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Students nature of science views regarding gender, grade level and learning environment perceptions

Ebren Kuyumcu, Ebru
The purpose of this study was to assess middle school students’ Nature of Science (NOS) views in relation to gender, grade level, and learning environment perceptions in science classes. The sample included 608 middle school students (289 boys and 319 girls) from Grade 7 (n = 286) and Grade at (n =322) attending public schools located in Yenimahalle and Sincan districts in Ankara. The Background Characteristics Survey, The Students’ Views of Nature of Science (SVNOS) and “What is Happening in this Class (WIHIC)” instruments were administered to the students. A two-way multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was performed to examine gender and grade level differences in students’ views on different tenets of NOS. Findings revealed that there were no significant gender and grade level differences in students’ nature of science views. Additionally, a canonical correlation analysis was conducted between a set of learning environment perception variables as measured by the WIHIC and a set of NOS tenets as measured by the SVNOS. Findings showed that all learning environment perception variables (i.e., cohesiveness, teacher support, investigation, involvement, task orientation, cooperation and equity) were positively related to the students’ views on all NOS tenets except for changing/tentative nature of science.