Eighth grade students' nature of science understanding

Irmak N. F. N. , Yılmaz-Tüzün Ö., Çakıroğlu J.

3rd International Conference on Science, Mathematics, Entrepreneurship and Technology Education , Bursa, Turkey, 30 September - 03 October 2021, pp.43-44

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Bursa
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.43-44
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Nature of science (NOS) understanding was seen as an important component for scientific

literacy (Lederman, 2007). The purpose of the study is to investigate eighth grade students’ NOS

understanding about three tenets of NOS tentativeness, empirical-based and subjectivity. The sample

consisted of 414 eighth grade students from four different public middle schools. The data were

collected in the fall semester of 2019-2020 academic year. To collect data, the Views of Nature of

Science Elementary Level (VNOS-E) Questionnaire was used. To analyze students’ NOS understanding,

the researchers used the rubric formed based on the rubric developed and used in the study of Akerson

and Donnelly (2010). Based on this rubric, the researchers classified the participants’ views as

inadequate, adequate, or informed for each NOS tenet. Then, inadequate views scored as 1, adequate

views scored as 2, and informed views scored as 3. The findings of descriptive statistics revealed that

students held adequate understanding mostly about tentativeness (M=1.59, SD=0.52). Then,

respectively, they held adequate understanding about empirical-based (M=1.46, SD=0.55) and

subjectivity (M=1.30, SD=0.50). About 43% of the students held inadequate, about 56% of them held

adequate and only about 1% of them held informed understanding on tentativeness tenet. About 57%

of the students held inadequate, about 40% of them held adequate and about 3% of them held

informed understanding on empirical-based tenet. About 72% of the students had inadequate, about

27% of them had adequate and only about 1% of them had informed understanding about subjectivity

tenet. The findings showed that almost half or more than half of the students have inadequate NOS

understanding on these three tenets. Based on the findings, suggestions were made to improve

students’ NOS understanding.