ERIC Number: EJ1018244
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Research and Teaching: Factors Related to College Students' Understanding of the Nature of Science--Comparison of Science Majors and Nonscience Majors
Partin, Matthew L.; Underwood, Eileen M.; Worch, Eric A.
Journal of College Science Teaching, v42 n6 p89-99 Jul 2013
To develop a more scientifically literate society, students need to understand the nature of science, which may be affected by controversial topics such as evolution. There are conflicting views among researchers concerning the relationships between understanding evolution, acceptance of evolution, and understanding of the nature of science. Four instruments were administered to undergraduate biology students (majors and nonmajors). As expected, biology majors had a greater knowledge of natural selection, acceptance of evolutionary theory, and understanding of the nature of science than nonmajors. Multiple regression was used to indicate which variables significantly predict students' understanding of the nature of science. Significant predictors for majors included acceptance of evolutionary theory and understanding of natural selection and explained 42.8% of the variance. For nonmajors, in addition to these two variables, attitudes toward biology and parents' level of education explained 24.1% of the variance. Implications for improved education strategies are discussed.
Descriptors: Scientific Literacy, Science Instruction, Evolution, Undergraduate Students, Biology, Majors (Students), Nonmajors, Knowledge Level, Predictor Variables, Student Attitudes, Parent Background, Educational Attainment, Scientific Concepts, College Science, Religion, Student Surveys, Multiple Regression Analysis, Pretests Posttests
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio