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Intrinsic and Extrinsic Barriers to Teaching Nanoscale Science: Finnish Teachers' Perspectives

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Abstract:

The importance of providing secondary education in nanoscience and nanotechnology has been recognized throughout the world. The rationale of this study was to lay the groundwork for systematically organized teacher training by finding out Finnish science teachers' views of the needs and resources for teaching nanoscience in secondary school. An online survey consisting of both closed and open-ended questions was conducted in late fall 2009. The invitation to answer the questionnaire was sent to members of the Finnish Mathematics and Science Teachers' Association. The respondents (n = 107) were mostly physics, chemistry and mathematics teachers. The results reveal that although the majority of respondents finds it important to address nanoscience in schools, the lack of schools' and teachers' own resources hinder incorporating these issues into science lessons. Our study discusses and analyzes the intrinsic and extrinsic barriers in regard to the teaching of nanoscience. The results highlight the need for organizing both pre-service and in-service teacher training, revising the curriculum, and developing teaching materials and out-ofschool learning environments related to nanoscience.

Keywords: CURRICULUM CHANGE; NANOSCIENCE; NANOTECHNOLOGY; OUT-OF-SCHOOL LEARNING; PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT; TEACHERS' BARRIERS; TEACHERS' VIEWS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1166/jne.2011.1017

Publication date: 2011-06-01

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  • The Journal of Nano Education (JNE) is a peer-reviewed international journal that aims to provide the most complete and reliable source of information on current developments in nanoscale science, technology, engineering, and medical education.
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