Nature of Science

The Student Understanding of Science and Scientific Inquiry (SUSSI) instrument was used to assess students’ NOS conceptions. Movement in the constructs concerning 1) the nature of scientific observations, 2) the relationships between society, culture and 3) the role of imagination and creativity in scientific investigations (shown in the figure below) are a positive result and suggests a step in the direction of conveying that science in intellectually compelling work.  However, not all constructs are showing improvement. Potentially because certain NOS misconceptions (e.g., the existence of a singular scientific method) are deeply rooted, or the structure of the HHMI project may still be reinforcing some NOS misconceptions (e.g. poster presentations supporting the notion of THE scientific method)

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An outstanding puzzle is why the pre measures for SUSSI categories vary from course to course. We are disaggregating the data in terms of student demographics and major to investigate this observation.