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Volume :13 Issue : 49 1998      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Underpinnings of Scientific Literacy development and deccision making in Science Education

Auther : Nabeel A. Fadl

The focus of this study is to investigate the manner and degree to which science teachers consider the nature of the subject matter in their decision making addressing the planning and delivery of instructional tasks. An assumption of the study is that decision making concerning what and how to teach.

To achieve the purpose of this study, three determinant factors for science education have been selected: science textbooks - teachers instructional planning - classroom questioning. Methods of data collection that include a complementary set of qualitative research methods: Content analysis - analysis of documents - interviews - surveys - observations - educational ethnographic. Three research tools have been used for analyzing science textbooks, evaluating teachers lesson planning and identifying classroom questions.

Relevant research literature reviewed included (1) scientific literacy aspects, (2) modern philosophies of science and science education, and (3) the nature of human decision making. The validity of research findings is established from the triangulation of textbooks analysis, documents, interviews, surveys and observations.

Based on the results of this study it is concluded that science teachers give little, if any, consideration to the nature of science in decision making which is related to the content of textbooks, teaching planning and classroom questioning. This conclusion is consistent with the results of previous studies. The instruction of teachers was observed to determine the extent to which they made linkage between science content and its societal, reasoning, historical, and attitudinal implications. One of the significant findings of this study is that teachers rarely or never address the noncontent components of science in their presentations and academic work assignments. Consequently, we can conclude that there is a large gap between scientific literacy as a goal of science instruction and the current teaching practices.

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