A Comparative Study of Community College and University Students' Views on Socio-Scientific Issues and Social Cultural Aspects of the Nature of Science
The goals of this research are to determine the views of college students from three selected institutions, large suburban community college in the Northeast, large urban historical black college in the Northeast and large Catholic university in the Northeast on the Nature of Science (NOS), and socio-scientific issues (SSIs), and to investigate whether there are statistically significant differences in the NOS and SSI views of students in these institutions. The study also explored the
... plored the correlations between NOS and SSI views of these students. The NOS views of these students were measured with Student Understanding of Science and Scientific Inquiry (SUSSI) and the SSI views of these students were measured with Scientific Habits of Mind Survey (SHOMS). This study employed quantitative methods using descriptive, causal-comparative and correlation techniques. The independent variable is the institution type as represented by these three selected colleges and the dependent variables are the scores of students on the NOS tenets and SSIs from the two instruments (SUSSI and SHOMS). The institution was used in this study as a proxy for race/culture since the populations in those schools are either majority white students or minority students. The study's findings showed that there were no significant differences in the SSI means between students attending the three higher education institutions. There were significant differences in the NOS means between students attending the three higher education institutions. The t-test showed that the significant difference in the NOS means observed between the three groups of students was between the community college and historically black college. There were no correlations between the NOS and SSI views of students from either of the institutions.