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Abstract Detail

Teaching Section

Ozturk, Gokhan [1].

The Nature of PlantingScience: First Hand Information from the Student-Scientist Dialogs.

Traditional science classroom experiments have oftentimes fallen short of the goal of providing a real scientific experience for students. As a result, researchers have worked to develop a new understanding of science teaching which integrates authentic science activities into science classrooms. Scientific inquiry is one method of science teaching that has received support from national and international standards documents in the last decade. However, inquiry can be challenging for teachers who lack confidence in presenting science processes and the nature of science to their students. An inquiry-based, online mentored learning platform called PlantingScience was developed by the Botanical Society of America to help address this problem. PlantingScience enables students to learn and get first hand information about how science works and what scientists do. Through its online platform, it links real scientists to the students in the classroom through an authentic student-scientist mentorship. The following study has been conducted to understand how scientists talk about the nature and features of science, specifically botanical science. A qualitative approach has been chosen to better understand the dialogs between students and scientists. The sample of the analysis was recruited from three schools, including 16 student inquiry groups and their assigned scientist-mentors. A grounded theory research approach with a constant comparison technique was used for analysis of the data obtained from the student-scientist dialogs. According to the results of the analysis, 14 themes regarding the nature of science emerged. After a detailed comparison, the 14 themes were decreased to less than nine constellations. The themes obtained include: reliability and validity of scientific knowledge, curiosity and interest in science, error and unpredicted results, limitations of science, communication among scientists, science is not linear, role of prediction, science as a human activity, and science for others. Based on the comparisons among the three separate classroom groups, it is concluded that some themes regarding the nature of science are common and can be named as core aspects of science whereas other themes are dynamic in terms of their appearance within student-scientist dialogs. This study has three basic implications for science teaching. First, it gives us clues about what scientists talk about when they are doing inquiry with students. Second, we can conceptualize what the core and dynamic features of science are, especially botanical science. Third and finally, results of this study may help teachers and educators better understand the specificity of the nature and features of science.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Texas A&M University, Teaching, Learning, And Culture, College of Education & Human Development, Mail Stop 4232, College Station, TX, 77843-4232, USA

inquiry-based learning
Science Education
nature of science

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 27
Location: Delaware A/Hyatt
Date: Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
Time: 11:30 AM
Number: 27011
Abstract ID:917

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