This study was conducted to explore the interrelationships between students' scientific epistemological beliefs, preferences for constructivist learning environments and their cognitive structures, with applications of the improvement of science teaching. Through analyzing 48 Taiwanese junior high school students' questionnaire responses and recalled scientific information about a treatment lesson for the atomic model, the following statistically significant findings were found. In general, students having epistemological beliefs more oriented to constructivist views of science tended to show more preferences for constructivist learning environments. Moreover, students' science achievement was correlated with most of the students' cognitive structure outcomes; however, their scientific epistemological beliefs and their learning preferences were also significantly related to the structure of knowledge recall, following listening to a replay of their prior elicited recall. It was found that students holding more constructivist-oriented views about science tended to recall more information, as well as show more richness, more flexibility, and a higher precision of knowledge recall, indicating they had a better metacognitive ability when reconstructing their ideas. Moreover, constructivist-oriented students employed more conditional inferential reasoning in their recalled information than those having more empiricist-aligned epistemological beliefs. Students showing more preferences for autonomy or discovery types of learning activities tended to organize scientific information in a more integrated way, while students who believed that learning was a process of personal interpretation, knowledge construction and problem solving tended to have a slower information retrieval rate, perhaps indicating a deeper processing of information. A qualitative analysis through interviewing some selected information-rich students also revealed that constructivist-oriented students tended to actually learn through constructivist-oriented instructional activities, employ a more active manner and meaningful strategies when learning science, whereas empiricist-oriented students tended to use more rote-like strategies to enhance their understanding. Constructivist-oriented subjects tended to have more pragmatic views about the value of science and they were mainly motivated by their interest and curiosity about science, whereas empiricist-aligned subjects were mainly motivated by performance on examinations.
|出版狀態||已發佈 - 1996|