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Preservice Biology Teachers’ Scientific Reasoning Skills and Beliefs about Nature of Science: How Do They Develop and Is There a Mutual Relationship during the Development?
D. Mahler, D. Bock, T. Bruckermann

Preservice Biology Teachers’ Scientific Reasoning Skills and Beliefs about Nature of Science: How Do They Develop and Is There a Mutual Relationship during the Development?

Education Sciences, 11(9), [558]

Scientific reasoning (SR) skills and nature of science (NOS) beliefs represent important characteristics of biology teachers’ professional competence. In particular, teacher education at university is formative for the professionalization of future teachers and is thus the focus of the current study. Our study aimed to examine the development of SR skills and NOS beliefs and their mutual relationship during teacher education. We applied paper-and-pencil tests to measure SR skills and NOS beliefs of 299 preservice biology teachers from 25 universities in Germany. The results of linear mixed models and planned comparisons revealed that both SR skills and NOS beliefs develop over the course of the study. Nevertheless, the development of SR skills and multiple aspects of NOS beliefs proceeds in different trajectories. Cross-lagged models showed a complex picture concerning the mutual relationship between SR skills and NOS beliefs during their development (both positive and negative). The current study contributes to the existing research because it is based on longitudinal data and allows—in contrast to cross-sectional research—conclusions about the development of SR skills and NOS beliefs.