Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Educational Studies (Teaching, Curriculum, and Learning), Under the Supervision of Professor Ronald J. Bonnstetter. Lincoln, Nebraska: August 2011


The purpose of this bounded single-case study was to explore the understanding of the nature and process of science for undergraduate students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). The study investigated one professor’s methodology to explicitly teach undergraduate students about the nature and process of science, and documented their understanding and perception of science, both pre- and post-course.

Using a mixed method approach, data were collected to provide a better understanding of teaching the nature and process of science. Three main types of data were analyzed: the process of science (TPOS) assessment; survey questions, and the module curriculum.

Participating students completed The Process of Science (TPOS) assessment and open-ended survey questions pre- and post-intervention. The intervention in the study was the teaching of a process of science module developed by the instructor involved in the case study. Using a split-plot analysis of variance (ANOVA) in the pre- and post-module data, comparisons were drawn for the TPOS assessment and the survey questions. Evidence showed a statistically significant improvement in the pre- and post-scores for both assessments.

The process of science module was also analyzed and found to be an educationally-sound curriculum when based on the foundation and philosophy of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Students appreciated the module and the change that it caused in their perceptions of science.

Advisor: Ronald J. Bonnstetter