An exploratory study of Palestinian science teachers' views of the nature of science

Khaldi, Mousa M. M. (2010) An exploratory study of Palestinian science teachers' views of the nature of science. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This mixed methods study investigates Palestinian science teachers' views of the nature of science (NOS), with an in-depth exploration of the nature, causes and context of these views, and the possible reasons why teachers hold such views. The research provides suggestions of possible ways to improve Palestinian science teachers' views of NOS, and the factors within the Palestinian context that might either facilitate or hamper efforts to promote teachers' understanding of NOS.

Quantitative data were collected during the first phase of the study from a sample of 277 teachers working in three areas in Palestine. Twelve teachers were randomly selected for the second qualitative phase. In line with the regional and global literature, the results of the closed NOS survey, the open-ended questionnaire and the individual semi-structured interviews revealed that Palestinian science teachers hold relatively naive, traditional views of most of the main tenets of NOS.

During the qualitative phase, a series of semi-structured interviews was also carried out with ten Palestinian academics to explore in depth their views and suggestions concerning the nature, causes and context of teachers' views of NOS. They identified possible factors responsible for this apparent naivete in teachers' views and suggested ways to improve their understanding of NOS. The analysis of academics' responses revealed eight main factors that might explain the naivete of teachers' views of NOS: Palestinian socio-cultural background, education policy, teachers' own personal values, teaching approaches at school and university levels, science textbooks, teacher training programmes, educational supervision and school resources.

Possible ways to improve teachers' views of NOS could be grouped in six main areas: tertiary science teaching and teacher preparation programmes, teaching as a well-resourced profession, Palestinian science textbooks, education supervision and in-service teacher training, educational leadership and administration system, and public scientific literacy and critical awareness.

Finally, there is a consideration of the possible implications of these findings for teaching and teacher education in Palestine, for policy making bodies in the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, for methodology, and for future research in the area.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Gates, P.
McCarthy, S.
Keywords: Science teachers, educational leadership, Palestine, science, philosophy
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Education
Item ID: 13380
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2013 13:02
Last Modified: 27 Dec 2017 09:07

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