Muslim science teacher perceptions of the nature of science and their impact on science teaching in secondary schools
The aim of this thesis is to find out about the nature of science views held by British Muslim science teachers teaching in Muslim secondary schools, and whether or not these views have any impact on how they teach the National Curriculum. In the course of the study the views of a sample of non-Muslim science teachers and Muslim teachers teaching in state schools were elicited. The instrument used was the philosophy of science questionnaire based on systemic networks developed by Koulaidis and Ogborn (1989). The results were processed on the SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) database, and followed by interview with a sample of Muslim science teachers and classroom observations of some selected lessons. The central finding was that the differences between Muslim teachers (in my sample) in their perceptions of science were not sufficiently clear to merit categorisation in an absolute sense. Predominantly, teachers (both Muslims and non-Muslims in my sample) tended to hold eclectic or mixed views about the nature of science, adhering to a diversity of elements taken from different philosophical positions. For Muslim science teachers teaching in Muslim schools, the teaching of science was driven by the principle of glorifying the Creator. In one sense, the science was taken as read, in that the focus of science teachers was not to explore how scientific knowledge was gained or to question its validity, but to display the authority of the Quran and its predictive power. Finally, some recommendations are made for improving the awareness amongst Muslim science teachers of nature of science issues. Further research that needs to be conducted in this area is also discussed.