ERIC Number: ED428971
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Mar
Tangled Up in Views: Beliefs in the Nature of Science and Responses to Socio-Scientific Dilemmas.
Zeidler, Dana L.; Walker, Kimberly A.; Ackett, Wayne A.; Simmons, Michael L.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between students' conceptions of the nature of science and their reactions to evidence that challenged their beliefs about socio-scientific issues. This study used 248 students from 9th and 10th grade general science classes, 11th and 12th grade honors biology, honors science, and physics classes, and senior level college preservice science education classes. Students responded to questions aimed at revealing their epistemological views of the nature of science and their belief convictions on selected socio-scientific issues. A smaller subset of students was selected based on varying degrees of belief convictions about the socio-scientific issues and selected students paired to discuss their reasoning related to those issues while being exposed to anomalous data and information from each other and in response to epistemological probes from an interviewer. A qualitative design that entailed the derivation of taxonomic categories through discourse analysis drawn from samples of fallacious reasoning, conceptions of science, and sample performances of thought as a result of dialogic interaction was utilized. Additionally, appropriate nonparametric tests were performed to examine whether paired discourse resulted in changed belief convictions. By engaging students in discourse on socio-scientific issues, this study was aimed at elucidating how students inherently utilize aspects of the nature of science through dialogic reasoning on moral and ethical issues. Taxonomic categories and samples of thought are presented, and implications for science education are addressed. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (72nd, Boston, MA, March 28-31, 1999).