ science teacher’s (N = 433) perceptions about the NOS. Results obtained from a 70-item questionnaire revealed that teachers have an adequate understanding on many aspects related to science and NOS, especially those pertaining to the ‘Social-Institutional’, ‘Scientific Practices’ and ‘Educational Applications’ categories. However, varied perceptions were found on some key concepts such as the role of bias and prejudices on scientific facts, the employment of same scientific practices across different branches of science, and the influence of politics in science. Misconceptions on particular aspects of NOS were also recognised (e.g. the distinction between laws and theories and the fixed nature of procedures followed in experiments). The findings suggest practical and pedagogical implications for teaching and outline an agenda for further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-635
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Volume45
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • Nature of Science (NOS)
  • Reconceptualised Family Resemblance Approach to Nature of Science (RFN)
  • science education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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