Exploring a Grade 11 Teacher’s Conceptions of the Nature of Science
AbstractTeachers’ conceptions of the Nature of Science (NOS) are central to their instructional decisions and classroom practices. This study aimed at exploring beliefs and understanding of the NOS from a grade 11 Physical Science teacher in relation to her classroom practice. It focused on a single teacher, Ms Seperepere (pseudonym) working in a rural school in the Limpopo Province, South Africa. Data on her conceptions of the NOS were gathered using open-ended questionnaire and lesson observations. The analysis of data indicated that Ms Seperepere held fairly mixed views of the NOS that were also reflected in her classroom practice. The study recommends the NOS to be taught explicitly to student teachers and in-service teachers so as to enable them acquire informed views of NOS. With informed views of the NOS, teachers will be able to design and implement their lessons to promote knowledge and skills in scientific inquiry, understanding of the NOS and the application of the scientific knowledge; as stipulated in the South African Physical Science curriculum.
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