International Journal of Technology Enhancements and Emerging Engineering Research (ISSN 2347-4289)

IJTEEE >> Volume 2 - Issue 1, January 2014 Edition

International Journal of Technology Enhancements and Emerging Engineering Research  
International Journal of Technology Enhancements and Emerging Engineering Research

Website: http://www.ijteee.org

ISSN 2347-4289

Students' Attitude Towards Natural Science In Debre Markos Town Primary Schools

[Full Text]



Yazachew Alemu Tenaw



Keywords: locus of control, relevance of science, self-efficacy, science subjects, attitudes



ABSTRACT: This study examines attitudes to school science classes amongst primary school students based on the assumption that these will influence their attitudes and choices later in life. 980 primary school students in grades 4-6(Debre Markos Town, Ethiopia)) were given a Likert-type questionnaire and asked to provide verbal explanations for their agreement/disagreement with each item. The items are divided into three "clusters," representing three central influences on student attitudes: "motivational factors", "locus of control" and "relevance of science." My results support the findings of previous research in elements such as students' enthusiasm for experiments, and reveal some interesting discrepancies in the way boys and girls assess the relevance of science they learn in school. While the questionnaire shows that most of the students saw discussion in science class as a source of interest, students' explanations and their answers to the open-ended questions also indicate that the most common model of a science lesson they see is readings from the textbook, accompanied by the teacher's explanations. Only about one half of the students claim to take an active part in classes, answering questions asked by the teacher in class, taking part in class discussions, and expressing their opinions. The teacher is perceived as a significant part of the learning process. The students' explanations indicate that they see the teacher as a primary source of information and authority.



[1]. Adamson, L. B., Foster, M. A., Roark, M. L., & Reed, D. B. (1998). Doing a science project: Gender differences during childhood. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 35(8), 845-857.

[2]. Andre, T., Whigham, M., Hendrickson, A., & Chambers, S. (1999). Competency beliefs, positive affect, and gender stereotypes of elementary students and their parents about science versus other school subjects. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 36(6), 719-747.

[3]. Atwater, M. M., Wiggins, J., & Gardner, C. M. (1995). A study of urban middle school students with high and low attitudes toward science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 32 (6), 665-677.

[4]. Baird, J. H., Lazarowitz, R., & Allman, V. (1984). Science choices and preferences of middle and secondary school students in Utah. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 21,47-54.

[5]. Baram-Tsabari, A., Yarden, A., Sethi, R. J., & Bry, L. (2009). Asking scientists: A decade of questions analyzed by age, gender, and country. Science Education, 93(1), 131-160.

[6]. Brophy, J. (2004). Motivating Students to learn (2nd ed). Erlbaurn: Mahwah, NJ.

[7]. Caleon, I. S., & Subramaniam, R. (2008). Attitudes towards science of intellectually gifted and mainstream upper primary students in Singapore. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 45 (8), 940-954.

[8]. Creswell, J. W., & Tashakkori, A. (2007). Developing Publishable Mixed methods Manuscripts. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 2(1), 107111.

[9]. Den Brok, P., Fisher, Darrell, & Scott, RoIna. (2005). The Importance of Teacher Interpersonal Behaviour for Student Attitudes in Brunei Primary Science Classes. International Journal of Science Education, 27(3), 765-779.

[10]. Driver, R., Newton, P., & Osborne, J. (2000). Establishing the Norms of Scientific Argumentation in Classrooms. Science Education, 84(3), 287-312.

[11]. Furrer, C., & Skinner, E. (2003). Sense of relatedness as a factor in students's academic engagement and performance. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95(1), 148-162.

[12]. George, R. (2000). Measuring Change in Students' Attitudes toward Science over Time: An Application of Latent Variable Growth Modeling. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 9(3), 213-225.

[13]. Haladyna, T., Olsen, R., & Shaughnessy, J. (1982). Relations of student, teacher, and learning environment variables to attitudes toward science. Science Education, 66(5), 671-687.

[14]. Hamre, B. K., & Pianta, R. C. (2005). Can Instructional and Emotional Support in the First-Grade Classroom Make a Difference for Students at Risk of School Failure? Child Development, 76(5), 949-967.

[15]. Hanrahan, M. (1998). The effect of learning environment factors on students’ motivation and learning. International Journal of Science Education, 20(6), 737-753.

[16]. Jang, H., Reeve, J., & Deci, E. L. (2010). Engaging Students in Learning Activities: It is Not Autonomy Support or Structure but Autonomy Support and Structure. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102(3), 588-600.

[17]. Jarman, R. (1993). Real experiments with Bunsen Burners: Pupils’ perceptions of the similarities and differences between primary and secondary science. School Science Review, 74(268), 19-29.

[18]. Jones, M. G., Howe, A., & Rua, M. J. (2000). Gender Differences in Students' Experiences, Interests, and Attitudes toward Science and Scientists. Science Education, 84(2), 180-192.

[19]. Kahle, J. B., & Rennie, L. J. (1993). Ameliorating Gender Differences in Attitudes about Science: A Cross-National Study. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 2(1), 321-334.

[20]. Murphy, C., & Beggs, J. (2001). “Pupils” attitudes, perceptions and understanding of primary science: Comparisons between Northern Irish and English schools’. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the British Educational Research Association, University of Leeds, Leeds, and 13–15 September.

[21]. Naylor, S., Keogh, B., & Downing, B. (2007). Argumentation and primary science. Research in Science Education, 37(1), 17-39.

[22]. Neathery, M. F. (1997). Elementary and secondary students' perceptions toward science: Correlations with gender, ethnicity, ability, grade, and science achievement. Electronic Journal of Science Education, 2(1), 11.

[23]. Newton, P., Driver, R. & Osborne, J. (1999). The place of argumentation in the pedagogy of school science. International Journal of Science Education, 21(5), 553-576.

[24]. OECD. (2007). Executive Summary PISA 2006: Science Competencies for Tomorrow’s World. Paris: OECD. Ormerod, M. B., & Duckworth, D. (1975). Pupils Attitudes to Science. Slough: NFER Publishing Company.

[25]. 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(5), 441-467.

[26]. Osborne, J., Simon, S., & Collins, S. (2003). Attitudes towards Science: A Review of the Literature and Its Implications. International Journal of Science Education, 25 (9),1049-1079.

[27]. Palmer, D. (2005). A motivational view of constructivist-informed teaching. International Jmynal of Science Education, 27, 1853-1881.

[28]. Patrick, H., Ryan, A. M., & Kaplan, A. (2007). Early Adolescents' Perceptions of the Classroom Social Environment, Motivational Beliefs, and Engagement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99(1), 83-98.

[29]. Pell, T., & Jarvis, T. (2001). Developing attitude to science scales for use with students of ages from five to eleven years. International Journal of Science Education, 23, 847–862.

[30]. Reiss, M. J. (2004). Students’ attitudes towards science: A long term perspective. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 4,97-109.

[31]. Reiss, M. J. (2005). The importance of affect in science education. In Steve Alsop (Ed), Beyond Cartesian Dualism (pp. 17-25). Netherlands: Springer

[32]. Richter, F. D. & Tjosvold, D. (1980). Effects of student participation in classroom decision making on attitudes, peer interaction, motivation, and learning. Journal of Applied Psychology, 65,74-80.

[33]. Roeser, R. W., Midgley, C., & Urdan, T. C. (1996). Perceptions of the school psychological environment and early adolescents’ psychological and behavioral functioning in school: The mediating role of goals and belonging. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88(3), 408-422.

[34]. Schreiner, C., & Sjøberg, S. (2004). Sowing the seeds of ROSE. Background, Rationale, Questionnaire Development and Data Collection for ROSE (The Relevance of Science Education) - a comparative study of students' views of science and science education. Department of Teacher Education and School Development, University of Oslo.

[35]. Sorge, C. (2007). What Happens? Relationship of Age and Gender with Science Attitudes from Elementary to Middle School. Science Educator, 16(2), 33-37.

[36]. Southerland, S., Kittleson, J., Settlage, J., & Lanier, K. (2005). Individual and group meaning-making in an urban third grade classroom: Red fog, cold cans, and seeping vapor.Journal of Research in Science teaching, 42(9), 1032-1061.

[37]. Tobin, K. (1990). Research on Science Laboratory Activities: In Pursuit of Better Questions and Answers to Improve Learning. School Science and Mathematics, 90(5), 403-418.

[38]. Weinberg, M. (1995). Gender Differences in Student Attitudes toward Science: A Meta-Analysis of the Literature from 1970 to 1991. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 32(4), 387-398.

[39]. Zimmerman, B. J. (2000). Self-Efficacy: An Essential Motive to Learn. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25(1), 82-91.