Research and Teaching: Scientist – Science Educator Collaborations—Do They Improve Student’s Understanding of the Nature of Science

by: Catherine Martin-Dunlop and Peter Hodum

This article describes a research study in which a biologist and his research on Antarctic seabirds became part of an integrated science course for prospective elementary teachers. Students used the scientist’s database on seabird chick growth rates for an experimental design investigation while the “regular” classes had a single science educator as their instructor and did not use the database but completed an investigation of their own choosing. Understandings of the nature of science before and after the course, and between classes that experienced the scientist – science educator collaboration and those that did not, were assessed using the Nature of Scientific Knowledge Survey. An attitude scale and interviews with students who used the seabird database were also used to collect data. Interviews revealed scientific habits of mind that could not be quantified with a questionnaire as well as understandings of aspects of the nature of science that have not been discussed in prior research.


Type Journal ArticlePub Date 11/1/2009Stock # jcst09_039_02_66Volume 039Issue 02

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