The Effect of Nature of Science Metacognitive Prompts on Science Students' Content and Nature of Science Knowledge, Metacognition, and Self-Regulatory Efficacy




Peters, Erin

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The purpose of the present quasi-experimental mixed-method design is to examine the effectiveness of a developmental intervention (4-phase EMPNOS) to teach the nature of science using metacognitive prompts embedded in an inquiry unit. Eighty-eight (Nˆ) eighth grade students from four classrooms were randomly assigned to an experimental and a control group. All participants were asked to respond to a number of tests (content and nature of science knowledge) and surveys (metacognition of the nature of science, metacognitive orientation of the classroom, and self-regulatory efficacy). Participants were also interviewed to find problem solving techniques and shared experiences between the groups. It was hypothesized that the experimental group would outperform the control group in all measures. Partial support for the hypotheses was found. Specifically, results showed significant gains in content knowledge and nature of science knowledge of the experimental group over the control group. Qualitative findings revealed that students in the control group reported valuing authority over evidence, while the experimental group reported that they depended on consensus of their group on the interpretation of the evidence rather than authority, which is more closely aligned to the aspects of the nature of science. Four-phase EMPNOS may have implications as a useful classroom tool in guiding students to check their thinking for alignment to scientific thinking.



Nature of science, Self-regulation, Metacognition, Science education