Nature of science was modeled using guided inquiry activities in the university classroom with elementary education majors. A physical science content course initially used an Aristotelian model where students discussed the relationship between distance from a constant radiation source and the amount of radiation received based on accepted “truths” or principles and concluded that there was an inverse relationship. The class became Galilean in nature, using the scientific method to test that hypothesis. Examining data, the class rejected their hypothesis and concluded that there is an inverse square relationship. Assignments, given before and after the hypothesis testing, show the student's misconceptions and their acceptance of scientifically acceptable conceptions. Answers on exam questions further support this conceptual change. Students spent less class time on the inverse square relationship later when examining electrostatic force, magnetic force, gravity, and planetary solar radiation because the students related this particular experience to other physical relationships.


  • Education > General

Education Levels:

  • Grade 1
  • Grade 6
  • Grade 8
  • Grade 9


teacher training,guided inquiry,Education,NSDL,Social Sciences,General Physics,PERC 2006,Education Practices,Physics,Higher Education,Elementary School,NSDL_SetSpec_439869,Teacher Preparation,oai:nsdl.org:2200/20071203141640663T,Physics Education Research,nature of science,elementary education,Pedagogy,Graduate/Professional,teaching methods



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