The conceptions of learning science for science-mathematics groups and literature-mathematics groups in Turkey

Ozlem Sadi*, Min Hsien Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background:The conceptions of learning have a deep effect on the learning process, and accordingly on learning outcomes. Some researchers emphasize that conceptions of learning are domain-dependent and there should be more research in different domains (e.g. science, literature) to enhance students’ understanding of conceptions of learning science.Purpose:The purpose of this research was to examine and compare science-major and literature-major students’ conceptions of learning science (COLS). Also, gender differences in COLS were examined for two majors.Sample:The sample for this study comprised of 503 high school students in 10th, 11th, and 12th grades (244 females, 259 males)in a district of Karaman in Turkey.Design and methods:The questionnaire, the Conceptions of Learning Science (COLS), developed by Lee, Johanson, and Tsai, was used to identify students’ COLS. The data obtained via the questionnaire were analyzed by means of SPSS 15.0 statistical software. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were used to examine the factor structure of the questionnaire. Then, two-way MANOVA was conducted to compare the mean scores regarding the students’ majors and genders in terms of the factors of COLS.Results:The results of the study revealed that students in Science-Mathematics field tended to express more agreement with lower-level COLS, such as learning science by ‘memorizing,’ ‘preparing for exams,’ and ‘increasing one’s knowledge’ than those in Literature-Mathematics field. Second, more female students conceptualized learning science as ‘increasing one’s knowledge,’ ‘applying,’ ‘understanding,’ or ‘seeing in a new way’ than male students in both majors. Third, the findings of two-way MANOVA, in general, revealed that there were significant differences in the average scores of conceptions of ‘memorizing,’ ‘calculating and practicing,’ and ‘increasing one’s knowledge’ between two majors. Furthermore, there was a statistically significant mean difference between male and female students with respect to ‘memorizing,’ ‘preparing for exams,’ ‘calculating and practicing,’ ‘applying,’ ‘understanding,’ and ‘seeing in a new way.’

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-196
Number of pages15
JournalResearch in Science and Technological Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 May 4
Externally publishedYes


  • conceptions of learning
  • gender
  • literature
  • science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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