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Paper: Studying Students' Science Literacy: Non-Scientific Beliefs and Science Literacy Measures
Volume: 500, Celebrating Science: Putting Education Best Practices to Work
Page: 167
Authors: Impey, C.; Buxner, S.
Abstract: We have been conducting a study of university students' science literacy for the past 24 years. Based on the work of the National Science Board's ongoing national survey of the US public, we have administered the same survey to undergraduate science students at the University of Arizona almost every year since 1989. Results have shown relatively little change in students' overall science literacy, descriptions of science, and knowledge of basic science topics for almost a quarter of a century despite an increase in education interventions, the rise of the internet, and increased access to knowledge. Several trends do exist in students' science literacy and descriptions of science. Students who exhibit beliefs in non-scientific phenomenon (e.g., lucky numbers, creationism) consistently have lower science literacy scores and less correct descriptions of scientific phenomenon. Although not surprising, our results support ongoing efforts to help students generate evidence based thinking.
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