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A Comparison of Approaches and Instruments for Evaluating a Geological Sciences Research Experiences Program
This article describes a study in which changes in knowledge of science and attitudes regarding science among participants in a summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program were examined. It was discovered that existing survey instruments could not detect changes in participants' attitudes over the course of the program and also failed to detect differences between geoscience faculty and a group of college students with limited exposure to college level science. In response to this, researchers developed a new survey instrument based on clusters of statements representing a variety of philosophical positions, from which respondents must pick one statement. It was discovered that open-ended questions about the nature of science provide a potentially richer source of information and that a survey instrument designed to probe more subtle aspects of one's beliefs about science can be used to assess adults who have had a variety of different kinds of exposure to science. The pilot survey instrument may also be able, with modifications, to assess attitude and knowledge changes caused by participation in a scientific research experience.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Graduate / Professional
Type of resource:
  • Text:
    • Journal article
  • Educational theory and practice
Technical requirements:
Adobe Acrobat reader
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
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DLESE Catalog ID: EVAL-TLKT-000-000-000-102
Related resources:
This resource is referenced by
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT)
Journal of Geoscience Education (JGE)

Author: Pamela C. Burnley
Department of Geology
Georgia State University

Author: William Evans
Department of Communications
Georgia State University

Author: Olga S. Jarrett
Department of Early Childhood Education
Georgia State University