Development of Third Graders’ Identities as “Persons Who Understand Nature of Science” Through a Gravity Unit

Valarie Akerson, Naime Elcan Kaynak, Banu Avsar Erumit

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Abstract


Nature of science (NOS) is a critical component and should be part of all science lessons. It is critical to begin NOS instruction in the elementary grades, to help young children develop an identity as persons who can conceptualize NOS ideas. The purpose of this study was to explore third grade elementary students’ Nature of Science (NOS) identities as a result of participating in a unit on gravity. The research question specifically was “How do third graders’ NOS identities change as a result of participating in a unit on gravity?” Explicit reflective NOS instruction was embedded in a unit on gravity. Data included videotapes of the lessons including class discussions prior to and after the lesson, and use of children’s literature. Other data included copies of student work and student science notebooks, and their presentations of work. Data were analyzed independently by three researchers for comparison of analysis. NOS identity development was found to be related to ideas that were “connections to real life,” “class discussions of ideas,” and “making connections to other science content.” Students in this class were able to use and apply NOS terms accurately. Results support that elementary students can learn NOS through appropriate instruction.

Keywords


Nature of science, Identity development, Elementary, Gravity

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References


Akerson, V.L., Elcan Kaynak, N., & Avsar Erumit, B. (2019). Development of third grader’s identities as “persons who understand nature of science” through a gravity unit. International Journal of Research in Education and Science (IJRES), 5(2), 450-456.


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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
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