INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SCIENCE EDUCATION, vol.41, pp.2765-2787, 2019 (SSCI)
This study incorporated Nature of Science (NOS) within children's literature in a science methods course to aid preservice early childhood teachers in improving their NOS understandings and abilities to transfer NOS into formats accessible to early childhood students. Through a qualitative research design, researchers collected data including pre and post VNOS-B responses, lesson plans, lesson reflections, and copies of NOS children's books developed by preservice early childhood teachers. The instructor modelled use of children's literature, debriefing of inquiry lessons, and reflection to teach young children about NOS. Results showed that preservice teachers not only refined their conceptions of NOS, but were able to conceptualise ways to teach NOS to young children. They were able to plan, deliver, and reflect upon their teaching, and design a children's picture book to teach about NOS. The researchers found nearly all of the preservice teachers portrayed NOS aspects accurately through their stories, and the stories could introduce these NOS ideas to early childhood students. The preservice early childhood teachers refined their own understandings of NOS through the assignment. Incorporating children's literature and reflective writing seems a powerful tool for teaching about NOS to early childhood teachers, and to portray NOS to early childhood students.