Investigating pre-service science teachers’ understandings and use of models

Yenilmez Türkoğlu, Ayşe
To gain a better understanding of pre-service science teachers’ (PSTs’) views of models, a case study was conducted with fourteen PSTs in a large public university in Ankara. The study aims to provide an answer to the research question, ‘What understandings do PSTs possess about scientific models and the models used in science education?’ and to explore how they use these models in their classroom practices. Data were collected using an open-item instrument, semi-structured interviews, class observations, and lesson plans; and were analyzed using qualitative data analyses methods, where transcriptions from the instrument and interviews were repeatedly examined for the purpose of revealing the codes and categories about PSTs’ understandings of models, while lesson plans and class observations were examined in terms of their use of models in classroom practices. Findings showed that PSTs held fragmented views of models by having informed views in some aspects while having naïve views on other aspects. While they displayed a ‘constructivist orientation’ by acknowledging the presence of multiple models for the same phenomenon depending on scientists’ perspective or creativity involved in the production of scientific knowledge, the PSTs also expressed ‘logical positivist’ views by believing that models should be close to the real phenomena. Further, although PSTs perceived models as useful tools for teaching science and showed strong willingness towards using them, they had difficulties in integrating them in their classroom practices. These findings evidenced the intention-practice gap and the need to support PSTs in terms of pedagogical content knowledge about models.


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Citation Formats
A. Yenilmez Türkoğlu, “Investigating pre-service science teachers’ understandings and use of models,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2013.