Developing a multi-dimensional instrument for assessing students’ epistemological views toward science

Chin Chung Tsai*, Shiang Yao Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to describe the development and validation of an instrument to identify various dimensions of scientific epistemological views (SEVs) held by high school students. The instrument included five SEV dimensions (subscales): the role of social negotiation on science, the invented and creative reality of science, the theory-laden exploration of science, the cultural impacts on science, and the changing features of science. Six hundred and thirteen high school students in Taiwan responded to the instrument. Data analysis indicated that the instrument developed in this study had satisfactory validity and reliability measures. Correlation analysis and in-depth interviews supported the legitimacy of using multiple dimensions in representing student SEVs. Significant differences were found between male and female students, and between students’ and their teachers’ responses on some SEV dimensions. Suggestions were made about the use of the instrument to examine complicated interplays between SEVs and science learning, to evaluate science instruction, and to understand the cultural differences in epistemological views of science.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1621-1638
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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