Date of Award

12-2011

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Science Education

First Advisor

Dr. William W. Cobern

Second Advisor

Dr. Renee Schwartz

Third Advisor

Dr. David Schuster

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

Science education programs in many countries promote effective teaching and learning to develop scientific literacy. Teaching about "Nature of Science" is important for scientific literacy; and the science teacher is an important actor to achieve this goal. The phrase "Nature of Science" refers to what science is, how it works, the epistemological and ontological foundations of science, how scientists function as a social group, and how society influences and reacts to scientific endeavors. The purpose of this Q methodology study is to describe how secondary school science teachers in Turkey understand specific aspects of nature of science, including views of scientific methods.

Six secondary school science teachers were recruited from public schools in Anatolia, Turkey. Statements from the Nature of Science Scale (NOSS) were used for the Q-sort. In this interview study, subjects were shown a set of statements which they ranked from most agree to least agree. Data were analyzed using Q methodology. By rotating the Q sorts using graphical and varimax rotation, the significant factors were extracted. The graphical rotation accounted for all 6 sorts on a single factor, which is called the "Omnibus Factor." A varimax rotation accounted for 5 of 6 sorts with three sub-factors. Overall, the results indicate the Turkish secondary school science teachers' in this study hold a narrow view of scientific method as the approach all scientists use, believe in the importance of team research as compared to individual work, and consider the purpose of scientific work to be for the betterment of human life.

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