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Epistemological Views of Middle School Students on Scientific Inquiry

중학생들의 과학 탐구에 대한 인식론적 견해

  • Received : 2011.08.12
  • Accepted : 2012.01.10
  • Published : 2012.02.29

Abstract

In this study, epistemological views of middle school students on scientific inquiry were investigated. The Views of Scientific Inquiry Questionnaire was administered to 141 9th graders. The questionnaire consists of five open-ended items concerning the contexts of scientific investigation, the methods of scientific investigation, the interpretation of data, and the data and evidence. Analyses of the results indicated that their epistemological understanding of scientific inquiry were not adequate on the whole. Although the students suggested a variety of factors influencing scientists' decisions on the questions and the methods of investigation, many of the factors were minor. Only a few students specifically described the activities of scientists and the constituents of "scientific" activity, and students did not demonstrate adequate understanding of experimentation in science and multiple scientific methods. Moreover, the percentage of students who possessed the informed view that data can be variously interpreted was found to be low. The students also did not understand the distinctions between data and evidence. Educational implications are discussed.

Keywords

epistemology;scientific inquiry;middle school student

Acknowledgement

Supported by : 한국연구재단

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