Magnifying the Scope of Nature of Science (NOS) Toward the Whole: An Investigation of NOS Representation in Early Childhood Science Education Standards

Hassan Tairab, Rachel Takriti, Lutfieh Rabbani, Iman AlAmirah, Najwa Alhosani, Sibel Erduran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Effective teaching and learning of Nature of Science (NOS) has been a curriculum goal for decades and its inclusion into the science education from K-12 is becoming commonplace worldwide, regardless of the differences in the adapted science curricula. However, less attention, if any, has been paid to the holistic representation of NOS at kindergarten schooling level. This study utilizes the Family Resemblance Approach (FRA) on NOS to investigate how NOS is represented in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) science curriculum documents for the kindergarten school years, and the extent of its alignment with the international benchmarks and educational research evidence. Findings from the FRA-based curriculum analysis have demonstrated that the standards include “the nature of science” as one of the key domains of science education in the kindergarten stage. However, the cognitive-epistemic dimensions of NOS appeared to be more dominant than the social-institutional system dimensions. Specifically, the majority of the standards and learning outcomes emphasize learning of scientific methods, scientific practices, and scientific knowledge, alongside very few NOS aspects related to scientific ethos, social values, professional practices, and social organization. Pedagogical and practical implications of these results for science education are presented, along with recommendations to help structure NOS account into the UAE science standards that is more progressive, holistic, and interactive, all which can be of interest to a broader audience for purposes of curriculum policy reform both locally and internationally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-227
Number of pages18
JournalCanadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Early years education
  • Family resemblance approach
  • Nature of science (NOS)
  • Science curriculum
  • Science education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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