Toward Understanding Science as a Whole: Investigating Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions About Nature of Science in the United Arab Emirates

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Abstract

Nature of science (NOS) is a global conception of the infrastructure of science and, therefore, forms the foundation for teaching and learning science, especially for preservice teachers who are expected to have the proper understanding of NOS to thoughtfully emphasize NOS within their instruction to students. However, studies investigating UAE science preservice teachers’ views of NOS through the macro-lens of the Reconceptualized Family Resemblance Approach to Nature of Science (RFN) are limited. This study, therefore, aims to determine the current state of UAE preservice teachers’ (N = 130) understanding of the NOS and NOS instruction. Results obtained from the RFN 70-item questionnaire demonstrate that teachers were mostly informed about issues pertaining to the social-institutional aspects compared to aspects related to the cognitive-epistemic nature of science. Although teachers appeared to hold informed perceptions on certain aspects of NOS across the RFN scales and subscales, they had mixed views, as well as misconceptions on other particular aspects of NOS (i.e., the role of bias, gender, and politics on scientific knowledge, the existence of a universal scientific method, and the distinction between laws and theories). Practical and pedagogical implications for teaching and an agenda for further research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1321-1361
Number of pages41
JournalScience and Education
Volume32
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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