Views on Science and Education (VOSE)

The Views on Science and Education Questionnaire (VOSE) was designed to assess attitudes towards and knowledge of the nature of science (NOS) as well as the teaching practices related to NOS.

Average Review: 3 (3.0)

by Matthew Minarchek, Project Assistant, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 3

The Views on Science and Education (VOSE) instrument contains 15 questions and 85-Likert scale items intended to measure knowledge of the nature of science. It is targeted towards college students, science teachers, and older audiences more generally. The language used in the questions and items is too advanced for youth audiences and audiences with little to no background or education in science. This is particularly true for questions 14 and 15, which require the participant to analyze a lengthy three-paragraph scenario before answering. The authors estimate that it will take participants 15 minutes to complete the instrument, but I would guess that time to be closer to 30 minutes due to the length of the response items and the paragraph analysis section of the instrument. This instrument is an improvement on the Views on Science–Technology–Society (VOSTS). Some items were borrowed from VOSTS and revised based on a pilot study. The authors considered using VOSTS, but according to the authors there were problems with the instrument: "First, some statements in the questionnaire are overgeneralized; therefore, VOSE avoids this type of statement. Second, some VOSTS items have ambiguous positions. The third problem with VOSTS, concerning the objectivity and subjectivity of science, was that the subjects often stated different opinions about what science or scientists are and what science or scientists ought to be. Fourth, the subjects also pointed out that some answers on the VOSTS questionnaire had overlapping meanings and were redundant. Fifth, VOSTS forces a participant to choose only one position." I would recommend this item if used on older audiences, but not for groups below junior or senior high school students. This instrument would be best used in a formal science setting, or in informal science environments with participants who have some education or background in science.