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José Antonio Acevedo Díaz
Revista Eureka sobre Enseñanza y Divulgación de las Ciencias
Researchers, Teachers
3 – 10 pages
The teacher training for effective implementation of teaching of the nature of science (NOS) is a key issue in the current science education. Last several years researches show us that science teachers have not a good understanding of NOS. It´s necessary to pay more attention to nature of science. In this paper, author exposes the main components of Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) for NOS because a good knowledge of NOS is not enough and teachers need a good knowledge about scientific subjects, student ideas and contemporary point of views about science.
There are several contexts to display the NOS in the classroom: activities about scientific inquiry and construction of scientific knowledge, scientific subjects with social interest and historical examples about science practice. And if we want that contexts be effective, we have to apply a thoughtful and critical approach. Also, students should be allowed to discuss about hypothesis, research cases and science as a human activity that explains and describes phenomena, influenced by culture and society. All these aspects must be present in teacher training courses.
In brief, a science teacher must have at least knowledge about:
- Principal features of NOS.
- Confidence in his ability to teach NOS.
- Scientific contents, historic development and empirical nature.
- Interesting STS contents.
- General and Specific Didactics knowledge.
- Didactic resources about NOS for the work in the classroom.
- Knowledge about NOS evaluation.
Finally, the author shows us that science teaching is not an easy process. There are a lot of obstacles to get a quality teaching of NOS. To be an experienced teacher is not a guarantee of a successful NOS teaching, so we must pay attention to teaching experiences about NOS and the science education should investigate them.
This paper shows the importance of teaching of the nature of science to science teachers and science education researchers. The importance of teaching the nature of science is extended to new science teachers and has to get in their professional development; because of it NOS contents must be included in future science teachers training programs.
The author proposes several necessary contexts to display the NOS in the clasroom, and proposes the use of an explicit and reflective approach. The paper defends that it´s important for science teachers not only know NOS contents, but also know the interactions between science and society and promote the interest of pupils in discussions and scientific thinking about how the science is constructed. This paper open a door to the research in the nature of the science as human activity and it ask for student participation in a teaching based on scientific thinking.

Comments about this Publication

Your comments are welcome

Date: 2014.10.06

Posted by A.J. Torres (Spain)

Message: This paper is very relevant in teacher training because shows the importance of teaching of the nature of science to science teachers. The importance of teaching the nature of science is a basic aim to future science teachers training and must be reflected in their training programs.
The author proposes several necessary contexts to display this contents in the classroom, proposes the use of an explicit and reflective approach and defends that it´s important for science teachers not only know nature of science contents, but also know STS contents and promote the interest of pupils in discussions and scientific thinking about how the science is constructed. The role of ICTs activities presented in the document is very important for the development of the Sciences Curriculum. The paper suggests a new approach for teaching and learning science in general and particularly in chemistry. Knowledge about nature of science must be a competence that teachers should develop to enhance students´ interest and learning for chemistry. I consider the article relevant because it offers new teaching approaches and resources to work with my students.

Date: 2013.11.25

Posted by Gülşah Tanrıverdi (Turkey)

Message: The main focus of this essay is how the teachers who teach chemistry are trained. It also puts emphasis on how the teachers of science are prepared. It has an effect on many European countries, which is usual, in my opinion. The studies which have been conducted during the last two decades illustrates the fact that the educational levels of the science teachers are totally different from one another. I think this article is important because it depicts and puts emphasis on the importance of Science Teachers’ proper training taking as a right previous experience. It puts forwards the fact that teaching training is a necessary topic in order to apply teaching of the nature of science ( NOS) in an effective way and the productivity is reduced as teachers’ training on this matter is not enough. It is worthy spotlighting the part of the article that the writer lists those sides which teachers had better keep in mind while they are teaching in order that they will success appropriate improvement of science knowledge, socio-scientific aspects, investigation aspects, general didactics information, materials, resources and assessment mechanisms after examining the problem and the possible backfiring for formative actions.
Furthermore, it Is eccentric article in the sense that it attracts readers’ attention to a disregarded aspect of teacher training. That is to say, it attracts the attention to the need for a certain information of the nature of sciences. For my opinion, the three methods which are mentioned in the article are really productive. But the first one is less appropriate for the Italian schools just in terms of the well-known practical topics. Lastly, it proposes objective hints with the aim of following in the sciences teaching process, which makes it quite an informative and objective piece of research.

Date: 2013.07.17

Posted by Daniel Petkov (Bulgaria)

Message: This article focuses on the training of teachers who teach the science of chemistry. It affects a problem, I think typical of most European countries. The authors study of the last two decades shows that science teachers are at different educational levels. They focus on some requirements for teacher education:
- To possess the necessary academic level of the subjects they teach;
- To maintain an appropriate level of scientific training, especially for the subject area they teach, as required at the time of starting their career, and in the course of work, and monitor developments in this subject area.
- To be aware of the practical and technological aspects of the scientific disciplines they teach;
The authors bring forward the scientific principle as the main strength of the teacher.
The scientific principle is realized through proper selection of the subject content and methods and means of disclosing it to the audience. The essence of this principle lies in providing students with solid scientific knowledge i.e. established principles of science to be used for teaching and learning proper methods and forms of education.
The scientific training is mainly reflected in the credibility of the studied facts and phenomena and in their scientific explanation.
I agree with the following recommendations:
- Teachers to be included in ongoing training programs;
- Teachers to improve their professional skills;
- Teachers to encourage students to engage in discussions where they show scientific thinking;
- Analyzing the best pedagogical practices;
- Pupils to discuss hypotheses and speculations about results;
- Students to carry out research;
In conclusion, the understanding of science, develops students’ thinking and can help them overcome the challenges of this century.

Date: 2013.07.09

Posted by José Ángel Ruiz (Spain)

Message: This article is particularly important as it describes and points out the importance of Sciences teachers’ appropriate training taking as a basis previous experiences. It claims that teacher training is an essential issue for the effective implementation of teaching of the nature of science (NOS) in the current science education and that effectiveness is reduced when teachers´ training on this subject is scarce.

It is worthwhile to highlight the part of the article in which, after analyzing the problem and possible repercussions for formative actions, the author enumerates those aspects teachers should bear in mind when teaching in order to achieve adequate development of science knowledge: socio-scientific aspects, investigation procedures, general didactics knowledge, materials, resources and assessment mechanisms.

Moreover, it is an interesting article in the sense that it draws readers´ attention to a neglected aspect of teacher training, i. e., the need for a precise knowledge of the nature of sciences. Finally, it also offers concrete tips to follow in the sciences teaching process, which makes it a highly clarifying and concrete piece of research.

Date: 2013.06.19

Posted by Anna Pitto (Italy)

Message: Subject of the article is the teaching of nature of science and the preparation of future teachers, but also of those in service.
Personally I did not like the article, I found it repetitive and long-winded, but trying to squeeze out the gist I have found statements on which I fully agree, and that is:
-The knowledge of a subject is not enough to teach it effectively, other conditions necessary are: be the master of the subject, have the desire to teach, learn about the students\' beliefs about it.
-The topic \"nature of science\" can be usefully introduced taking advantage of contexts such as: laboratory investigations, discussion of technical-scientific controversial issues of social interest, the study of the historical path of some scientific investigations chosen as an example.
- For an effective acquisition of the argument is required, however, also a period of reflection on the nature of science as such, if only because it is meta-knowledge. Students should therefore be encouraged to reflect on the way of thinking that they themselves have used in work contexts mentioned above.
- This work, among other things, requires and develops high-level cognitive capacity.
It is never specifically for the teaching of chemistry, rather than of science in general, since the object of discussion (the nature of science), the chemistry falls fully among the disciplines interested in this type of meta-content, so all article may relate to chemistry teachers, no less than those of other scientific disciplines.
If we want to consider as \"different approaches and methods\" the survey in the laboratory, the discussion between students and the historical approach, the article encourages us to experience them as starting position before the explicit reflection on the nature of scientific work
In my opinion, all three methods are fruitful, the first (the laboratory) less and less appropriate to the context of the Italian school, only for the well-known practical issues-economic (reduction of hours, increase in the number of pupils, etc..).

National Reports on successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry The national reports on chemistry successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry are now available on the related section of the project portal. The reports presents examples of successful experiences in the partner countries and the results of testing of ICT resources with science teachers.