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ERIC Number: ED551934
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 319
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2678-4432-3
The Nature of Science Instrument-Elementary (NOSI-E): Using Rasch Principles to Develop a Theoretically Grounded Scale to Measure Elementary Student Understanding of the Nature of Science
Peoples, Shelagh
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Boston College
The purpose of this study was to determine which of three competing models will provide, reliable, interpretable, and responsive measures of elementary students' understanding of the nature of science (NOS). The Nature of Science Instrument-Elementary (NOSI-E), a 28-item Rasch-based instrument, was used to assess students' NOS understanding. The NOS construct was conceptualized using five construct dimensions (Empirical, Inventive, Theory-laden, Certainty and Socially & Culturally Embedded). The competing models represent three internal models for the NOS construct. One postulate is that the NOS construct is unidimensional where one latent construct explains the relationship between the 28 items of the NOSI-E. Alternatively, the NOS construct is composed of five independent unidimensional constructs (the consecutive approach). Lastly, the NOS construct is multidimensional and composed of five inter-related but separate dimensions. A validity argument was developed that hypothesized that the internal structure of the NOS construct is best represented by the multidimensional Rasch model. Four sets of analyses were performed in which the three representations were compared. These analyses addressed five validity aspects (content, substantive, generalizability, structural and external) of construct validity. The vast body of evidence supported the claim that the NOS construct is composed of five separate but inter-related dimensions that is best represented by the multidimensional Rasch model. The results of the multidimensional analyses indicated that the items of the five subscales were of excellent technical quality, exhibited no differential item functioning (based on gender), had an item hierarchy that conformed to theoretical expectations; and together formed subscales of reasonable reliability (> 0.7 on each subscale) that were responsive to change in the construct. Theory-laden scores from the multidimensional model predicted students' science achievement with scores from all five NOS dimensions significantly predicting students' perceptions of the constructivist nature of their classroom learning environment. The NOSI-E instrument is a theoretically grounded scale that can measure elementary students' NOS understanding and appears suitable for use in science education research. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A