Middle school science teachers’ understanding of nature of science: A Q-method study

Günkut Mesci, William W. Cobern


Science education programs aim to develop scientific literacy. “Nature of Science” (NOS) has been recognized as an important part of scientific literacy, and science teachers are the crucial actors to achieve this goal. The purpose of this Q-method study is to describe how middle school science teachers understand NOS. The subjects for this study were six middle school in-service science teachers. Statements from the Nature of Science Scale (NOSS) were used for a Q-sort and then analyzed to determine teachers’ subjective understanding of NOS. The analysis involved rotating the Q sorts using graphical and varimax rotations and then extracting the significant factors. According to analysis, the results indicate the teachers in this study believed that there is only one scientific method that all scientists should follow it. Also, they thought that the importance of team research and the purpose of scientific work to be for the betterment of human life.


Nature of science; Q methodology; In-service science teachers

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