Past studies have shown that students' conceptions of learning science (CLS) are related to their approaches to learning science (ALS) and to their self-efficacy for learning science (SELS), but it has not yet been studied whether parents' CLS play a role in children's ALS and SELS. This research investigated 472 pairs of Chinese high school students and their parents to identify the new predictive relationships among parents' CLS and students' ALS and SELS. In this study parents' CLS was divided into reproductive and constructivist conceptions. Students' ALS consisted of four factors, whereas SELS only extracted one factor. We found that (1) parents' constructivist CLS was positively associated with students' deep approaches; (2) parental reproductive CLS could positively predict students' surface strategies, while it was likely that the more constructive conceptions that parents held, the less their children would adopt surface strategies; (3) parental constructivist and reproductive CLS were both significant positive predictors of students' surface motive; and (4) parental CLS could make an indirect prediction through students' ALS. The findings indicate that parents should be cautious about the CLS they are portraying in their words and deeds to help foster their children's deep learning motive and strategies.
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