Innovations, Challenges and Future Directions in Nature of Science Research: Reflections from Early Career Academics

Wonyong Park, Alison Cullinane, Haira Gandolfi, Sahar Alameh, Günkut Mesci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


There has been sustained research interest in the role of early career researchers in advancing the field and the challenges that they face. However, efforts to document lived experiences of researchers working in a specific research area within science education have been scarce. This paper considers the meaning of innovation in the context of nature of science (NOS) research, drawing from a collective reflection of five early career academics from different backgrounds. After discussing the sources of our motivation to innovate in NOS research, we identify four distinct pathways of innovation. These pathways include (1) delving into specific aspects of NOS in greater depth, (2) exploring the interface of NOS and other established research areas, and (3) using NOS to address pressing social issues, and (4) expanding the methodological repertoire of NOS research. We illustrate these four modes of research innovation using examples from our own work. Barriers to early-career innovation such as the absence of NOS in curricula and initial teacher education, the lack of time to engage with practitioners to develop and implement instructional resources, and the underrepresentation of diverse education systems in NOS research literature are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-48
Number of pages22
JournalResearch in Science Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).


  • Early career researchers
  • History of science
  • Nature of science
  • Philosophy of science
  • Research innovation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Innovations, Challenges and Future Directions in Nature of Science Research: Reflections from Early Career Academics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this