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Title:Factors Related to Science Enrollment and Literacy in a Particular American High School District
Author(s):Khalili, Khalil Yousef
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Sciences
Abstract:The primary purpose of this study was to determine factors responsible for low science enrollment beyond a two-year science requirement in a particular American high school district.
Students (N = 336) enrolled in psychology or sociology classes (Spring, 1983) in three high schools comprised the sample of this study. Two instruments were administered: Test of Science Related Attitudes (TOSRA); and a two-version questionnaire constructed by this researcher.
The MANOVA results revealed highly significant differences between sexes and between students who continued in science (science inclined) and those who did not (non-science inclined) on the following measures taken together: attitudes toward science (along seven dimensions), self evaluation of ability to do science, and perception of past experience with science. The sole discriminant function for comparing science with non-science inclined students showed that the former tend to enjoy science more, rate their abilities to do science higher, perceive past experience with science better, and rate the social implications of science higher. Paradoxically, the non-science inclined students tend to score better on adoption of scientific attitudes.
In comparing sexes, the sole discriminant function showed that males tend to have more leisure interest in science and to rate their abilities to do science higher. Females, however, tend to have a better perception of past experience with science.
Reasons given by students for/against taking science beyond the requirements were determined. Students perceived taking science mainly for: admission to college, majoring in a science-related field in college, understanding how things work, and perceived self aptitude. They perceived not taking science mainly for: interest in other subjects, lack of interest in science, and unimportance for their career.
In students' view science enrollment could be increased by: emphasizing the applications of science to daily life, minimizing examinations' weight in grading, simplifying abstract concepts, and providing more individualization.
The development of new curricula that balance the needs for producing scientists and engineers with producing scientifically literate citizens was recommended. Greater individualization of instruction was also seen as a need, as was the need for the development of programs wherein teaching strategies are psychologically appropriate and wherein objectives are relevant.
Issue Date:1984
Description:204 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1984.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8422099
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1984

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