Junior secondary students' understanding of the nature of science through their study of science stories

by Fung, Yuk-ling

Abstract (Summary)
(Uncorrected OCR) Abstract of dissertation entitled

Junior Secondary Students' Understanding of the Nature of

Science Through Their Study of Science Stories

This study focused on students' understandings of the nature of science (NOS) after

a revised Science Curriculum including emphasis on the NOS took effect in

September 2000. The present study was based on lao's study (2003) which was

conducted in 2000 just before the revised Science Curriculum was implemented. The

design of this study was derived from the approach developed by Tao (2003). A five

lesson 'science stories' intervention (40-minutes each lesson) designed to present

several aspects of the NOS aimed at eliciting and fostering their understandings of

the NOS in a peer collaboration setting. A questionnaire (Solomon et al., 1992, 1994,

1996) was administered to 81 secondary year 1 (Grade 7) students as a pre- and

post-test to assess changes of their views of the NOS concerning the purpose of

experiments and status and role of scientific theories after their study of two science

stories in a peer collaboration setting. The questionnaire was also used as a delayed

post-test to assess changes of students' NOS views after a teacher intervention in a

whole-class discussion on the science stories. This study further attempts to analyse

students' conversational interactions while they work collaboratively in small groups

(4 or 5 students) during the NOS focused lessons. In conjunction with individual

interviews, these conversations allow inferences to be made about students'

understanding of the NOS and arguments for their VIews of the NOS. The

quantitative results obtained from the post-test and the delayed post-test show the

improvement in students' views of the NOS after the whole-class discussion on the

science stories is statistically significant at the 0.01 level. Moreover, the qualitative

results obtained from students' conversational interactions and individual interviews

show that some students could extract the aspects of the NOS presented in the

science stories and drew on them to offer arguments in confirm and reinforce their

views of NOS, or change their views. In addition, the peer collaboration setting

helped students build on each other's ideas and arrived at a shared understanding of

the NOS. In further such studies, it may be desirable to extend the length of the

intervention to bring in several aspects of the NOS to the students before their study

of the science stories in a peer collaboration setting. Afterward teachers may need to

direct students' attention to various aspects of the NOS presented by each story.

Covering more science stories and some laboratory activities which engage students

in the processes of scientific investigation and the development of scientific

knowledge may promote students' understanding of the NOS.

Bibliographical Information:


School:The University of Hong Kong

School Location:China - Hong Kong SAR

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:science study and teaching secondary china hong kong fiction junior high school students


Date of Publication:01/01/2003

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