Lin Tsai - IJSE 2008

Exploring the Structural Relationships between High School Students' Scientific Epistemological Views and their Utilization of Information Commitments toward Online Science Information
International Journal of Science Education, Volume 30, Issue 15 December 2008 , pages 2001 - 2022

Chia-Ching Lin; Chin-Chung Tsai

The main purpose of this study was to examine the structural relationships between scientific epistemological views (SEVs) and information commitments (ICs) of high school students in Taiwan. Data were collected from 486 Taiwanese high school students via two self-reporting instruments: one was the SEV questionnaire, including five scales for representing students' views toward scientific knowledge; and the other was the ICs survey, involving six scales for exploring their evaluative standards and searching strategies of online science information. Structural equation modelling analysis was used to examine the relationships between the aspects of SEVs and ICs. The results of the measurement model confirmed that both the SEVs and ICs instruments had highly satisfactory validity and reliability. The structural equation modelling analysis further indicated that students' SEVs guided their evaluative standards and searching strategy when dealing with Web-based science information. For example, students who viewed scientific knowledge as more changeable and tentative significantly tended to adopt a more sophisticated evaluative standard, such as carefully inspecting the content of web sites for judging the usefulness. The findings in general suggested that students with more constructivist-oriented SEVs might develop more advanced standards and searching strategy toward online scientific information to derive great benefit from Web-based environments. Consequently, the role of SEVs should be highlighted as increasingly metacognitive engagement with online science information.