This article describes views about the nature of science held by a small sample of science students in their final year at the university. In a longitudinal interview study, 11 students were asked questions about the nature of science during the time they were involved in project work. Statements about the nature of science were characterized and coded using a framework drawing on aspects of the epistemology and sociology of science. The framework in this study has three distinct areas: the relationship between data and knowledge claims, the nature of lines of scientific enquiry, and science as a social activity. The students in our sample tended to see knowledge claims as resting solely on empirical grounds, although some students mentioned social factors as also being important. Many of the students showed significant development in their understanding of how lines of scientific enquiry are influenced by theoretical developments within a discipline, over the 5 -8 month period of their project work. Issues relating to scientists working as a community were underrepresented in the students' discussions about science. Individual students drew upon a range of views about the nature of science, depending on the scientific context being discussed.
This paper reports the design and evaluation of small-scale teaching interventions addressing the epistemology of science as part of the regular high school science courses followed by English students. Although there is a growing consensus that the curriculum should include aspects of the nature of science, there is a limited body of knowledge about how this might be achieved in an already crowded curriculum. Single lessons were designed in order to raise epistemological questions in subject matter contexts likely to be encountered by students as part of regular teaching. This paper presents findings from an evaluation of the teaching, addressing both the impact of the resources and associated teaching strategies on student learning, and teachers' reactions to the interventions. The teaching interventions were successful in their aim of "opening up" epistemological issues with a majority of students. A significant minority of students did not make any progress in terms of their responses to diagnostic questions, even though they appeared able to participate in the lesson's activities. The paper concludes with a discussion of issues surrounding the design and implementation of teaching with an epistemological focus in the context of crowded science curricula.
RESEARCH FOCUSThere is a growing consensus that science curricula should promote an understanding of the nature of science amongst students (e.g., AAAS, 1990;Millar, 1996;Millar & Osborne, 1998; National Research Council (NRC), 1996). There is also considerable evidence that, in some settings, many high school science students give limited and inaccurate portrayals of the nature of scientific knowledge (e.g.
The science curriculum is a focus of repeated reform in many countries. However, the enactment of such reforms within schools rarely reflects the intended outcomes of curriculum designers. This review considers what we know about the experiences and reflections of teachers in the enactment of externally driven school science curriculum E signals a focus on studies of teachers who did not make a proactive choice to adopt a particular curriculum reform initiative. This is a very common experience for teachers in many school systems, and one likely to highlight issues of professionalism and authority that are central to the work of teachers. The review analyses 34 relevant studies. These include studies of national curriculum reform, and also studies focusing on more regional or local curriculum reform activities. The curriculum reform, the response of teacher communities to reform (e.g. within school A T ised T highlights issues of authority, professionalism and the process of meaning-making in response to external curriculum reform. The discussion section identifies important areas for future research and gives recommendations for the design of curriculum policies that recognise and support the professionalism of science teachers.
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