ERIC Number: ED362423
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-May
Students' Conceptions of Selected Science, Technology and Society Issues: An Exploratory Multidimensional Scaling Study.
Thirunarayanan, M. O.
The purpose of this study was to explore students' conceptions of 31 selected science, technology, and society issues. Differences in such conceptions across different grade-levels and among males and females also were examined. A total of 138 males and females enrolled in grades five through eleven in a unified school district, and in freshman-level courses in a large university constituted the sample for the study. At each grade level approximately equal numbers of males and females were sampled. The major findings of the study included the following: (1) the subjects were able to relate to issues that had personal implications, such as human health issues and transportation safety issues, by the time they were in the fifth grade; (2) by the time they were in the ninth-grade, the students had developed meaningful conceptions of environmental issues that had local to global, as well as personal implications; (3) issues related to automation of work caused concern among female subjects at the ninth-grade and undergraduate levels; (4) there was evidence of progression of students' conceptions, beginning with conceptions of issues related to human health/disease and transportation safety at the fifth-grade level, and progressing to conceptions of broader environmental issues at the higher grade levels; and (5) a combination of quantitative and qualitative techniques of data analyses can be employed successfully to conduct research in the field of science, technology, and society education. Implications of these findings for science, technology, and society curriculum development are discussed. Suggestions are offered for further research. (Author/SG)
Descriptors: College Students, Educational Research, Elementary School Students, Elementary Secondary Education, Females, High School Students, Higher Education, Males, Middle School Students, Science and Society, Scientific Literacy, Statistical Analysis, Student Attitudes, Technological Literacy, Technology
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Ph.D. Dissertation, Arizona State University.