Assessing the Suitability of The Adapted Scientific Epistemic Beliefs Questionnaire in Namibia

Simson Ndadaleka Shaakumeni


This study adapted and validated a questionnaire for assessing Namibian students’ scientific epistemic beliefs and explore their relation to achievement in science, gender, grade and socioeconomic status. The study was correlational, with a sample of 944 (45% male; 55% female) Grades 11 and 12 students with the mean age M=17.9, SD= 1.4. A Likert scale questionnaire comprised of four dimensions of beliefs: source; certainty; development; and justification of scientific knowledge. The adapted questionnaire had good reliability with the Cronbach’s alpha of subscales ranging from .80 to .83 and the overall reliability of .70.  Model fit analysis yielded good statistical fit with Chi-square ratio to degrees of freedom= 2.71, RMSEA= 0.043, CFI= 0.95, TLI= 0.94, SRMR= .032. The overall regression model was significant F (4, 939) =8.218, p <.001, R2= .034. Two dimensions, certainty (b=.154, p<.001) and justification (b=.100, p<.05) statistically significantly predicted achievement in science. There was statistically significant difference in beliefs about source in terms of gender and grade and about certainty in terms of grade. The results show that the questionnaire works well with the Namibian sample used given the good model fit for the data and reliability. Results are discussed in terms of 21st century skills development.

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Journal of Studies in Education ISSN 2162-6952


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