Examining student conceptions of the nature of science
D. M. Moss, E. D. Abrams, J. Robb 2001 International Journal of Science Education 23(8), 771-790
The purpose of this research was to examine pre-college students’ understandings of the nature of science and track those beliefs over the course of an academic year. Students’ conceptions of the nature of science were examined using a model of the nature of science developed for use in this study. The model has eight tenets which address both the nature of the scientific enterprise and the nature of scientific knowledge. Findings indicate participants held fully formed conceptions of the nature of science consistent with approximately one-half of the premises set out in the model. Students held more complete understandings of the nature of scientific knowledge than the nature of the scientific enterprise. Their conceptions remained mostly unchanged over the year despite their participation in the project-based, hands-on science course. Implications for teaching the nature of science are discussed.