Student and school characteristics related to elementary students’ nature of science views

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Education, Mathematics and Science Education, Turkey

Approval Date: 2010




The purposes of this study were to explain the development and validation of a new instrument for assessing elementary students’ views of the Nature of Science (NOS) and to investigate student and school level factors that help to explain the difference in NOS views. The sample included 3,062 elementary students elementary schools located in Çankaya. Different from these students, 782 elementary students were the sample for the first focus of this study. The Nature of Science Instrument, Learning Approach Questionnaire and Achievement Motivation Questionnaire were administered to the students. Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) was selected as a modeling technique because of the nested structure of the data sets. This study provides an instrument for measuring elementary student views of the NOS regarding four dimensions. In this study, students had different views regarding each dimensions, therefore, many variables have been shown to relate to different dimensions of NOS. This study has established the importance of student socio-economic background with varying learning approaches, self-efficacy, and motivational goals in forming their NOS views. Findings revealed that quality of the physical infrastructure of schools and quality of educational resources in school, parent educational levels, student achievement, self efficacy, experience with meaningful learning, and learning goal orientation are positively related to student NOS views in many different dimensions. Additionally, performance goal orientation and rote learning approaches have negative relationship with different dimensions of student NOS views.