Evaluation of Hong Kong secondary school students' views and understandings of nature of Science

Yau Yuen YEUNG, Pun Hon NG

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


The contents of nature of science (NOS) in science curriculum have been changed in the past few decades. In the sixties, the contents were mainly about science process skills. Later, the tentative, replicable, probabilistic, humanistic, historic and empirical natures were included in the seventies and psychological and social factors were included in the eighties. In the recent science education reforms of many countries, students' adequate understandings of NOS were explicitly stated or required. In order to achieve similar educational goal in the current curriculum reform in Hong Kong, we must first develop a valid, reliable, practical and easy-to-analyse research instrument for large-scale probing of students' understanding and views of NOS. The present paper reports on how we have made use of 3 cases from history of physical science (to wit, biography of Galileo Galilei, Thomson and Rutherford's atomic models, and observation of "canali" in Mars) plus three other historical cases and issues from the biomedical field (to wit, Jenner's use of vaccination for immunization against smallpox, discovery of SARS virus in Hong Kong, and discovery of the mosquito's role in transmitting the malaria disease) to develop two new sets of questionnaire research tools. The major criticisms on past paper-and-pencil NOS questionnaire instruments had been properly considered and addressed during the design process. Subsequently, questionnaire surveys were administered to about 640 students at junior secondary level in 6 Hong Kong schools and about 450 science students at senior secondary level in another 6 schools in Hong Kong. Those surveyed data were triangulated with the group interviews of a few randomly selected students in each class. Some key findings on the students' attitudes and misconception towards NOS will be presented in this conference paper together with a brief discussion on their implication in science education.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2006


Yeung, Y. Y., & Ng, P. H. (2006, November). Evaluation of Hong Kong secondary school students' views and understandings of nature of Science. Science education in Hong Kong. Symposium conducted at the Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association (APERA) International Conference 2006: Educational Research, Policy and Practice in an Era of Globalization, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.


  • Secondary Education
  • Educational Evaluation


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