ERIC Number: ED407257
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Students' Epistemological Beliefs about Science and Learning.
Davis, Elizabeth A.
This paper investigates middle school students' particular beliefs about the process of scientific inquiry as well as their beliefs about learning science, specifically the level of autonomy appropriate and their preference for memorization or understanding. Data collection instruments included a beliefs assessment, measures of student performance, and interviews. Results indicate that students with a dynamic view of the process of science are likely to try to understand science, whereas those who view science as a static field expect to memorize facts. Students that believed understanding is the best strategy for learning science scored highest on the final exam. Other findings indicate that although students improve overall in the productivity of their beliefs over the course of the semester, students who start out with less productive beliefs improve more than do students who begin with productive beliefs. Finally, although girls and boys differ in their beliefs at the beginning of the semester, this difference disappears after participation in a semester-long innovative physical science curriculum. Instructional implications of these findings are discussed. An appendix contains a copy of the Relevant Questions on Beliefs Test. Contains 25 references. (JRH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: N/A