Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Influence of Documentary Films on 8th Grade Students' Views about Nature of Science *

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Influence of Documentary Films on 8th Grade Students' Views about Nature of Science *

Article excerpt

Cultivating engaged and scientifically literate citizens is defined as one of the main objectives of several science curricula and policy documents; namely, the American Association for the Advancement of Science [AAAS], 1990; the National Research Council [NRC], 1996; the NGSS Lead States, 2013; Nuffield Twenty First Century Science, 2007; and in the Turkish Science and Technology Education Curriculum (Milli Egitim Bakanligi [MEB], 2005, 2013). Understanding nature of science is seen as an essential and critical component of scientific literacy in these documents and curricula (Lederman, 2007). The phrase, nature of science, usually is used to refer to "the epistemology and sociology of science, science as a way of knowing, or the values and beliefs inherent to scientific knowledge and its development" (Lederman, Abd-El-Khalick, Bell & Schwartz, 2002, p. 498). In the literature in most cases the phrase nature of science has been used to refer to nature of scientific knowledge or the phrase nature of science and nature of scientific knowledge have been used interchangeably; nonetheless, they are quite different (Hodson, 2014). That has caused some misunderstanding; therefore, in this paper NOS refers to nature of scientific knowledge (Lederman, Antink, & Bartos, 2014). Although there is no single and universally accepted definition of NOS (Erduran & Dagher, 2014) at present significant academic consensus has been achieved on which aspects of NOS are to be taught in school science classes (Lederman et al., 2002; Smith, Lederman, Bell, McComas, & Clough, 1997; Smith & Scharman, 1999). These aspects include teaching students that scientific knowledge, its "facts," "theories," and "laws" are both reliable and tentative (NOS-1), empirically based (based on and/or derived from observations of the natural world) (NOS-2), subjective and/or theory-laden (NOS-3), partly the product of human imagination and creativity (NOS-4), subject to a distinction between observations and inferences (NOS-5), influenced by social and cultural factors (NOS6), and that theories and laws are different kinds of knowledge (NOS-7) (Lederman, 1992, 2007). It was suggested that the first five aspects (NOS1-5) would be suitable for middle school students (Akerson, Abd-El-Khalick, & Lederman, 2000; Akerson & Donnelly, 2010; Parker, 2010). Since these five aspects are also the main focus of the Turkish science curriculum (MEB, 2005, 2013), this study focuses on them. The results of performing an intensive study on students, teachers, and scientists' views on NOS show that the greater majority of them hold a variety of naïve views toward NOS (Aydeniz, Baksa, & Skinner, 2011; Cakmakci, 2012; Lederman, 2007; McComas, 1998; Schwartz, Lederman, & Crawford, 2004). Therefore, strategies that encourage students and teachers to understand NOS have become desirable. Generally speaking, researchers have used either an implicit or explicit approach in their attempts to enhance students' and teachers' views regarding NOS (Akerson & Donnelly, 2010; Akerson et al., 2000; Khishfe & Abd-El-Khalick, 2002; Parker, 2010). Recently, reflective elements have also been given prominence within the explicit approach (Lederman, 2007) with several researchers having proposed that using an explicit-reflective approach to develop students' NOS views was more effective than an implicit approach (Cakmakci, 2012; Kaya, 2011; Khishfe & Abd-El-Khalick, 2002; Küçük, 2006). In this study, an explicit-reflective instruction of NOS was used as a pedagogical framework in the context of documentary films. Using scenes from thought-provoking documentary films can offer a context-oriented learning environment (Clough, 2006; Guerra-Ramos, Ryder, & Leach, 2010; Lederman et al., 2014) that can be used to explicitly discuss historical processes and practices that have advanced scientific and technological knowledge (Blasco, Moreto, Roncoletta, Levites, & Janaudis, 2006; Dark, 2005; Efthimiou & Llewellyn, 2006, 2007; Öztas, 2008; Piliouras, Siakas, & Seroglou, 2011; Rose, 2003; Weber & Silk, 2007). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.