Exploring the Relationships among Epistemological Beliefs, Nature of Science, and Conceptual Change in the Learning of Evolutionary Theory

Moon Heum Cho, Deanna M. Lankford, Daniel J. Wescott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

We explored the relationship between epistemological beliefs and nature of science in a college biology course. One hundred thirty-three college students participated in the research. Exploratory factor analysis with 29 Nature of Science (NOS) items yielded three aspects of NOS: empirical, tentative, and sociocultural nature of scientific knowledge. Pearson r correlations suggested that students who have immature epistemological beliefs are more likely to also have immature beliefs of nature of science. In addition, students' epistemological beliefs significantly correlate with their conceptual change but their beliefs about nature of science did not. The research is significant in that it provides empirical evidence explaining the relationship between students' epistemological beliefs and nature of science as well as the relationships between epistemological beliefs and conceptual change in evolution theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-322
Number of pages10
JournalEvolution: Education and Outreach
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 21 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • College students
  • Conceptual change
  • Epistemological beliefs
  • Evolutionary theory
  • Nature of science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Education

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