An investigation of Taiwanese high school students' science learning self-efficacy in relation to their conceptions of learning science

Tzung Jin Lin, Chin Chung Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Past studies have shown significant associations between students' conceptions of learning science and their science learning self-efficacy. However, in most of the studies, students' science learning self-efficacy has often been measured by a singular scale.Purpose: Extending the findings of these studies, the present study adopted a multi-dimensional instrument to assess Taiwanese high school students' science learning self-efficacy and investigate the relationships with their conceptions of learning science.Sample: A total of 488 Taiwanese high school students (265 male and 223 female) were invited to participate in this survey.Design and method: All the participants responded to the Conceptions of Learning Science (COLS) questionnaire regarding 'Memorizing', 'Testing', 'Calculating and practicing', 'Increase of knowledge', 'Applying' and 'Understanding and seeing in a new way' and the Science Learning Self-Efficacy (SLSE) instrument, including 'Conceptual understanding', 'Higher-Order cognitive skills', 'Practical work', 'Everyday application' and 'Science communication'.Results: The path analysis results derived from the structural equation modeling method indicated that, of all five SLSE dimensions, the 'Understanding and seeing in a new way' COLS displayed as a positive predictor, while the 'Testing' COLS was a significant negative predictor. The 'Applying' COLS item can only positively contribute to the SLSE dimensions of 'Higher-Order thinking skills', 'Everyday application' and 'Science Communication'.Conclusions: In general, students in strong agreement with learning science as understanding and seeing in a new way or the application of learned scientific knowledge are prone to possess higher confidence in learning science. However, students who consider learning science in terms of preparing for tests and examinations tend to hold lower science learning self-efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-323
Number of pages16
JournalResearch in Science and Technological Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov
Externally publishedYes



  • conceptions of learning science
  • high school students
  • science learning self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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