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A Proposal of Inclusive Framework of the Nature of Science (NOS) Based on the 4 Themes of Scientific Literacy for K-12 School Science

  • Lee, Young Hee (University of Houston)
  • Received : 2012.10.05
  • Accepted : 2013.02.20
  • Published : 2013.05.31

Abstract

Although many researchers and science educators agree that understanding of the nature of science is essential in order for students to be a scientific literate person, it is not easy to compromise exactly what kind of understanding of the nature of science is required to achieve this goal (Smith & Scharmann, 1999). This study discusses a theoretical background about the nature of science (NOS) including some consensus views of the NOS that several important U.S. educational reform documents and science researchers have presented over the past several decades. Finally, this study proposes an inclusive framework of the nature of science based on the four categories of scientific literacy, which are (1) science as a body of knowledge, (2) science as a way of investigating, (3) science as a way of thinking, and (4) the interaction of science, technology, and society. Each category of the framework includes several statements about the nature of science to describe each theme of the NOS. This framework is comprehensive and inclusive because it is suggested by examining several major U.S. national-level documents and in the publications of science education researchers presented about the nature of science. Significantly, many of the key ideas were added into category (4) and category (3), which indicates that the current literature stresses the relationship among science, technology, and society as well as the work of scientists.

Keywords

the nature of science;scientific literacy;consensus views of NOS;a framework of the nature of science;the four themes of scientific literacy

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