‘An Experiment Is When You Try It and See If It Works’: A Study of Grade 7 Students’ Understanding Of the Construction of Scientific Knowledge


The research reported here focuses on grade 7 (12‐year‐old) students’ epistemological views prior to and after exposure to a teaching unit especially developed to introduce the constructivist view of science. A clinical interview was used to assess students’ understanding about the nature of scientific knowledge and inquiry. Students’ initial epistemological stance is that scientific knowledge is a passively acquired, faithful copy of the world, and that scientific inquiry is limited solely to observing rather than constructing explanations about nature. We found that it is possible to move students beyond this initial view.

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International Journal of Science Education

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