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A study of progression in learning about 'the nature of science': Issues of conceptualisation and methodology

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Publication details

JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
DatePublished - Feb 1997
Issue number2
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)147-166
Original languageEnglish


This paper describes a study of progression of young people's understandings of 'the nature of science' from age 9 to age 16. The paper aims to problematise the notion of 'progression in learning', and to describe the methodology used in the study in the context of a range of possible methodologies for studying progression in learning science. Findings relating to young peoples' characterisations of the nature of scientific knowledge and empirical enquiry are presented, and age-related trends are discussed. A framework for considering students' reasoning about aspects of 'the nature of science' is proposed. Finally, uses and limitations in the use of data from cross-sectional studies on progression are considered.

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