Nature of science (NOS) is beginning to find its place in the science education in China. In a study which investigated Chinese science teacher educators’ conceptions of teaching NOS to prospective science teachers through semi-structured interviews, five key dimensions emerged from the data. This paper focuses on the dimension, NOS content to be taught to prospective science teachers. Among a total of twenty NOS elements considered by the Chinese science teacher educators to be important ideas to be taught, five were suggested by no less than a half of the educators. They are (1) empirical basis of scientific investigation, (2) logics in scientific investigation, (3) general process of scientific investigation, (4) progressive nature of scientific knowledge, and (5) realist views of mind and natural world. This paper discusses the influence of Marxism, a special sociocultural factor in China, on Chinese science teacher educators’ conceptions of NOS content to be taught to prospective science teachers. We argue the importance of considering ideological traditions (mainly those in general philosophy and religion) when interpreting views of NOS or its content to be taught in different countries and regions and understanding students’ conceptual ecology of learning NOS. Copyright © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V..