Exploring the development of pre-service science teachers’ views on nature of science in inquiry-based laboratory instruction

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Sciences, Turkey

Approval Date: 2010

Thesis Language: English

Student: Sinan Özgelen



The purposes of this study were to explore understanding of preservice science teachers’ (PSTs) nature of science (NOS) views during the explicit-reflective and inquiry-based laboratory instruction and investigate PSTs’ perspectives and experiences related to learning NOS aspects in the science laboratory course. This study was carried out during the Laboratory Application in Science II course. A total of 45 PSTs participated to the study. The design of the study was qualitative and exploratory in nature. In the initial phase of the study, the researcher collected qualitative data with open-ended questionnaire to explore PSTs’ NOS views. Then, during the semester, reflection papers were collected to understand PSTs’ experiences with the intervention and to detect development about each NOS aspect. At the end of the semester, qualitative questionnaire and semi-structured interviews were conducted to determine the impact of the explicit-reflective and inquiry-based laboratory instruction. The results showed that all of the PSTs were able to make appropriate connections among the laboratory activities and the targeted NOS aspects at the end of the instruction. In addition, many PSTs developed their understanding levels of each aspect of nature of science. Moreover, findings revealed that some of the PSTs made connections among NOS aspects. Three main factors; discussions and presentations, using inquiry skills, and doing inquiry-based laboratory activities were determined as provide to PSTs to develop their NOS understanding. Furthermore, at the end PSTs developed their perspectives about teaching NOS.