Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, Volume 9, Issue 1, Article 1 (June, 2008)
Ling L. Liang, Sufen Chen, Xian Chen, Osman Nafiz Kaya, April Dean Adams, Monica Macklin and Jazlin Ebenezer
Assessing preservice elementary teachers’ views on the nature of scientific knowledge: A dual-response instrument

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According to the existing literature, understanding of the nature of science (NOS) as one of the goals of science instruction in the USA can at least be traced to the beginning of the 20th century (Central Association of Science and Mathematics Teachers, 1907).  In the most recent science education reform movements, scientific inquiry and NOS have again been identified as critical elements for developing scientific literacy of all learners at K-16 levels (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1993; National Research Council, 1996). However, NOS studies consistently show that neither students nor schoolteachers have adequate understanding about how science research is conducted or how scientific knowledge develops (e.g., Aikenhead 1987; Cooley & Klopfer, 1963; Lederman, 1992; Rubba & Anderson, 1978; Abd-El-Khalick & Lederman, 2000a, 2000b). This has concerned science educators, curriculum developers, and science education researchers at both national and international levels.  Furthermore, the assessment of learners’ NOS views remains an issue in research. A valid and meaningful instrument, which can be used as either a summative or formative assessment tool in small and/or large scale studies, is needed to track learners’ growth and promote evidence-based practice in the learning and teaching of science. This has led to the development of the SUSSI instrument. It is envisioned that SUSSI can create a shared frame of reference for discussing issues related to learning and teaching the nature of scientific knowledge development.

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