An examination of students' attitudes toward school and classroom science Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/pr76f5639

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  • The purpose of this study was to examine fifth, seventh, and tenth graders' attitudes toward school and classroom science by means of questionnaires and interviews. In particular, the study hoped to determine (a) if a relationship existed between these two attitudes, (b) what relationship, if any, grade level, gender, ethnicity, school/community type, expected GPA and science grade, and personally satisfying GPA and science grade had with either or both of the attitudes, and (c) the source of students' attitudes. The questionnaires used in this study (Science Attitude Scale for Middle School Students by Misiti, Shrigley, and Hanson and one constructed by the author) were found to be both valid and reliable. The surveys were administered to approximately 1,000 fifth, seventh, and tenth graders from schools representing rural, small city, and urban communities at the commencement and near the end of the schools' fall terms. After the second administration of the questionnaires, 25 students, representing each grade level from each community type, were interviewed following a structured interview format. The results indicated that while a statistically significant relationship did exist between students' attitudes toward school and toward classroom science, the relationship had no practical meaning. Females were slightly more positive about school than their male counterparts. No gender differences were found with respect to attitudes toward classroom science. Fifth graders held significantly more positive attitudes toward science than seventh and tenth graders. None of the other variables were found to have any practical relationship to either of the attitudes. The interview data suggested that students from all three grade levels had definite feelings about school and classroom science, particularly about modes of instruction, relevancy, their teachers, and the effect of attitude on achievement.
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