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Title page for ETD etd-03202013-073246

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Morabito, Nancy Pierce
URN etd-03202013-073246
Title Research as an Instrument for Change: Examining the Impact of Research Experiences on Teachers’ Conceptions of the Nature of Science
Degree PhD
Department Teaching and Learning
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Leona Schauble Committee Chair
Rich Lehrer Committee Member
Rogers Hall Committee Member
Stacy Klein-Gardner Committee Member
  • science education
  • professional development
  • research experiences
  • nature of science
Date of Defense 2012-11-20
Availability unrestricted
This project focuses on whether participation in authentic research experiences has an impact on teachers’ understanding of the Nature of Science (NOS) and, consequently, their classroom instruction related to NOS. In my dissertation, I first explore to what extent participation in research affected teachers’ understanding and in what ways. I then describe any patterns that were evident in aspects of or activities within teachers’ research experiences that suggested that they may help make certain aspects of NOS more salient to participants. Finally, I explain the extent to which any changes took place in teachers’ classroom instruction that reflected shifts in their NOS understanding. Results indicate that, while participation in certain research activities may, in fact, make certain aspects of NOS more understandable for teachers, this does not necessitate change in classroom practice. Implications for research-based teacher professional development programs are explored based on these results.
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