Assessing South China (Guangzhou) High School Students' Views on Nature of Science: A Validation Study

Feng Deng, Ching Sing Chai, Chin Chung Tsai, Tzung Jin Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research on students' views on nature of science (VNOS) in Asian countries such as China is notably lacking. This study aimed to develop and validate an instrument to measure South China high school students' VNOS. Based on the previously acquired qualitative data, the instrument included seven VNOS dimensions which reflect the crucial aspects of NOS indicated by the literature and/or the dominating ideology in China (i.e., Marxism). A sample (N = 604) was randomly divided into two groups used for exploratory analyses and confirmatory analyses. The results indicated that the instrument expressed satisfactory reliability and validity and the seven NOS dimensions could be explained by a higher-order dimension. That is, the data of this study supported the multi-dimensional framework that treats VNOS as comprising several more-or-less correlated dimensions. Two distinct dimensions, namely "Accumulative-Empirical Source" and "Pragmatic Justification" which have not been explicitly specified in the past literature, were found. In addition, the Chinese high school students generally held a constructivist/relativist-oriented view of all seven dimensions. Differences in gender and grade level were hardly observed in any dimension of the instrument. The findings are further discussed through a socio-cultural lens to enrich the current understanding of VNOS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-863
Number of pages21
JournalScience and Education
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Apr
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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