Attitude Measurements in Science Education

Classic and Contemporary Approaches

Edited by:
Dr. Myint Swe Khine, Emirates College for Advanced Education, United Arab Emirates

Published 2015

The research into how students’ attitudes affect learning of science related subjects have been one of the core areas of interest by science educators. The development in science education records various attempts in measuring attitudes and determining the correlations between behaviour, achievements, career aspirations, gender identity and cultural inclination. Some researchers noted that attitudes can be learned and teachers can encourage students to like science subjects through persuasion. But some view that attitude is situated in context and it is much to do with upbringing and environment. The critical role of attitude is well recognized in advancing science education, in particular designing curriculum and choosing powerful pedagogies and nurturing students.

Since Noll’ (1935) seminal work on measuring the scientific attitudes, a steady stream of research papers that describe development and validation of scales appear in scholarly publications. Despite these efforts the progress in this area has been stagnated by limited understanding of the conception about attitude, dimensionality and inability to determine the multitude of variables that made up such concept. This book makes an attempt to take stock and critically examine the classical views on science attitudes and explore the contemporary attempts in measuring science related attitudes. The chapters in this book are reflection of researchers who work tirelessly in promoting science education and will illuminate the current trends and future scenarios in attitude measurement.

PART I: INSTRUMENTS AND MEASURING SCIENCE ATTITUDE. Attitude Research in Science Education, Norman Reid. New Approaches to the Study of Students’ Response to Science, Lars Brian Krogh. Development and Test of an Instrument That Investigates Teachers’ Beliefs, Attitudes and Intentions Concerning the Educational Use of Simulations, Zacharias C. Zacharia, Ioanna Rotsaka, and Tasos Hovardas. Defending Attitude Scales, Per Kind and Patrick Barmby. The Multiple Response Model for the “Views on Science-Technology-Society” (VOSTS) Instrument: An Empirical Application in the Context of the Electronic Waste Issue, Yuqing Yu and Felicia Moore Mensah. Tailoring Information to Change Attitudes: A Meta-Structural Approach, Ya Hui Michelle See and Bernice L. Z. Khoo. Assessment Practices for Understanding Science-Related Attitudes, Carina M. Rebello, Stephen B. Witzig, Marcelle A. Siegel, and Sharyn K. Freyermuth. The Influence of Experiential Learning on Indigenous New Zealanders’ Attitude Towards Science: Enculturation into Science by Means of Legitimate Peripheral Participation, Richard K. Coll and Levinia Paku. PART II: SCIENCE ATTITUDE AND SOCIOSCIENTIFIC ISSUES. Relationship of Students’ Attitudes Toward Science and Academic Achievement, Ernest Afari. Student Attitudes Toward Scientists, Anita Welch and Douglas Huffman. Attitudes towards Science and Scientific Methodology within a Specific Professional Culture, Darko Hren. Use of Test of Science Related Attitudes (TOSRA) in Korea: Stream Differences and Associations with Constructivist Classroom Environments, Barry J. Fraser and Seon Uk Lee. Affective Variables and Education: The Role of Attitudes in Science Learning, Myint Swe Khine.

"In sum, Myint Swe Khine’s book Attitude Measurements in Science Education: Classic and Contemporary Approaches is extremely rich, instructive, and insightful at several levels, and for different purposes. For example, science education researchers will definitely find useful the various examples of practical attitude measurements through different empirical studies, as well as the main theoretical prospects in research on attitudes. Also, teachers as well as students could also benefit from this book, as research results and teaching implications are emphasized, especially the value the former can bring to the latter. Even though some chapters require some more advanced understanding of the issues related to attitude measurements, the major part of the book is accessible and of great interest for an audience who has some curiosity in science education research." Florian Stern University of Geneva in Science & Education (Read full review)