Developing Content Knowledge in Students Through Explicit Teaching of the Nature of Science: Influences of Goal Setting and Self-Monitoring

Science & Education (Impact Factor: 0.72). 06/2009; 18(9):1-18. DOI: 10.1007/s11191-009-9219-1

ABSTRACT Knowledge about the nature of science has been advocated as an important component of science because it provides a framework
on which the students can incorporate content knowledge. However, little empirical evidence has been provided that links nature
of science knowledge with content knowledge. The purpose of this mixed method study was to determine if both nature of science
knowledge and content knowledge could be increased with an explicit, reflective nature of science intervention utilizing self-regulation
over an implicit group. Results showed that the explicit group significantly outperformed the implicit group on both nature
of science and content knowledge assessments. Students in the explicit group also demonstrated a greater use of detail in
their inquiry work and reported a higher respect for evidence in making conclusions than the implicit group. Implications
suggest that science educators could enhance nature of science instruction using goal setting and self-monitoring of student
work during inquiry lessons.

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    ABSTRACT: This paper refers to the development of a teaching innovation for the nature of science (NOS), for students aged 11–15, which specifically focuses on the interrelationship between science and technology. The development of the teaching and learning materials relied on inputs from three sources: the history and philosophy of science and technology, existing knowledge concerning the teaching and learning about the NOS, empirical data on students’ initial ideas and difficulties about this topic. The first served to provide an account for the various forms of interaction between science and technology, which, in turn, guided the formulation of epistemologically coherent learning objectives. The second provided the pedagogical grounds on which to base the design of the activities. The third facilitated the design of activities that build on students’ productive initial ideas, while providing them with guidance to resolve the difficulties they tend to encounter. In this paper, we describe the rationale underlying the teaching and learning materials and we describe the activity sequence they embody.
    Science & Education 20(10):981-1005. · 0.72 Impact Factor

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