Date of Award

Summer 2001

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Scott D. Robinson

Second Advisor

Patricia E. Baker

Abstract

A student’s attitude can greatly impact their learning experience. This study utilizes two methods to measure the attitude of students in secondary science classrooms, direct questioning of students and teachers and surveys using Likert and Semantic Differential Scales. Surveys of teachers show that the majority feel teaching science to be a beneficial, challenging, and meaningful experience and that a positive attitude is necessary for student achievement. Students showed an underlying positive attitude toward science learning, though some found the classes to be boring or difficult. The author argues positive attitudes may stimulate the behavior necessary to become engaged in learning and allow teachers to more easily meet their students’ learning needs. To increase positive attitudes towards science, they argue for an increase use in classroom and laboratory demonstration, with students observing and engaging in the scientific process.

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