An investigation into the effect of gender, biology average, and personal and perceived science values on students' persistence in biology

Smith, Janet Doy (1993) An investigation into the effect of gender, biology average, and personal and perceived science values on students' persistence in biology. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This study investigated (i) whether the levels of academic integration and social integration of students who persist in biology differed from those of students who did not persist and, (ii) whether students' gender, academic performance, personal values and perceived values of scientists were predictive of persistence in, or attrition from, biology. -- A random sample of 200 students was selected from the population of biology majors attending Memorial University of Newfoundland between 1988 and 1992. One hundred thirty-one of these people agreed to participate in the study. -- Data were collected through the records of the Office of the Registrar at Memorial University and through the administration of a Science Issues Survey, and a Personal Information survey. These data were then subjected to a series of statistical analyses, including Analyses of Variance, t-tests, and Regression Analysis. -- It was found that students who persisted in biology or another science demonstrated greater academic integration with the Biology Department than students who chose to leave the study of science entirely. Students who persisted in biology did not demonstrate greater value integration with the Biology Department than students who did not persist in biology; degree of value integration appeared to vary with gender, rather than with persistence behaviour. -- Students' sex, academic performance in biology, personal values in science, and perceived values of scientists, were found to be predictive of their persistence behaviour in biology and of their decision to leave science altogether. These factors did not accurately predict the persistence behaviour of students who chose to leave biology in order to study another science.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11444
Item ID: 11444
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [115]-125.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1993
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Biology--Study and teaching; Motivation in education; Persistence.

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