ERG SES C 07, Parallel Session C 07
Science educators have invested a great effort in studying students’ attitudes in science based on the assumption that there is some level of positive correlation between a student’s positive attitude towards science and their achievement in science and willingness to take advance science courses, a predictor of a student’s intention to pursue a science related career (Baker, 1986; Butler, 1999; Crawley & Coe, 1990; Jenkins & Nelson, 2005; Koballa & Glynn, 2007; Lafargio, 1988; Osborne & Collins, 2001; Reiss, 2004). Science educators have studied students’ attitudes towards science through multiple perspectives. Some scholars have looked at the difference between male and female students’ attitudes towards science, some have looked at the influence of instruction on students’ attitudes towards science and some have looked at the impact of curriculum on students’ attitudes towards science (Koballa & Glynn, 2007). Baker and Leary (1995) interviewed fourth female students in an effort to determine factors influencing their attitudes towards science. They looked at these female students’ feelings about science, science careers, peer and parental support and science instruction. Their analysis points out that the female students felt confident about learning science and pursuing careers in science. Regarding instruction, female students reportedly liked socially interactive science classrooms instead of science classroom that promoted independent learning. In a study with 114 students Osborne and Collins (2001) found that both girls and boys cited chemistry and physics as the most difficult two science subjects, irrelevant to their everyday lives. More interestingly the same study reveals that students not only made negative comments about learning these two science subjects but also they did not aspire to the careers associated with physics or chemistry. These findings suggest that teachers’ need not only to acquire knowledge of subject matter and pedagogy to teach chemistry and physics but also to acquire knowledge and skills to bring about conceptual change in students’ attitudes towards chemistry and physics and the careers that are associated with physics and chemistry. Such knowledge and skills are crucial to equitable science instruction.
Although there has been a limited research looking at Turkish high school students’ attitudes towards science, more research is needed for understanding factors that affect students’ attitudes towards science courses. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether the variables such as gender, grade level, biology achievement, chemistry achievement, physics achievement predict students’ attitudes toward science.
Selected References Jenkins, E. W. & Nelson, N. W. (2005). Important but not for me: Students’ attitudes towards secondary school science in England. Research in Science & Technological Education, 23, 41-57. Koballa, T. R. & Glynn, S. M. (2007). Attitudinal and motivational constructs in science learning. In S. K. Abell & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Science Education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Osborne, J. & Collins, S. (2001). Pupils’ views of the role and value of the science curriculum: A focus-group study. International Journal of Science Education, 23, 441-467.
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