Factors influencing attitudes towards science in primary and elementary teachers

Eddy, Larry (1996) Factors influencing attitudes towards science in primary and elementary teachers. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
    (Original Version)

Abstract

The purpose of this exploratory research was to determine what factors are influencing the attitudes of primary and elementary teachers towards science. The sample consisted of 127 primary and elementary teachers of science in the Province of Newfoundland who responded to a questionnaire that was distributed across the Province. -- Based on a review of the literature concerning the attitudes of primary and elementary teachers towards science, an instrument, developed by the Science Council of Canada and modified for this study, was sent to teachers who met the criteria for the study. Through the use of closed form (Likert Scale) items, teachers were asked to assess what factors were influencing their attitudes towards teaching primary and elementary science. According to the research, there were four major factors contributing to primary and elementary teachers attitudes towards teaching science. Theses factors were educational background in science, implementation of process skills, teaching practices and inservice in science. The questionnaire addressed all four of these areas as well as other factors that were perceived by researchers to influence attitudes towards science. This study also tested the hypothesis that there were certain factors such as teacher background, school resources and level of education that lead teachers into an avoidance of science teaching which in turn influences teaching practice and technique. -- After a statistical analysis of the data, a majority of teachers reported the following factors as problematic areas for science teaching in primary and elementary schools: science background, inservice in science, as well as school facilities and equipment. -- In testing the hypotheses, only the level of education factor, in particular education in science and training as a science teacher, was found to have a significant effect upon teachers either doing or avoiding science teaching. Further testing of the hypotheses also found that the attitude of wanting to avoid science had a significant effect upon teaching technique. Also, a discriminant function analysis predicted that a majority of primary and elementary teachers would want to teach science if there were adequate school resources and if their background and education in science was adequate. As well, it should be noted that this is an area of research that needs further study.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5025
Item ID: 5025
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 101-104.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1996
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Science teachers--Newfoundland and Labrador--Attitudes; Science--Study and teaching (Primary)--Newfoundland and Labrador; Science--Study and teaching (Elementary)--Newfoundland and Labrador

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