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ERIC Number: EJ889534
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-1931-7913
Comparison of Views of the Nature of Science between Natural Science and Nonscience Majors
Desaulniers Miller, Marie C.; Montplaisir, Lisa M.; Offerdahl, Erika G.; Cheng, Fu-Chih; Ketterling, Gerald L.
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v9 n1 p45-54 Spr 2010
Science educators have the common goal of helping students develop scientific literacy, including understanding of the nature of science (NOS). University faculties are challenged with the need to develop informed NOS views in several major student subpopulations, including science majors and nonscience majors. Research into NOS views of undergraduates, particularly science majors, has been limited. In this study, NOS views of undergraduates in introductory environmental science and upper-level animal behavior courses were measured using Likert items and open-ended prompts. Analysis revealed similarities in students' views between the two courses; both populations held a mix of naive, transitional, and moderately informed views. Comparison of pre- and postcourse mean scores revealed significant changes in NOS views only in select aspects of NOS. Student scores on sections addressing six aspects of NOS were significantly different in most cases, showing notably uninformed views of the distinctions between scientific theories and laws. Evidence-based insight into student NOS views can aid in reforming undergraduate science courses and will add to faculty and researcher understanding of the impressions of science held by undergraduates, helping educators improve scientific literacy in future scientists and diverse college graduates. (Contains 3 tables and 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A