Revista electrónica de investigación en educación en ciencias
On-line version ISSN 1850-6666
VASQUES BRANDAO, Rafael; SOLANO ARAUJO, Ives; VEIT, Eliane Angela and LANG DA SILVEIRA, Fernando. Validating a questionnaire to investigate teachers' conceptions about science and scientific modeling in the physics context. Rev. electrón. investig. educ. cienc. [online]. 2011, vol.6, n.1, pp. 43-60. ISSN 1850-6666.
Although the terms of the 'nature of science' and 'scientific model' are polysemic in Science Teaching, there is a kind of consensus in the area about the importance of epistemology and scientific modeling in training students and teachers. So many researchers have devoted efforts to teaching and researching these issues. Part of these researchers, like us, believe that the strategy of scientific modeling applied to science education, more than a useful tool for solving problems, can help build a proper view of science to contemporary scientific practice. However, one of the research questions that remains open concerns the tools for assessing the conceptions of students and teachers on these topics. Within that context, this study aimed to validate a questionnaire to investigate teachers' conceptions about science and scientific modeling in physics. Initially composed of 48 statements, the questionnaire was applied to 218 subjects. An analysis of the answers resulted in: a) the identification of four factors underlying the content of statements; b) the strong correlation between teachers' conceptions about science in general and scientific modeling in physics; and c) the construction of two alternative and equivalent forms of the questionnaire, each with 23 statements, which can be useful to reduce possible effects of testing in experimental designs. We emphasize that such an instrument is an auxiliary tool for the evaluation of teaching strategies based on theoretical and methodological elements relevant to the scientific modeling process that aims at integrating epistemological content of the discussion on specific scientific content.
Keywords : Teachers' conceptions; Nature of science; Scientific modeling.