A Comparative Analysis of NOSS Profiles on Nigerian and American Preservice, Secondary Science Teachers

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In this study American preservice science TEACHERS' responses on Kimball's Nature of Science Survey (NOSS) were used as a basis for analyzing the sense of the nature of science held by a group of Nigerian preservice science teachers. From an item-by-item comparison two salient differences were noted. These differences are quite interesting and important, and one would expect to see replication attempts in the near future. The primary difference was that the Nigerian students were much more inclined to see science as a way of producing useful technology. Given the national interests of a developing nation this is an understandable perception and one common among government policy makers. Nevertheless, it is a view with potential long-range dangers if this view of science is effectively transferred from teacher to student. For example, such a view is likely to raise false expectations in the general population, which when not achieved could result in widespread rejection of science. The second distinctive of the Nigerian students' sense of the nature of science had to do with the openness of science. These students perceived scientists as nationalistic and secretive about their work. This finding is troubling and indicates an important line of investigation: What image of science, especially Western science, is carried in the international media? How is that image understood in non-Western nations? What are the implications for international scientific cooperation?


SLCSP Paper #99

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Cobern, William W. "A comparative analysis of NOSS profiles on Nigerian and American preservice, secondary science teachers." Journal of Research in Science Teaching 26.6 (1989): 533-541.