The Influence of Documentary Films on 8th Grade Students’ Views about Nature of Science

Author/s: Munise Seckin Kapucu, Gultekin Cakmakci, Cemil Aydogdu

DOI: 10.12738/estp.2015.3.2186 

Year: 2015 Vol: 15 Number: 3

Abstract

This quasi-experimental study aims to investigate the documentary films’ influence on 8th grade students’ nature of science views. The study’s participants were 113 8th grade students from two different schools taught by two different teachers. The study was completed over a 6-week period, during which topics related to “Cell Division and Heredity” and “Force and Motion” were covered. In the experimental group, six documentary films were integrated into the science curriculum to teach ideas about nature of science. The control group, however, followed the regular science curriculum. The Views of Nature of Science Elementary Level (VNOS-E) questionnaire developed by Lederman and Ko (2004) was used as the data collection tool. In addition, semistructured interviews were conducted with 28 students using the VNOS-E questionnaire at the beginning and end of the study. The results suggest that students in the control group showed no significant improvement in their understanding about nature of science in response to the instruction.However, students in the experimental group showed statistically improvements in their understanding about four of the five nature of science themes in response to the instruction. In addition, a statistically significant difference was found between the views of the experimental group and those of the control group students in the post-test results for four of the five nature of science themes. The results suggest that the use of documentary films in science classrooms has the potential to enhance students’ views about nature of science.

Keywords
Nature of science, Documentary film, Movies in science education, Science communication

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