New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Maltese Post-Secondary Lecturers’ Views on the Nature of Science

Rachel Pace, St Ignatius College (Malta)

Martin Musumeci, University of Malta (Malta)


This study investigates the nature of science (NOS) views of Maltese, post-secondary lecturers. The research tools were the SUSSI questionnaire coupled with semi-structured interviews based on the VNOS-Form C questionnaire. A total of 252 questionnaires and ten interviews were collected. They had transitional to adequate views on five NOS components: the tentativeness of scientific theories, scientific methodology, the social/cultural aspect of science, the use of imagination and creativity, and the nature of observations and inferences with inadequate views regarding the distinction between laws and theories.

The NOS ideas of various subgroups were highly uniform per age group and lecturing experience. Gender yielded a statistically significant difference on the distinction between laws and theories. Comparing areas of specialisation, applied science lecturers had more naïve views on most NOS components, yielding statistically significant differences on imagination and creativity and changes in theories. Considering closest traditional area, lecturers with Physics as closest area exhibited more naïve views on both change of scientific theories and the social/cultural aspect. For NOS views per highest qualification, PhDs had significantly better views on change of scientific theories.

Keywords:  NOS, post-secondary sector, lecturers


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