Biological knowledge is more tentative than physics knowledge: Taiwan high school adolescents' views about the nature of biology and physics

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30 Citations (Scopus)


Many educational psychologists believe that students' beliefs about the nature of knowledge, called epistemological beliefs, play an essential role in their learning process. Educators also stress the importance of helping students develop a better understanding of the nature of knowledge. The tentative and creative nature of science is often highlighted by contemporary science educators. However, few previous studies have investigated students' views of more specific knowledge domains, such as biology and physics. Consequently, this study developed a questionnaire to assess students' views specifically about the tentative and creative nature of biology and physics. From a survey of 428 Taiwanese high school adolescents, this study found that although students showed an understanding of the tentative and creative nature of biology and physics, they expressed stronger agreement as to the tentativeness of biology than that of physics. In addition, male students tended to agree more than did females that physics had tentative and creative features and that biology had tentative features. Also, students with more years of science education tended to show more agreement regarding the creative nature of physics and biology than those with fewer years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-703
Number of pages13
Issue number164
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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