DEVELOPING A TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMME TO PROMOTE SCIENTIFIC LITERACY IMPROVING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE ABOUT SCIENCE
Authors: J. Alexandre Pinto, J. Bernardino Lopes, António Alberto Silva, Carla A. Santos
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Usually elementary teacher education has pitfalls in developing important dimensions of scientific literacy (SL) through science teaching. So, to refine some Teacher Education Program (TEP) characteristics is important to potentiate their positive attitudes towards links amongst science technology and society themes (STS) so that they may improve their students’ SL. This study aims at identifying characteristics of a TEP that promote teachers’ key attitudes about STS and develop dimensions of teaching practice transferral to teachers’ practices to foster their students’ SL. It reports a longitudinal case study (3 years) to refine characteristics of a TEP, answering the questions: a) what features should a TEP have, to improve consistently positive attitudes of teachers about STS?, (b) which gains in teachers' attitudes towards the STS were obtained from the implementation of TEP? The TEP incorporated, progressively, findings based on literature and other characteristics resulting from improvements, namely: (a) exploring contexts and using materials and equipment from daily routine; (b) developing epistemic practices related with experimental work in open challenge activities; (c) transferable teacher mediation traits. The TEP, with the referred characteristics, allowed teacher to develop important attitudes about: scientific inquiry, willingness to engage in issues related to science and science as a social enterprise.