This cross-sectional study explored students’ conceptions of science learning via drawing analysis. A total of 906 Taiwanese students in 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grade were asked to use drawing to illustrate how they conceptualise science learning. Students’ drawings were analysed using a coding checklist to determine the presence or absence of specified attributes. Data analysis showed that the majority of students pictured science learning as school-based, involving certain types of experiment or teacher lecturing. In addition, notable cross-sectional differences were found in the ‘Activity’ and ‘Emotions and attitudes’ categories in students’ drawings. Three major findings were made: (1) lower grade level students conceptualised science learning with a didactic approach, while higher graders might possess a quantitative view of science learning (i.e. how much is learned, not how well it is learned), (2) students’ positive and negative emotions and attitudes toward science learning reversed around middle school, and (3) female students expressed significantly more positive emotions and attitudes than their male counterparts. In conclusion, higher graders’ unfruitful conceptions of science learning warrant educators’ attention. Moreover, further investigation of girls’ more positive emotions and attitudes found in this study is needed.
- Conceptions of science learning
- cross-sectional study
- drawing analysis
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