Librea-Carden, Mila Rosa, Avarzamani, Farnaz, Rillero, Peter, and Hamel, Florence
Electronic Journal for Research in Science & Mathematics Education, v26 n4 p1-16 Win 2022-2023.
Scientific Principles, Science Instruction, Foreign Countries, Preservice Teachers, Elementary School Teachers, Science Teachers, Teacher Educators, Professional Development, and Morocco
The study explored science and science education professors' nature of science (NOS) understandings and perceptions on NOS instruction before (T1), during (T2), and after (T3) a professional development (PD) series. Using repeated measures design, findings showed an increasing trend across NOS aspects. Summary scores were used to classify participants' NOS views as "alternative," "transitional," or "informed." From T1 to T3, participants (n=19) shifted from "alternative" (16%) and "transitional" (84%), to "transitional" (100%) at T2, and ended as "transitional" (53%)/"informed" (47%). There were particularly significant changes in participants' understanding of observations and inferences and the sociocultural influence on the enterprise of science. The findings did not reveal significant changes in participants' perceptions on NOS instruction. On reflective responses, however, a majority expressed a desire to learn about more NOS activities that can be used in their instruction. The study provides evidence that relatively short PDs, when implemented with explicit NOS activities, have potential to positively impact NOS understanding. While less impactful on participants' NOS instructional perceptions, it is encouraging that the majority of the participants indicated a desire to learn strategies to teach NOS. More research can help improve the efficacy of PD methods and help identify key constructs that are most relevant for perceptions of NOS instruction.