ERIC Number: ED357963
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
A Multinational Study of Secondary School Students' Views of the Nature of Science.
Griffiths, Alan K.; Barman, Charles R.
The substantial interest exhibited in the last decade in the identification of students' misconceptions of a wide range of scientific concepts has not extended to identification of students' misconceptions of the nature of science itself. This study examined the attitudes of 32 secondary school students, each from Canada, the United States, and Australia who had displayed a range of ability and interest in science. Students were administered a common set of interview questions, with provision to allow each individual to elaborate upon his or her responses. Analysis identified a number of conceptions that sometimes varied across countries. Results indicated that: (1) students held two vague views of the nature of science, an environmental view particularly favored by more than half of the Australian students, and a more general view of science in the everyday world; (2) science was mostly seen to be different from other areas of academic interest; (3) the mechanistic "scientific method" was evident in most American students' responses, in a third of the Canadian students' responses, and absent in the Australian Students' responses; (4) three quarters of the students believed that science changes, with some variation due to nationality; (5) more than half the students expressed the general belief that science is inductive; (6) students appeared convinced that scientific knowledge was factual, but became skeptical upon further questioning; (7) most students perceived theories as representing tentativeness; and (8) students say laws are confirmed facts or matured theories. Contains 14 references. (MDH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; Canada; United States