This qualitative study examined how college science faculty who teach introductory level undergraduate science courses including the fields of chemistry, biology, physics, and earth science, understand and define science and nature of science (NOS). Participants were seventeen science instructors from five different institutions in the northeastern U.S. and all of them were interviewed. Consistent with previous research, the findings revealed that the participants in this study held sophisticated and complex conceptions of NOS. In some instances their views were in line with the views promoted by science philosophers, and in other instances their views were more mixed and naive. Findings show that engaging in scientific inquiry is not enough to ensure informed conceptions of NOS.


Science Education, College Science Teaching, Nature of Science, Qualitative Research

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