Developing and acting upon one's conception of the nature of science: A follow-up study

Randy L. Bell, Norman G. Lederman, Fouad Abd-El-Khalick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed to delineate the factors mediating the translation of preservice teachers' conceptions of the nature of science into instructional planning and classroom practice. Additionally, the study assessed the influence of temporally separating teaching preservice teachers about the nature of science and teaching them how to address it instructionally. This latter intervention was based on the results of a previous investigation. Prior to student teaching, the 13 participants responded to an open-ended questionnaire designed to assess conceptions of the nature of science. Throughout student teaching, daily lesson plans, classroom videotapes, portfolios, and supervisors' weekly clinical observation notes were collected and searched for explicit instances of nature of science planning and/or instruction. Following student teaching, participants were interviewed to validate their responses to the open-ended questionnaire, identify factors that mediate the translation of their conceptions of the nature of science into classroom teaching, and explicate their pedagogical preferences for teaching the nature of science. Participants possessed adequate understanding of several aspects of the nature of science and, contrary to the results of the earlier investigation, most did not conflate the nature of science with science processes. Furthermore, several participants explicitly addressed some aspects of the nature of science during classroom instruction. Participants, however, failed to include the nature of science among their instructional objectives and did not make a concerted effort to assess student understandings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-581
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Research in Science Teaching
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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