Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Effectiveness of the Conceptual Change Approach, Explicit Reflective Approach, and Course Book by the Ministry of Education on the Views of the Nature of Science and Conceptual Change in Light Unit*

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Effectiveness of the Conceptual Change Approach, Explicit Reflective Approach, and Course Book by the Ministry of Education on the Views of the Nature of Science and Conceptual Change in Light Unit*

Article excerpt

Abstract

The aim of this study was to analyze the effectiveness of the conceptual change approach, explicit reflective ap-oroach, and the course book by the Ministry of Education on the views toward the nature of science and conceptual change in the Light unit. Three study groups were selected from several seventh grade classes. Two of the three classes, including 22 students, were assigned to participate in the experimental study group and the other was assigned as a control group. A conceptual change approach was used in one of the groups, whereas explicit -effective approach was used in the other one. An open-ended guestionnaire on the views of nature of science ir conjunction with semi-structured interviews, and the Conceptual Test of Light Unit were used to collect the data The students' views toward the nature of science were analysed in informed, transitional, and naive categories The Kruskall-Wallis Test and Wilcoxon signed-rank test were used for the analysis of the conceptual test data. It was determined that the most effective way to teach the nature of science was the conceptual change approach Three teaching methods contributed positively to the conceptual change about light, but it was found out that the effects of course book of Ministry of Education were not long term. It is recommended that the conceptual change text and concept clipboards should be used together in teaching the nature of science.

Key Words

Mature of Science, Conceptual Change Text, Concept Clipboard, Explicit Reflective Approach, and Light.

One of the most important aims of science education is to help students comprehend the nature of science (NOS). This purpose holds a central place in science education policies (American Association for the Advancement of Science [AAAS], 1993; National Research Council [NRC], 1996) as well as in the science curricula in many countries (e.g., Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Turkey, US, and Zambia). But, NOS education is not given importance in schools (Karakas, 2009; Kattoula, Verma, & Martin-Hansen, 2009). Moreover, the science education that is practiced in schools is inadequate and does not enable students to understand contemporary views on the NOS. This lack of understanding contributes to the development of alternative concepts (Ibanez-Orcajo & Martinez-Aznar, 2007; McComas, 1996, 2000; Rannikmae, Rannikmae, & Holbrook, 2006). Typically, NOS refers to the epistemology of science, science as a way of knowing, or the values and beliefs inherent to the development of scientific knowledge (Lederman, 1992). It has been stated that primary school students can understand tentative, empirical, imaginative, creative, and inferential aspects of NOS. For this reason, we discuss these four aspects of NOS in this study (NRC, 1996; Milli Egitim Bakanligi [MEB], 2006).

The studies conducted revealed that the students at different learning levels (Dawkins & Dickerson, 2003; Kang, Scharman, & Noh, 2005; Parker, Krockover, Lasher-Trapp, & Eichinger, 2008), the teachers, and the prospective teachers (Abd-El-Khalick & Lederman, 2000b; Buara-phan & Sung-Ong, 2009; Chin, 2005; Irez, Çakir, & Dogan, 2006; Yalvaç, Tekkaya, Çakiroglu, & Kahyaoglu, 2007) had a naive/inadequate view of NOS, and they had misconceptions about some concepts. This led us to determine that NOS is inadequately understood, which raised the question of how this subject can be effectively taught. Additionally, studies have revealed that the explicit reflective approach is the most effective way of teaching the NOS (Lederman, 2006), but this approach is also insufficient in teaching some aspects of the NOS (Akerson, Morrison, & McDuffie, 2006; Çelik & Bayrakçeken, 2006; Da-gher, Brickhouse, Shipman, & Letts, 2004). Consequently, new expansions of the explicit reflective approach are needed to increase its efficacy. One such expansion is conceptual change philosophy (Abd-El-Khalick & Lederman, 2000a; Khishfe & Abd-El-Khalick, 2002). …

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