Topological Analysis of Correlations (TACO) model for analyzing prospective preschool teachers’ science teaching attitudes based on their epistemological beliefs and views on the nature of science
Keywords:teachers’ beliefs, nature of science, science teaching attitudes
This research aims to determine how prospective pre-school teachers' epistemological beliefs and nature of science (NoS) views predict their science teaching attitudes, and to interpret which sub-dimensions of NoS views and epistemological beliefs are more influence science teaching attitudes using the Topological Analysis of Correlations (TACO) model proposed in this study. The research was conducted with 388 (310 females, 78 males) prospective pre-school teachers in the 2018/2019 academic year. Analysis results revealed that preservice pre-school teachers' epistemological beliefs and NoS views predicted the variation in science teaching attitudes by 47% (F = 169.681, p = .000). It was determined that the "methodological approach" and "scientific attitude" sub-dimensions of epistemological beliefs and the "characteristics of science" sub-dimension of NoS have strong correlations with the science teaching attitudes. The TACO model showed that epistemological beliefs are a lowered altitude that begins from the nature of scientific knowledge and continues across all dimensions of NoS. Findings of this study could be significant to develop educational materials in prospective pre-school teacher education and we believe that TACO, with its holistic assessment structure that includes all the variables in the study, has the potential to be an alternative analysis method for further research on teacher views on the NOS and their epistemological beliefs that impact on their science teaching in pre-schools.