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Elementary Students' Scientific Epistemological Beliefs in Relation to Socio-Economic Status and Gender

This study investigated students’ scientific epistemological beliefs in relation to socio-economic status (SES) and gender. Data were obtained from 1,152 eight grade Turkish elementary school students using Scientific Epistemological Beliefs instrument. Canonical correlation analysis indicated that students with a working mother and educated parents as well as greater number of books at home together with a separate study room are more likely to have tentative views and less likely to have fixed views about science compared to students with unemployed mother, uneducated parents, less books at home, and no separate study room. Generally, results revealed while family SES correlated positively with tentative views, it was negatively associated with fixed views, implying that students from high SES family were more likely to believe that knowledge is uncertain and not handed down by authority compared to students from low SES family. This study, however, failed to indicate any relationship between father work-status, buying daily newspaper and epistemological beliefs. In addition, Multivariate Analysis of Variance indicated that boys more likely to have tentative beliefs compared to girls.