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Would YOU want to talk to a scientist at a party? High school students’ attitudes to school science and to science

[journal article]

Bennett, Judith; Hogarth, Sylvia

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-134476

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Abstract This paper describes a four-year project involving the development of a new instrument, the Attitudes to School Science and Science instrument, and its use to collect baseline attitudinal data from 280 students aged 11, 14 and 16. A key feature of the instrument is that it collects both descriptive and explanatory data in a pencil-and-paper format. The data gathered is probed in detail for explanatory insights into features that have emerged from more recent research on attitudes to science, in particular the suggestions that students view science outside school more positively than their experiences in science lessons, and that the early years of secondary education (ages approximately 11 to 14) are the most crucial in shaping attitudes. The study shows that positive attitudes to school science decline significantly between the ages of 11 and 14, with little appreciable downward change beyond this and, in some cases, a slight upturn. Female students display less positive attitudes and less clear-cut views on a variety of aspects of science. A sense of science being important in general terms, though not having much appeal for individual students, also emerged clearly from the data. The paper suggests that attitudinal instruments have a role to play in research, but that these need to be complemented by studies of detailed features of schools that may influence attitudes, some of which may not be apparent from data collected from students.
Classification Sociology of Education; Secondary Education Sector Upper Level
Document language English
Publication Year 2009
Page/Pages p. 1975-1998
Journal International Journal of Science Education, 31 (2009) 14
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09500690802425581
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)
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