If we may paraphrase and adapt from feminist scholars, there are voices of people that need to be heard if scholars intend to have a valid understanding of people and their behavior. The feminist scholars were of course seeking ways of making women’s voices heard but the importance of their work exceeds gender issues. It is important for restoring the image of people as persons rather than as objects of research. As we have undertaken it, the foundational perspective of worldview research is that one must hear from students and science teachers about themselves. We thus suggest it is important for science educators to understand the fundamental, culturally based beliefs about the world that students and teachers bring to class; because, science education is successful only to the extent that science can find a niche in the cognitive and cultural milieus of students. The purpose of this article is to present an new interpretive methodology for exploring worldview presuppositions about the natural world through the language and ideas voluntarily expressed by science teachers and students. The methodology addresses the broad question, What is it that people think about nature or the natural world? The research objective of the methodology is to map the qualitatively different conceptualizations of nature held by people and thus to better understand the place science finds in those conceptualizations. The methodology is a modified naturalistic inquiry, interview technique. The audio taped interviews are semi-structured in that an interview involves elicitation devices designed to encourage a person to talk at length about nature. The findings are assertions based on concept maps and first person interpretive narratives derived from the interviews. The intention is to develop working hypotheses in the form of interpretive assertions through an emergent design. While the method described here is specifically about the essence of nature, similar methodology is used for investigating other worldview categories with respect to science understanding. “
WMU ScholarWorks Citation
Cobern, William W. and Gibson, Adrienne T., "Conceptualizations of Nature and Scientific Literacy, Part I: Research Methodology" (1994). Scientific Literacy and Cultural Studies Project . 28.