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Changing perceptions of science in undergraduate students: A mixed methods case study

Cindy S Larson-Miller, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this bounded single-case study was to explore the understanding of the nature and process of science for undergraduate students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). The study investigated one professor's methodology to explicitly teach undergraduate students about the nature and process of science, and documented their understanding and perception of science, both pre- and post-course. Using a mixed method approach, data were collected to provide a better understanding of teaching the nature and process of science. Three main types of data were analyzed: the process of science (TPOS) assessment; survey questions, and the module curriculum. Participating students completed The Process of Science (TPOS) assessment and open-ended survey questions pre- and post-intervention. The intervention in the study was the teaching of a process of science module developed by the instructor involved in the case study. Using a split-plot analysis of variance (ANOVA) in the pre- and post-module data, comparisons were drawn for the TPOS assessment and the survey questions. Evidence showed a statistically significant improvement in the pre- and post-scores for both assessments. The process of science module was also analyzed and found to be an educationally-sound curriculum when based on the foundation and philosophy of Bloom's Taxonomy. Students appreciated the module and the change that it caused in their perceptions of science.

Subject Area

Science education|Curriculum development|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Larson-Miller, Cindy S, "Changing perceptions of science in undergraduate students: A mixed methods case study" (2011). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3466479.