Incorporating nanoscale science and technology into secondary school curriculum: Views of nano-trained science teachers

Antti Laherto

Abstract


The growing societal significance of nanoscience and nanotechnology (NST) entails needs for addressing these topics in school curricula. This study lays groundwork for responding to those needs in Finland. The purpose was to analyse the appropriateness of NST for secondary school curriculum contents. First, a week-long in-service teacher training course was arranged on content knowledge of NST. After attending the course, 23 experienced science teachers were surveyed regarding their views on the educational significance of these issues, and on prospects for including them into the curriculum. A questionnaire with open-ended questions was used. Qualitative content analysis of the responses revealed that the respondents considered NST as desirable contents for secondary school, but arranging instruction is problematic. The teachers emphasised the educational significance of many applications, scientific principles and ethical issues related to NST. The outcomes are discussed with reference to recent studies on teachers’ barriers and educational concerns regarding NST.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5617/nordina.234

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