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Strategies & Challenges for Facilitating Nature of Science in the High School Classroom Catherine Koehler 1 University of Connecticut.

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Presentation on theme: "Strategies & Challenges for Facilitating Nature of Science in the High School Classroom Catherine Koehler 1 University of Connecticut."— Presentation transcript:

1 Strategies & Challenges for Facilitating Nature of Science in the High School Classroom Catherine Koehler 1 University of Connecticut

2 Goals of Science Education Scientific Literacy (NRC, 1996)  “the knowledge and understanding of science concepts and processes required for personal decision making, participation in civic & cultural affairs, and economic productivity” Nature of Science (NOS) promotes scientific literacy (NRC, 1996; AAAS, 1989, 1993) Inquiry promotes an understanding of the scientific endeavor & critical thinking skills (NRC, 1996, Pugliese, 1973; Schwab, 1962)

3 Theoretical Framework: Literature Four Related but distinct lines of research in NOS (Lederman, 1992) Assessment of Students’ conceptions Development & assessment of curricula Improvement & assessment of teachers’ conceptions Relationship between teachers’ conceptions, classroom practice & student conceptions

4 Theoretical Framework: Literature Preservice teachers and student teaching– NOS is rare in planning lessons – barriers exist  (Abd-El-Khalick, Bell, Lederman 1998) Physics & NOS – differing contexts for learn NOS and teaching NOS  (Abd-El-Khalick, 2001) Teaching NOS course – NOS - a content area  (Moss & Koehler, in preparation)

5 Theoretical Framework: Literature NOS must be explicit  (Moss, Abrams & Robb, 2001; Abd-El-Khalick, Bell, & Lederman, 1998 ) Teachers’ role in NOS important  (Lederman, 1992, Abd-El-Khalick & Lederman, 2000 ) Teachers’ conceptions of NOS do not translate into classroom practice  (Brickhouse, 1990, Lederman & Zeidler, 1987)

6 Research Question Provided with a strategy (The Model for Teaching NOS) for fostering NOS understandings: What are the challenges facing experienced teachers in facilitating NOS understandings in the high school classroom?

7 Participants Three Experienced Biology Teachers Master’s Degree Students Enrolled in SCI 580: Teaching the NOS Interested in learning new ways to teach science

8 Methodology SCI 580: Teaching the Nature of Science (Fall 2004) VNOS – C Questionnaire (x3)  (Lederman, Abd-El-Khalick, Bell, Schwartz, 2002) Written Directive – Define NOS (pre & post x2) Curriculum Project based on NOS Model Other artifacts – (reflective journals, classroom observations, lesson plans)

9 SCI 580 – Teaching the NOS Classic Literature from Kuhn, Popper, McComas – Conceptual Change Model (Posner, Strike, Hewson, Gertzog, 1982) Discussion - What is NOS? Activities explicitly directed toward NOS understandings Curriculum Projects Using NOS model

10 Shifting the Paradigm- What is NOS? There is no single definition of NOS Defined by researchers Additional tenets may include:  There is no one scientific method of inquiry  Dynamic  Demand evidence VNOS (Lederman, Abd-El- Khalick, Bell, Schwartz, 2002)  Tentative  Empirically based  Theory-laden  Social & cultural  Humanistic/Interpretative  Creative & Imaginative  Distinction between: Laws & Theories Inferences & Observations

11 Strategy: Model for Teaching NOS Inquiry Scenario ProcessContent NOS

12 Inquiry Scenario Context of Lesson  (Brown, Collins, Duguid, 1989; Schwartz, Lederman, Crawford, 2004) Relevance to Students’ Lives Socially & Culturally Based STS, SSI Teacher initiates the Inquiry Scenario – students can develop own questions

13 “Content” Element Embedded in one or more disciplines of science (Earth/Space, Biology, Chemistry, Physics) Supports the Inquiry Scenario History of Science

14 “Process” Element Skill base to “do science” Experimentation, Data collection, Analysis Problem Solving & Decision making Includes Mathematics as it applies to science

15 Tying It All Together: NOS Must be explicitly addressed throughout lesson Ideal for teaching NOS Must be assess as one outcome objective Meets objectives of scientific literacy movement

16 Murder on The Hill Who Did It? Crime Scene Investigation At 12:00 pm on Thursday May 26th, 2005; a male body was found with a stab wound in the storage closet of Room 103 at The School on the Hill. A knife has been observed to be protruding out of the victim’s abdomen All students of the Anatomy and Physiology class are to remain in the room during the investigation until the perpetrator is found. WHO, IN THIS ROOM, DID IT??????

17 Example: Murder on the Hill! Who Did It? Inquiry Scenario – Context of Lesson  Murder in Storage Closet  Knife protruding from victim’s abdomen  Blood on victim & floor  Students’ task – Who Did It?

18 “Process” Doing A Science Investigation Collecting evidence from crime scene Process the blood Analyze The Blood Determine “Who Did It?”

19 “Content” Objectives Immune Responses Blood Analysis Anti-body & Antigen Rh factor Transfusion of Blood

20 NOS: Where does it fit in? Tenets of NOS Addressed in Lesson Decisions based on evidence Tentative & dynamic No one method to do science Interpretative Assessment – Reflection piece Closure – NOS explicitly addressed

21 Results Implementation of NOS activities in classroom Student Reactions Hurdles encountered Students want the ‘right’ answer Students want instant gratification Reluctance to work collaboratively Perceived lack of content taught Some students need more structure Time constraints Evolving Conceptions of NOS

22 Implications for Science Education Provides a methodology for fostering NOS in the classroom Demonstrates that NOS is not a content objective Defines hurdles encountered when fostering NOS understandings Defines a progressive approach for teaching science

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