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The scientific personal epistemology of students aged 11-12: A case study

Jamie Linale

(PGCE Secondary Biology, 2018-2019)



'The intention of the study was to explore the scientific personal epistemology (SPE) of students aged 11-12. A student's SPE is how they conceive the nature of knowledge and knowing in science. Personal epistemology, Nature of Science (NOS) and Scientific Inquiry (SI) research informed methodology and analysis. The case-study employed a battery of instruments, including concept cartoons, closed-form and open-form questionnaires, and inductive and deductive coding of responses. Consistent with previous findings, students entering secondary school have a nebulous and unstable conception of the discipline of science, and a rudimentary and inconsistent SPE. Developing more sophisticated SPEs is essential in science education, and educators should be sensitive to students' likely rudimentary conceptions at and before age 12. As students have the potential to hold more sophisticated epistemologies after appropriate intervention, both primary and secondary science educators should encourage explicit engagement with personal epistemology, NOS and SI in the classroom.'

Copyright: © 2020. This paper is copyright of the author. (Please read the Journal's copyright information page by using the menu to the left of this page.)

The full paper is available for download as a pdf file:001-048-linalej

Citation: Linale, J. (2020) 'The scientific personal epistemology of students aged 11-12: A case study' Journal of Trainee Teacher Educational Research, Volume 11 pp.001-048.