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Development, validation and use of the beliefs about science and school science questionnaire (BASSSQ)

Aldridge, J., Taylor, P. and Chen, C.C. (1997) Development, validation and use of the beliefs about science and school science questionnaire (BASSSQ). In: Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), April 1997, Chicago, IL



The purpose of this study was to develop a questionnaire that would serve to identify teachers' beliefs about the nature of science, in order to provide greater insight into ways in which those views affect teaching practices. This study is part of a larger study that is investigating the influence of teachers’ philosophical perspectives on the constructivist nature of the classroom learning environment. The conceptual development of the Beliefs About Science And School Science Questionnaire (BASSSQ) draws on the philosophy of science to distinguish between objectivist and postmodern views of science. The BASSSQ was trialled in 27 junior high school classes in Western Australia. The validity and viability of the questionnaire were examined using a multiple perspective approach, including statistical reliability tests and interviews. The results suggest that the internal consistency is not entirely satisfactory across all scales. Interviews of teachers who responded to the BASSSQ indicated that teachers' responses are influenced by (1) their philosophical perspectives which, in turn, can cause them to equate ‘science’ with ‘school science’, and (2) the curriculum context that serves as a referent.

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