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Title: Lebanese students' views of the nature of science
Authors: Abd-El-Khalick, Fouad
Boujaoude, Souma
Keywords: Education -- Mediterranean Region
Science -- Study and teaching -- Lebanon
Students -- Attitudes
Science students -- Lebanon
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: University of Malta. Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Educational Research
Citation: Abd-El-Khalick, F. & Boujaoude, S. (2003). Lebanese students' views of the nature of science. Mediterranean Journal of Educational Studies, 8(1), 61-79
Abstract: This study aimed to elucidate Lebanese middle school students’ definitions of science and perceptions of its purpose and usage. Participants were 80 grade 7 and grade 8 students randomly selected from four schools in Beirut, Lebanon. Students filled an open-ended questionnaire and participated in followup semi-structured interviews that aimed to generate in-depth profiles of their views of the target aspects of nature of science (NOS). Participants’ science teachers and school administrators were also interviewed regarding their views of the same aspects. An iterative process consistent with analytic induction was used to analyze the data and generate themes and categories that were representative of participants’ views. Additionally, statistical analyses were conducted to assess whether participants’ views were related to background and academic variables. Results indicated that the greater majority of participants held rather restricted views of science: they defined science as an academic subject that ‘furnishes information about the world,’ perceived its purpose as preparation for higher studies and careers, and mostly saw themselves and others using science in academic—rather than everyday life, settings. Student views were related to their socioeconomic status and type of school (public versus private). Participant science teachers and school administrators held equally restricted views of science. The views held by participants and their teachers are at odds with, and might hinder the attainment of, currently advocated goals for science education, which mainly aim to help students internalize more informed views of NOS as a process and a way of generating valid knowledge about the natural world that is relevant to students’ everyday personal and social, as well as academic, lives.
ISSN: 1024-5375
Appears in Collections:MJES, Volume 8, No. 1 (2003)
MJES, Volume 8, No. 1 (2003)

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