Is consensus generalizable? A study of Chinese science teacher educators’ views of nature of science content to be taught

Zhihong WAN, Siu Ling WONG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Nature of science (NOS) is a contested issue. It is argued by essentialists that regardless of the debates on the ultimate NOS, there exists a considerable consensus regarding NOS content to be taught and these agreed-on NOS tenets should be the focus of NOS instruction. The essentialists’ basic assumption is that the consensus does exist among people on what ideas about science should be taught. The data reported in this paper contributes to discussing this assumption, which is a part of the findings in a study investigating Chinese teacher educators’ conceptions of teaching NOS to prospective science teachers through two semi-structured interviews. The explorative approach was adopted to analyze the data collected in this study. A prominent theme emerging from the data was their views of NOS content to be taught. Among the NOS elements included by Chinese science teacher educators in their NOS content to be taught, there were five suggested by more than a half of the educators, which consists of (i) empirical basis of scientific investigation, (ii) logics in scientific investigation, (iii) progressive nature of scientific knowledge, (iv) realist views of mind and natural world, and (v) general process of scientific investigation. These five elements reflect a distinctive positivist tendency. This paper discusses the ideological context in China in which such tendency is embedded. Copyright © 2013 HKIEd APFSLT.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8
JournalAsia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching
Volume14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

Citation

Wan, Z. H., & Wong, S. L. (2013). Is consensus generalizable? A study of Chinese science teacher educators’ views of nature of science content to be taught. Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, 14(2), Article 8.

Keywords

  • Nature of science
  • Science teacher educator
  • China

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