DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017/54/S22.012


J. Torres,R. Moura, C. Vasconcelos
Tuesday 12 September 2017 by Libadmin2017

References: 17th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2017, www.sgem.org, SGEM2017 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-11-9 / ISSN 1314-2704, 29 June - 5 July, 2017, Vol. 17, Issue 54, 89-96 pp, DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017/54/S22.012


Employing models in science teaching is considered to be fundamental for an authentic learning of science. In fact, the use of models in science classes may help students in the development of a better understanding of scientific content, of inquiry skills and also in the understanding of the nature of models and of the nature of science. Also, the analysis of historical models may also play a major contribution to the understanding of scientific knowledge construction and development. Moreover, in geoscience education models acquire an even greater relevance, as geology deals with processes and forces that cannot be directly perceived, and students may develop important geological reasoning skills. Nonetheless, some studies reveal that science teachers do not possess accurate views regarding models and the nature of science. It is also shown that teachers do not use models very often in their classes and that they do not implement activities which foster students’ views of the nature of science. As a result, we considered important to develop science teachers’ views of the nature of science and regarding models, in a way that may contribute to the improvement of their teaching. This study is part of a broader research which aims to improve prospective science teachers’ views of the nature of science and models, so as to promote an efficient and explicit instruction of the nature of science, as well as an appropriate use of models in their future teaching practices. Ultimately, it was intended to better understand the factors that influence the translation of teachers’ conceptions into their teaching practices. Having this in mind, we planned and implemented an intervention programme to prospective science teachers and we evaluated their views (by means of questionnaires and interviews). Afterwards, we observe their classes in their internship and conducted more interviews. Nine Portuguese prospective science teachers, that will teach geology and biology in middle and secondary schools, voluntarily participated in this research (nine in the first part and six of them in the second part). This study is integrated in the second part of the research and it is focused in the last interviews, which were analysed with the help of the Q.S.R. NVivo 10 qualitative data analysis package. The most relevant results are presented and discussed, revealing the main perceptions of prospective science teachers when implementing modelling activities and when teaching NOS during their internship and the reasons that justify their options. The difficulties they faced were also discussed, such as those that arise from the discrepancy between prospective science teachers’ practices and the practices that students are familiar with.

Keywords: geoscience education, nature of science, models, modelling, teachers training.