Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, Volume 8, Issue 1, Article 11 (June, 2007)
Beverley JANE, Marilyn FLEER & John GIPPS

Changing children's views of science and scientists through school-based teaching

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Changing children's views of science and scientists through school-based teaching

 1Beverley JANE, 2Marilyn FLEER, 3John GIPPS

Monash University

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Received 19 Apr., 2007
Revised 19 Jun., 2007



Stereotypical views of scientists portrayed in the media, and how science is currently taught in Australian schools, both contribute to many students not studying science beyond Year 10. Reports on the status of science teaching in primary schools still tend to focus on the individual teacher's lack of confidence and inadequate content knowledge, and the limited resources available to support science teaching. To date few studies have examined how pre-service teachers engage with science content and pedagogy. From a cultural-historical perspective, the data in this study took three forms. Firstly, children's drawings of scientists were collected. Secondly, children's comments about science before and after a teaching sequence in science were documented. Thirdly, pre-service teachers' reflections on the changes in children's views after the teaching sequence in primary classrooms. Data analysis showed that when each child is valued in a communal context, and engages in relevant, hands-on science activities, the children's views of scientists are challenged, with some beginning to see themselves as rudimentary scientists.


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