ERIC Number: EJ1064015
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
Developing, Expressing and Contesting Opinions of Science: Encouraging the Student Voice
Howitt, S. M.; Wilson, A. N.
Higher Education Research and Development, v34 n3 p541-553 2015
In a typical science degree, little emphasis is placed on the need for scientists to make judgements about evidence and little value is placed on the development of students' opinions about science, with the focus largely on assessment of declarative knowledge. Yet it is the ability to evaluate evidence that is crucial to the development of the student as a scientist. This study assesses the impact on students' conceptions of science of a course that aims to engage students in discussion and reflection on what scientists do and on their own learning about science. Analysis of written reflective assignments from the three years the course has been run shows that participants become more confident in their expression of opinions about science and also develop a more mature view of science and its inherent uncertainty. It appears that a critical factor enabling this development is the way the course activities are designed to explicitly value students' opinions and to provide a supportive environment in which they can be expressed and contested.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Science Education, Scientists, Scientific Attitudes, Concept Formation, Critical Thinking, Reflection, Academic Achievement, Undergraduate Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia