Bridging the Gap Between Preservice Early Childhood Teachers’ Cultural Values, Perceptions of Values Held by Scientists, and the Relationships of These Values to Conceptions of Nature of Science

Published: 
Mar. 01, 2012

Source: Journal of Science Teacher Education, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 133-157. March 2012

This study examined preservice teachers’ views of their own cultural values, the cultural values they believed scientists hold, and the relationships of these views to their conceptions of nature of science (NOS).

Parallel assignments in a foundations of early childhood education and a science methods course required preservice teachers to explore their own cultural backgrounds and their perceptions of the cultural backgrounds of scientists.

The Schwartz Values Inventory was used to measure preservice teachers’ personal cultural values and those they perceived of scientists.
The Views of Nature of Science version B questionnaire and interviews assessed teachers’ conceptions of NOS.


The authors found that from the beginning to the end of the semester, preservice teachers perceived fewer differences between their own cultural values and those they perceived scientists held, though they did not change their own cultural values.
The authors found that preservice teachers’ NOS conceptions improved, and that they were related to both their cultural values and those they perceived scientists held.

Preservice teachers who indicated the fewest differences between their own cultural values and those they perceived scientists held the most informed conceptions of NOS.

Updated: Apr. 22, 2013
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