Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Science Education 89 (2004), pp. 314–334.

doi: 10.1002/sce.20053


Copyright © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Use by permission.


In this study, students’ views on the nature of science (NOS) were investigated with the use of a large-scale survey. An empirically derived multiple-choice format questionnaire was administered to 1,702 Korean 6th, 8th, and 10th graders. The questionnaire consisted of five items that respectively examined students’ views on five constructs concerning the NOS: purpose of science, definition of scientific theory, nature of models, tentativeness of scientific theory, and origin of scientific theory. Students were also asked to respond to an accompanying open-ended section for each item in order to collect information about the rationale(s) for their choices. The results indicated that the majority of Korean students possessed an absolutist/empiricist perspective about the NOS. It was also found that, on the whole, there were no clear differences in the distributions of 6th, 8th, and 10th graders’ views on the NOS. In some questions, distinct differences between Korean students and those of Western countries were found. Educational implications are discussed.