Impact of a Nature of Science and Science Education Course on Teachers' Nature of Science Classroom Practices Chapter uri icon


  • 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. All rights reserved. Science education reform documents have for some time emphasized the need for accurate and effective nature of science (NOS) instruction. However, efforts to encourage teachers to consistently and effectively address the NOS have had mixed results. The first author developed a NOS course that promoted and modeled explicit and reflective NOS instruction, emphasizing the importance of incorporating NOS activities along a decontextualized to highly contextualized continuum and extensively scaffolding between those contexts (Clough, 2006). This study determined the quantity and quality of NOS instruction participants implemented during the following semester. Six teachers were observed on three occasions and interviewed afterwards. Their students completed a questionnaire indicating the kind and frequency of NOS instruction they experienced. Structured interviews were conducted with each teacher following the school year. Four of the six teachers consistently implemented NOS when teaching science content, and the remaining two teachers implemented NOS decontextually. While teachers at low levels of implementation cited institutional constraints hindering their efforts, high-level implementation teachers faced the same constraints. High implementation teachers are committed to teaching the NOS, exhibited risk-taking behaviors and a conscious awareness they were bucking the system. These teachers valued learning how to integrate NOS instruction within the science content they already teach, rather than adding numerous decontextualized NOS activities to an already overburdened curriculum.

author list (cited authors)

  • Clough, M. P., & Olson, J. K.

citation count

  • 16

complete list of authors

  • Clough, Michael P||Olson, Joanne K

Book Title


publication date

  • December 2012