Title

Exploring grade 10 students’ conceptions about the nature of science

Date of Award

7-11-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Professional Development Centre, Karachi

Abstract

Students’ conceptions of the Nature of Science (NOS) greatly influence their understanding of science and scientific knowledge. Therefore, an understanding of NOS is considered to be important in order to develop informed conceptions about science among the learners. Thus, by exploring the learners’ current understanding of NOS will help the teachers and educators of science to make their interventions in right direction. This study aimed to explore Grade 10 students’ conceptions about the four selected aspects of NOS that are the empirical nature of science, tentativeness, scientific method and scientific theories and laws. This study was conducted under the qualitative research paradigm. A sample of 28 students participated in this study and among them six were selected for semi-structured interviews through purposive sampling. Two types of research tools, Views of Nature of Science (VoNOS) and Nature Of Science Research Protocol (NOSRP) were used to collect data. Both the tools were modified to suit the purpose of the study. The interview data was audio-taped and transcribed. The data was analyzed by coding and categorizing it under the four predetermined themes.

The findings revealed that participants in this study held adequate views about the empirical nature of science. Most of the participants held adequate views and some of them possessed mixed-views about the tentative Nature of Science. Regarding the scientific method most of the students’ possessed inadequate views and few of them held mixed views. All participants demonstrated inadequate views about laws and theories.

The findings of the study revealed that, most of the students have inadequate views about NOS. Thus, an immediate help is needed in this regard to improve students’ understanding of NOS. This study also draws the attention of the stakeholders toward teachers’ professional development and inclusion of the concepts of NOS in science textbooks.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library

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