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Table 2
Pretest/posttest assessment of students’ comprehension of the role of theory in science.
StatementNumber Answering Correctly
Section EnrollmentPretestPosttestImprovement
1. The overarching goal of science is to collect as many facts about nature as possible.
(Correct response: disagree/strongly disagree) 
 7
20
21
57 
 4
16
 7
29 
 7
17
11
40 
57% → 100%
80% → 85%
33% → 52%
51% → 70% 
2. A scientific theory is an educated guess about how to explain something.
(Correct response: disagree/strongly disagree) 
 7
20
21
57 
 2
12
 4
31 
 6
20
 4
39 
29% → 86%
60% → 100%
19% → 19%
54% → 68% 
3. A theory is elevated to the level of law when it has been validated by repeated experiments.
(Correct response: disagree/strongly disagree) 
 7
20
21
57 
 3
 2
 4
12 
 6
16
 9
37 
43% → 86%
10% → 80%
19% → 43%
22% → 69% 
StatementNumber Answering Correctly
Section EnrollmentPretestPosttestImprovement
1. The overarching goal of science is to collect as many facts about nature as possible.
(Correct response: disagree/strongly disagree) 
 7
20
21
57 
 4
16
 7
29 
 7
17
11
40 
57% → 100%
80% → 85%
33% → 52%
51% → 70% 
2. A scientific theory is an educated guess about how to explain something.
(Correct response: disagree/strongly disagree) 
 7
20
21
57 
 2
12
 4
31 
 6
20
 4
39 
29% → 86%
60% → 100%
19% → 19%
54% → 68% 
3. A theory is elevated to the level of law when it has been validated by repeated experiments.
(Correct response: disagree/strongly disagree) 
 7
20
21
57 
 3
 2
 4
12 
 6
16
 9
37 
43% → 86%
10% → 80%
19% → 43%
22% → 69% 
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