ERIC Number: EJ1023005
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 29
Finding Out What They Really Think: Assessing Non-Science Majors' Views of the Nature of Science
Beck-Winchatz, Bernhard; Parra, Ruben D.
College Teaching, v61 n4 p131-137 2013
As institutions of higher learning are increasingly held accountable for student outcomes, faculty are faced with the challenge to clearly articulate and assess what students should learn in their courses. We report on the assessment of a liberal studies learning outcome related to the nature of science, which involved 178 students from 41 academic non-science majors at DePaul University in Chicago. Students were shown a video recording of an interview with a research scientist and asked to respond to prompts about falsifiable predictions, uncertainty, and the functions of hypotheses, observations, and reasoning. We found that students held a wide range of views and misconceptions about the nature of science. Responses were, on average, at a "developing" level (a score of 2 on a scale from 1-4). We discuss several possible changes to curriculum and pedagogy to address these misconceptions based on a review of the science education research literature.
Descriptors: College Students, Nonmajors, Science Education, Scientific Principles, Misconceptions, Active Learning, Scientific Concepts, Prompting, Student Attitudes, Inquiry, Interviews
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois