Nature of Science Understandings and Instructional Perceptions Moroccan Preservice Primary Science Teacher Educators’ Responding Variables to a Professional Development Series

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Mila Rosa Librea Carden
Farnaz Avarzamani
Peter Rillero
Florence Hamel


The study explored science and science education professors’ nature of science (NOS) understandings and perceptions on NOS instruction before (T1), during (T2), and after (T3) a professional development series. Using repeated measures design, findings showed an increasing trend across NOS aspects. Summary scores were used to classify participants’ NOS views as alternative, transitional, or informed. From T1 to T3, participants (n=19) shifted from alternative (16%) and transitional (84%), to transitional (100%) at T2, and ended as transitional (53%)/informed (47%). There were particularly significant changes in participants’ understanding of observations and inferences and the sociocultural influence on the enterprise of science. The findings did not reveal significant changes in participants’ perceptions on NOS instruction. On reflective responses, however, a majority expressed a desire to learn about more NOS activities that can be used in their instruction. The study provides evidence that relatively short PDs, when implemented with explicit NOS activities, have potential to positively impact NOS understanding. While less impactful on participants’ NOS instructional perspectives, it is encouraging that the majority of the participants indicated a desire to learn strategies to teach NOS. More research can help improve the efficacy of PD methods and help identify key constructs that are most relevant for perceptions of NOS instruction.

Keywords: nature of science, professional development, teacher education, preservice teachers

Article Details

Research / Empirical
Author Biographies

Farnaz Avarzamani, Arizona State University

PhD Student

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College 

Arizona State University

Peter Rillero, Arizona State University

Associate Professor

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College

Arizona State University

Florence Hamel, Gary Herberger Young Scholars Academy

Instructional Professional

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College

Arizona State University