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ERIC Number: EJ968019
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jun
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-1571-0068
Epistemological Beliefs in Science: An Exploratory Study of Lebanese University Students' Epistemologies
Rizk, Nadya; Jaber, Lama; Halwany, Sarah; BouJaoude, Saouma
International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, v10 n3 p473-496 Jun 2012
Beliefs about the nature of knowledge and knowing have been investigated extensively in educational and developmental psychology research. Hofer's framework on personal epistemology is adopted in the present study for assessing Lebanese university students' epistemologies of science. Participants were 213 students in their first year of science-related studies at a private university in Beirut. Two instruments were used for data collection: The science-focused epistemological beliefs questionnaire (Hofer, 2000) and an 8-item instrument adapted from the modified version of the "Views on Science-Technology-Society" (Dogan & Abd-El-Khalick, 2008), and an additional item developed by the authors. Thirty students were purposively selected for completing the second instrument followed by a semi-structured interview. Data analysis yielded the following assertions regarding students' epistemologies of science: (1) Scientific knowledge is liable to change; (2) the source of scientists' knowledge is inherent to human's construction, whereas the source of personal knowledge is independent from human subjectivity and based on external authority; (3) scientific knowledge is proven and validated through the concerted effort of scientists; and (4) absolute truth cannot be attained because of the lack of means to access knowledge. Findings highlighted the need to foster an academic culture that promotes students' epistemologies and explicitly addresses the nature and processes of science in curricula and instruction.
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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
Identifiers - Location: Lebanon