An initial examination of Singaporean seventh and eighth graders' views of nature of science

Tzung Jin Lin, Amos Yoong Shin Goh, Ching Sing Chai, Chin Chung Tsai

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background and purpose Research in nature of science (NOS) among Asia-Pacific countries such as Singapore is arguably scarce. This study aimed to survey Singaporean secondary school students' views of NOS with a newly developed instrument named Students' Views of Nature of Science (SVNOS), which included various key aspects of NOS that are generally agreed upon by the science education community. Moreover, the relations between some demographic factors, including gender and grade, and students' views of NOS were explored. Sample, design and method In total, 359 Singaporean seventh and eighth graders were invited to participate in this survey. The reliability, validity and structure of the SVNOS instrument were ensured by confirmatory factor analysis. A two-way multivariate analysis of variance was then conducted to determine the interaction effects between the gender variable and the grade-level variable. Results and conclusion The results indicated that the SVNOS instrument is reliable and valid to assess students' views of NOS regarding seven distinct NOS dimensions. The male students were more prone to have constructivist-oriented views of NOS in the most of the SVNOS dimensions, while the female students conveyed more non-objective views of NOS. In addition, the eighth graders revealed more empiricist-oriented views of NOS than the seventh graders in several SVNOS dimensions. This result seems to contradict the results of previous studies that students' views of NOS may reflect a developmental trend with their increasing educational experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-132
Number of pages16
JournalResearch in Science and Technological Education
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jul
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • nature of science
  • secondary school students
  • Singapore

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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