ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to explore elementary teachers' epistemological understandings of science and science teaching and learning, especially focusing on school science laboratory. Five elementary teachers were participated in this study. They had a black-box activity and group discussions on various topics of science, school science, science laboratory, science teaching and learning in the venue of four seminars. Their activities and discussions were videotaped and transcribed. Several epistemological issues were emerged in their activity and open-ended discussions. Results involved four epistemological understandings of the teachers: Scientists' work is different from school lab. activities; While scientific inquiry is inside of laboratory, elementary inquiry is in out of lab work; Elementary school science lab should take a role of develop students' motivation, curiosity, and sensitivities related to science; There is not connection between scientific knowledge and inquiry in elementary school science lab. There is only mindless operating as knowledge as a purpose of the experiments, which is perceived not by students, but by teachers. Students believe that the knowledge is possessed by teachers. Based on the results, discussion and implications about science education and science teacher education were presented.

KEYWORD

epistemological understanding, elementary teacher, school science laboratory

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