A preliminary construction and validation of a test on the nature of science and scientific thinking

Norris, Stephen P. (Stephen Patrick) (1975) A preliminary construction and validation of a test on the nature of science and scientific thinking. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
    (Original Version)

Abstract

This study concerned itself with the construction and validation of a test on the nature of science and scientific thinking, to be used with grade X and grade XI high school students and with grades I to XI science teachers. The instrument was grounded on the theoretical framework specified in Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: Cognitive Domain and upon a model of the nature of science gleaned from the writings of several philosophers of science and compiled by the author. This theoretical grounding gave support to the instrument's content validity. -- As an additional check on validity, a preliminary form of the test, containing ninety-one four alternative multiple-choice items, was given to a panel of ten validators, including practicing scientists, science educators, and an epistemologist. Using the results of their analysis, sixteen of the items were excluded from the test, several were modified, and an answer key was devised based upon 70 percent agreement among the panel members. The form of the test which resulted was administered to approximately two hundred fifty grade X and grade XI students and forty-five grades I to XI science teachers. -- Both item and factor analyses of the student's responses indicated that the most plausible interpretation of the manner in which they answered the test was that their responses were essentially random. Such a result was suspected from the beginning, since the students had never received instruction in the content examined by this instrument. However, the item analysis results were still helpful in the rewriting of several test items. Also, the item analysis of the teacher responses indicated that they performed significantly better than the students at the 0.001 level of significance. -- While the factor analysis results reflected the random response given by the students, an attempt was made to discover to what degree the hypothesized factor structures for the instrument matched the factors which were extracted from the students responses. It was believed that more interpretable results would have been received in this regard had the students been instructed in the content examined by the test.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7321
Item ID: 7321
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 149-154. -- QEII has photocopy.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1975
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Science--Study and teaching; Science--Philosophy

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