Relationships among pre-service science teachers’ epistemological beliefs, knowledge level and trustworthiness on information sources: climate change, nuclear energy, and organ donation and transplantation


Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Turkey

Approval Date: 2014

Thesis Language: English

Student: Aslı Saylan

Supervisor: ÖZGÜL YILMAZ TÜZÜN

Abstract:

The aims of this study are to investigate how pre-service science teachers evaluated the trustworthiness of different information sources given about three different SSI: climate change, nuclear energy, organ transplantation and donation; their criteria of trustworthiness; the epistemological beliefs of pre-service science teachers; pre-service teachers’ accumulation of knowledge about the SSI topics; and whether there is a relationship among the epistemological beliefs, knowledge levels about three SSI and evaluation of trustworthiness to different sources of pre-service science teachers or not. During 2012-2013 spring semester, 630 pre-service science teachers from four public universities participated in the study. Survey method was used in this research. Data were collected through Schommer’s Epistemological Questionnaire, Knowledge Test, and Trustworthiness Questionnaire. Multivariate analysis of variance, correlational analysis, and mixed-design analysis of variance were conducted. The analyses revealed that pre-service teachers displayed a relatively sophisticated epistemological beliefs towards science, 45 % of them had an adequate knowledge of climate change, 41 % of them had an adequate knowledge of nuclear energy, and only 23 % of them had an adequate knowledge of organ donation and transplantation. Averagely, pre-service teachers put less emphasis on author while reading texts about climate change and nuclear energy, whereas they put less emphasis on publication date of the texts written about organ donation and transplantation. The results revealed that high achiever pre-service teachers found all the texts more difficult to comprehend than low achievers; and high achievers gave more importance to the content while evaluating the trustworthiness of sources than low achievers did.