Developing a Community of Practice to Support Preservice Elementary Teachers' Nature of Science Instruction

Akerson V. L., Donnelly L. A., Riggs M. L., Eastwood J. L.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SCIENCE EDUCATION, vol.34, no.9, pp.1371-1392, 2012 (SSCI) identifier identifier


This study explored 'To what extent will preservice teachers with adequate nature of science (NOS) conceptions and who participate in a community supporting NOS instruction teach NOS in their internship settings?' Using a combination of focus group discussions and peer feedback, five preservice teachers met with university personnel bi-monthly during their internships to share NOS teaching and assessment ideas and ask questions. Field notes and voice recordings were used to track conversations at focus group settings and videotapes were made of science instruction in each internship setting. None of the preservice teachers had cooperating teachers who taught NOS, yet results showed that all five preservice teachers were able to explicitly teach NOS in their science lessons, albeit in different ways and to different degrees.