Does STEM Education Make a difference to Students’ Views of Nature of Science? A Survey in Elementary Schools

Saiqi Tian, Yinyan Chen, Jinxing Zhu


This study aims to examine views of Nature of Science (VNOS) among elementary students, and to determine if STEM education make a difference to their VNOS. Data for this study was gathered from two elementary schools in China. One has never implemented STEM education. The other one implements STEM education as a course once or twice a week for students at different grades. Participants’ VNOS was gathered through responses to Likert scale questions from the Nature of Science “Mars Mission” questionnaire. Some students and their teachers were interviewed after questionnaire survey. It was found that students who have been received STEM education show higher score of VNOS than who have never been exposed to STEM education. In different dimensions, STEM education makes a significant difference to scientific worldview, and makes a difference to scientific inquiry as well as scientific enterprise. For students never received STEM education, no relation was found between grade and their VNOS. With regards to students regularly exposed to STEM education, grade shows a strong positive relation with their VNOS. The earlier students contact with STEM education, the better their view of the nature of science.

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