Constructing views of science tied to issues of equity and diversity: A study of beginning science teachers



In this study, we examined the discursive and social practices of a teacher educator (the first author) and her eight beginning science teachers in a course on the nature of science and issues of equity and diversity. We focused our investigation on beginning science teachers' views of science and science teaching, as well as the grounds they offered for their views. We organized our discussion of the nature of science, teacher learning, and grounds for views along three dimensions: personal, social, and political. We found that beginning teachers routinely drew from only one of these three dimensions to support their views of the nature of science and ways to represent science to all students. In our implications, we recommend that teacher educators encourage teacher learners to examine personal, social, and political grounds carefully and critically in the process of constructing or revising their views. We argue that attention to these three dimensions of grounds for views will assist beginning teachers in adopting nature of science positions that are broad and complex, that more clearly reflect the goals of equity and excellence, and thus, that hold greater promise for achieving a science education inclusive of all students. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 40: 53–76, 2003