The purposes of this study were to evaluate pre-service teachers’ epistemologies of scientific models and their model formation in a model-based inquiry environment and to look for a relationship between their epistemologies and model formation. Theoretical underpinnings of this paper were the following: Pre-service teachers’ epistemologies of models are structured as their beliefs, can be reshaped by instructional experiences, and may have relationship with their model construction. Case study design using quantitative and qualitative research methods was carried out for this study. Participants were senior pre-service physics teachers. The participants were requested to generate initial models, develop inquiry questions, propose hypotheses, do investigations and conduct experiments to test their models in model-based inquiry. The results showed that the participants’ epistemologies of nature and function of models were between transitional and sophisticated levels. That is, they tended to think that models were representations and tentative. The pre-service physics teachers also gradually constructed more quality models while experiencing model-based inquiry. Their models started to represent scientific ideas and include logical limits, directed them to inquiry, and changed based on the empirical results during the study. Results of Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient test revealed significant positive high relationship between the participants’ models they constructed and their epistemologies of models. In other words, the preservice physics teachers reflected their epistemologies to their models. Model-based inquiry might facilitate this relationship. The conclusion drawn from the results is that pre-service physics teachers can put their beliefs into their practices in model-based inquiry environment.
Feral Ogan-Bekiroglu, Marmara University, Turkey
Arzu Arslan-Buyruk, Sabahattin Zaim University, Turkey
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