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Issues in Educational Research, 2018, Vol 28(2), 237-253
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Changes in the perceptions of the nature of science and religious belief

Ester Aflalo
Hemdat Hadarom College of Education, Israel

Understanding the nature of science (NOS) is one of the challenging objectives in science education due, in part, to the complex relationship between religion and science. This study examines how NOS teaching affects the perception of the NOS amongst religious, as compared to secular, students. The participants included 205 religious and secular pre-service teachers; both categories, religious and secular, included Jewish and Muslim students. All students participated in a scientific content course, which integrated activities explicitly addressing the NOS. They completed a closed questionnaire that examined various aspects of NOS perceptions prior to, and following, the course and 22 also participated in semi-structured interviews. A paired t-test was performed and the interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analysed. The findings show that the course influenced some aspects of the NOS perceptions amongst all the participants, but did not change the perceived connection between religion and science among the religious participants. The interviews exposed the relationship between religion and science, and the educational implications of the findings are discussed.
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Author: Dr Ester Aflalo is a senior lecturer in life sciences and the teaching of science, who heads the research and evaluation authority at the Hemdat Hadarom Academic College of Education in Israel. Her particular area of research is sciences education and technology in education.
Email: ester@hemdat.ac.il

Please cite as: Aflalo, E. (2018). Changes in the perceptions of the nature of science and religious belief. Issues in Educational Research, 28(2), 237-253. http://www.iier.org.au/iier28/aflalo.pdf

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