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Teachers and Scholarship: Self-definition of Teachers in the Scientific Enterprise

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Abstract:

Teaching scientific inquiry and promoting scholarship in the classroom results in a more sophisticated understanding of science. Currently, however, little is known about the extent to which teachers value scholarship in their professional practice, or how they view their role in the scientific enterprise. This study serves as an initial exploration into the perceptions of science teachers about scholarship, scientific literacy, and their place along the scientific continuum compared to traditional scholars. Through survey and principal component analysis we found that although teachers view themselves as scholars complete with scholarly behaviour, however their self-reported roles varied distinctly from that of traditional scholars in the areas of (a) sharing and evaluating scientific data, (b) interpreting and relaying scientific information, and (c) teaching and personal interpretation. We suggest that scientists and teacher educators engage in a dialogue about the role of scholarly thinking in science education.

Keywords: professional development; scholarship; science education; teacher roles

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7459/es/26.3.03

Affiliations: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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