Research in Science Education

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 355–379

Swedish Upper Secondary Students’ Views of the Origin and Development of the Universe


DOI: 10.1007/s11165-005-9009-y

Cite this article as:
Hansson, L. & Redfors, A. Res Sci Educ (2006) 36: 355. doi:10.1007/s11165-005-9009-y


The article is addressing how students reason about the origin and development of the universe. Students’ own views as well as their descriptions of physical models are analysed. Data consists of written surveys, and interviews of a subset of the students. Most of the students relate to the Big Bang model when describing the origin of the universe. The study however shows that this can mean different things to the students. The article also addresses views of whether or not the universe changes and of the origin of the elements. When comparing students’ own views with their views of the physics view this study shows that there are students who have a different view of their own than the view they connect with physics. This shows that students, in the area of cosmology, do not necessarily take the view they connect with physics to be their own. Examples of students who handle the physics view in different ways are discussed. There are students who relate not only to science but also to a religious worldview when describing their own view. This shows that when discussing cosmology in class, also a religious worldview can be relevant for parts of the student group.

Key Words

cosmologycross-cultural learningphysicsreligionupper secondary studentsworldview

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Font D*, Kristianstad UniversityKristianstadSweden
  2. 2.Kristianstad UniversityKristianstadSweden