Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction (PhD)

Degree Level



Curriculum and Instruction


William F. McComas

Committee Member

Cathy Wissher

Second Committee Member

Stephen Burgin


Case Study, History of Science, Nature of Science, Philosophy of Science, UTeach


The UTeach program, a national model for undergraduate teacher preparation, includes Perspectives on Science and Mathematics, a class designed to share content about the History of Science (HOS) with preservice teachers. UTeach provides a model curriculum as a sample for instructors teaching Perspectives. The purpose of this study was (a) to describe and evaluate the model science lessons provided; (b) to compare the relationship of the various versions of the Perspectives class with the model curriculum; (c) to determine the factors that led to instructors’ success or failure in implementation of the model curriculum; and (d) to highlight the instructors’ best practices as a basis for improving the UTeach model curriculum. In addition, the study highlighted the relationship between Perspectives and the nature of science (NOS) by following the possible links to the NOS in the model curriculum and instructors’ classroom practices. This study includes information collected from 11 sites by conducting 16 instructor interviews, reviewing syllabi and other course materials, and analyzing survey responses. Qualitative analysis of the 11 case studies showed no explicit connection to the NOS in the curriculum though the model is written using topics the literature recommends for teaching the HOS. The curriculum corrects some student misconceptions and introduces controversial issues, failures, and successes in teaching the HOS. Most instructors do not adhere strictly to the model curriculum but adapt portions. Factors determining an instructor’s decision to adapt the model included background, experience, teaching methods, local conditions, and standards. Instructors’ best practices included performing historical experiments, and role playing. Providing a list of objectives for a class in the HOS that meets National Science Standards can be helpful to course instructors.