Teaching the Nature of Science Through Inquiry: The Results of a Three-year Professional Development Program
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This study assessed the components of a three year professional development program on participants' views nature of science (NOS), instructional practice to promote students' appropriate NOS views, and the influence of participants' instruction on elementary student NOS views. Using the VNOS-B and associated interviews the researchers tracked the changes in NOS views of teacher participants throughout the professional development program. The teachers participated in an explicit-reflective activities, embedded in a program that emphasized scientific inquiry, along with training in pedagogy, to help them improve their own elementary students' views of NOS. Elementary students were interviewed using a modified VNOS-B to track changes in their NOS views, using classroom observations to note teacher influences on student ideas. Analysis of the VNOS-B and modified VNOS-B showed that teachers and most grades of elementary students improved their views of NOS. The teachers also improved in their science pedagogy, as evidenced by analysis of their teaching. Implications for teacher professional development programs are made.