3 results for Heap, R, Thesis

  • Myth busting and tenet building: Primary and early childhood teachers' understanding of the nature of science.

    Heap, R (2007)

    Masters thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    A fundamental objective of science education is to provide students with the level of scientific literacy necessary to participate in a society increasingly dependent on science and technology. Central to definitions of this scientific literacy is an appreciation of the nature of science (NOS). The purpose of the research project was to identify the understandings of NOS of a cohort of practising primary and early childhood teachers, enrolled in a semester long science course as part of a Bachelor of Education degree. The research sought to examine their initial NOS understandings and mapped these understandings over the duration of the course in order to identify shifts in understanding and aspects of NOS resistant to change. The research was embedded in critical social science methodology. An explicit reflective approach was used throughout the course instruction to teach NOS tenets. Two frameworks were developed to analyse the data gathered, a myths framework and a NOS framework. Analysis of the pre-instruction views showed that the teachers initial understandings of NOS were fragmented, lacking in depth, inconsistent, fluid and revealed many myths of NOS. Over the duration of the course the teachers journals showed shifts in understanding: NOS tenets were more frequently expressed; there was an increase in the complexity of expression; and an increase in the integration or interrelatedness of NOS tenets. Factors which contributed to these shifts in understanding included the use of an explicit approach, consistency between explicit and implicit instruction, reflection, a conceptual change approach and the use of generic science-content-free NOS activities throughout the course. These findings suggest a need for NOS to be addressed in both pre-service teacher education and in-service teacher professional development programmes. The research has indicated that an explicit, reflective teaching approach is pedagogically effective for this need.

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  • Nature of science in teacher education: Rationale, realities, issues and strategies

    Heap, R (2014)

    Doctoral thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    Developing students??? understanding of the nature of science (NOS), as a key component of scientific literacy, is regarded as a central goal in science education. The strengthening of this focus on NOS in school curricula provides an imperative for increased emphasis on NOS in science teacher education programmes. Such programmes need to encompass the development of a robust understanding of this often unfamiliar and core strand of science and also the ability to translate this understanding into effective classroom teaching and learning. Developing science education courses that support thinking and teaching about NOS is not without its challenges given the short time frame of teacher education programmes in general, and the even shorter time frame of the science education component of such programmes. The aim of this research was to critically analyse the effectiveness of various course components designed to develop participants??? views of NOS, and to identify and investigate the various factors that mediated the development of participants??? pedagogical content knowledge for NOS. The study employed design research methodology, drawing on critical research and used a case study approach for its capacity to focus on the dynamics within a setting. The research had five phases, each with a different focus and each with a different cohort of primary teacher education university students, both graduate and undergraduate. Findings from this research have identified a number of factors which facilitate the development of robust understanding of NOS and pedagogical content knowledge for effective NOS teaching and learning. These include explicit teaching of NOS; the use of generic activities as analogies; both contextualised and decontextualised instruction; the use of authentic contexts to deepen understanding; provision of structured opportunities for repeated reflection; Web 2.0 technology to scaffold reflection and knowledge building for NOS; microteaching and peer teaching to develop PCK and self-efficacy for teaching NOS; and the centrality of a metacognitive and learning-as-conceptual change framework. Findings from this research will inform the design of teacher education science courses and the pedagogical practices of preservice and inservice teachers.

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  • Myth busting and tenet building: Primary and early childhood teachers' understanding of the nature of science.

    Heap, R (2007)

    Masters thesis
    The University of Auckland Library

    A fundamental objective of science education is to provide students with the level of scientific literacy necessary to participate in a society increasingly dependent on science and technology. Central to definitions of this scientific literacy is an appreciation of the nature of science (NOS). The purpose of the research project was to identify the understandings of NOS of a cohort of practising primary and early childhood teachers, enrolled in a semester long science course as part of a Bachelor of Education degree. The research sought to examine their initial NOS understandings and mapped these understandings over the duration of the course in order to identify shifts in understanding and aspects of NOS resistant to change. The research was embedded in critical social science methodology. An explicit reflective approach was used throughout the course instruction to teach NOS tenets. Two frameworks were developed to analyse the data gathered, a myths framework and a NOS framework. Analysis of the pre-instruction views showed that the teachers initial understandings of NOS were fragmented, lacking in depth, inconsistent, fluid and revealed many myths of NOS. Over the duration of the course the teachers journals showed shifts in understanding: NOS tenets were more frequently expressed; there was an increase in the complexity of expression; and an increase in the integration or interrelatedness of NOS tenets. Factors which contributed to these shifts in understanding included the use of an explicit approach, consistency between explicit and implicit instruction, reflection, a conceptual change approach and the use of generic science-content-free NOS activities throughout the course. These findings suggest a need for NOS to be addressed in both pre-service teacher education and in-service teacher professional development programmes. The research has indicated that an explicit, reflective teaching approach is pedagogically effective for this need.

    View record details