Investigation of preservice elementary teachers' thinking about science

Authors

  • William W. Cobern,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leadership, Western Michigan University, 2112 Sangren Hall, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49008
    • Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leadership, Western Michigan University, 2112 Sangren Hall, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49008.
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  • Cathleen C. Loving

    1. Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-4232
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Abstract

It is not uncommon to find media reports on the failures of science education, nor uncommon to hear prestigious scientists publicly lament the rise of antiscience attitudes. Given the position elementary teachers have in influencing children, antiscience sentiment among them would be a significant concern. Hence, this article reports on an investigation in which preservice elementary teachers responded to the Thinking about Science survey instrument. This newly developed instrument addresses the broadrelationship of science to nine important areas of society and culture and is intended to reveal the extent of views being consistent with or disagreeing with a commonly held worldview of science portrayed in the media and in popular science and science education literature. Results indicate that elementary teachers discriminate with respect to different aspects of culture and science but they are not antiscience. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 39: 1016–1031, 2002

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