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“It's a lot of people in different places working on many ideas”: Possibilities from global history of science to Learning about nature of science

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jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pThis article describes a teaching experience at an year 8 classroom (students aged 12–13) in a state secondary school in London, UK that aimed at widening learning about nature of science (NOS) with the input from the field of Global History of Science (HOS), which looks at science as a product of material and cognitive exchanges, appropriations and collaborations. Teaching and learning plans (TLPs) informed by this historical framework were developed by the researcher and one science teacher to integrate NOS teaching into fours topics from the national science curriculum in England (Medicines, Magnetism, Evolution, and Earth's resources). These TLPs were taught by the participant teacher to his year 8 classroom (26 boys and girls of mixed‐abilities) throughout one school year, and the researcher investigated the impact of the global HOS framework on widening students' views about NOS. Data were collated with the help of students' NOS diaries, group mind maps, classroom observations, and an open‐ended NOS questionnaire applied at the start and end of the school year, complemented by participant students' grades in their end‐of‐year exam. Main findings point to the widening of participant students' views about NOS and, more specifically, about underexplored relevant social‐institutional aspects of scientific development, such as diversity and intercultural collaborations and exchanges, exploitation of natural resources, financial, ethical, and political aspects around scientific work. Students were also generally successful in re‐applying NOS ideas explored in one TLP to other TLPs and scientific contexts, hinting to the importance of employing overarching narratives (such those promoted by Global HOS), linking different scientific development, when planning the integration of NOS into the school science. Results also show that NOS was integrated into content teaching without negative effects in students' exam grades.</jats:p>



curricular materials, diversity, global history of science, nature of science

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Journal of Research in Science Teaching

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CNPq: 232698/2014-7