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Developing seventh grade students’ scientific epistemological beliefs, science process skills and lake ecosystem understandings through Lake Eymir education program

Yağlı, Müşerref Büşra
The main purposes of this study were to investigate the effectiveness of an inquiry-based education program on students’ science process skills, scientific epistemological beliefs, understandings of a lake ecosystem and examine their views about the education program. In this study, a single subject experimental research with pretest and posttest design was used. The sample of the study was 52 seventh grade students in a public school located in the Eymir Lake basin, in Golbasi district of Ankara. The education program had 8-week in-classes (16 hours), 4-week fieldworks (16 hours) and 2 seminars (2 hours) designed in order to fulfill the competencies, values, skills and objectives determined by the Ministry of National Education. In line with this target, the treatment was implemented in 2017-2018 Spring Semester. Science teachers were given training before the course and the implementation of lessons were performed by science teachers of each classroom. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected from the students through Demographic Information Questionnaire, Science Process Skills Test, Epistemological Belief Questionnaire, Lake Ecosystem Drawing Test and Students’ Review Questionnaire. SPSS 25.0 Statistical program and paired samples t-test were conducted for the analysis of the quantitative data and inductive data analyzing methods were utilized for analyzing qualitative data. The results indicated that Lake Eymir Education Program was effective on students’ scientific epistemological beliefs, scientific process skills and understandings of ecosystem conception. Students had also positive views about in-class activities, fieldworks and seminars given by scientists.