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ERIC Number: ED506520
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
Development and Initial Validation of a Scale to Measure Instructors' Attitudes toward Concept-Based Teaching of Introductory Statistics in the Health and Behavioral Sciences
Hassad, Rossi; Coxon, APM
Online Submission, Paper presented at the annual session of the International Statistical Institute (56th, 2007)
Despite more than a decade of reform efforts, students continue to experience difficulty understanding and applying statistical concepts. The predominant focus of reform has been on content, pedagogy, technology and assessment, with little attention to instructor characteristics. However, there is strong theoretical and empirical evidence that instructors' attitudes impact the quality of teaching and learning. The objective of this study was to develop and initially validate a scale to measure instructors' attitudes toward reform-oriented (or concept-based) teaching of introductory statistics in the health and behavioral sciences, at the tertiary level. This scale will be referred to as FATS (Faculty Attitudes Toward Statistics). Data were obtained from 227 instructors (USA and international), and analyzed using factor analysis, multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis. The overall scale consists of five sub-scales (PERCEIVED USEFULNESS, PERSONAL TEACHING EFFICACY, PERCEIVED DIFFICULTY, AVOIDANCE-APPROACH, and INTENTION (representing cognition, affect, and intention, and consistent with the tripartite attitude model) with a total of 25 items, and an overall alpha of 0.89. These 5 subscales (alphas between 0.65 and 0.85) explain 51% of the total variance, and almost all of the common variance. Construct validity was established. Specifically, the overall scale, and subscales (except perceived difficulty) plausibly differentiated between low-reform and high-reform practice instructors. The teaching practice scale was developed for this study, and consists of two dimensions (behaviorist and constructivist). Statistically significant differences in attitude were observed with respect to age, but not gender, employment status, membership status in professional organizations, ethnicity, highest academic qualification, and degree concentration. This scale can be considered a reliable and valid measure of instructors' attitudes toward reform-oriented (concept-based or constructivist) teaching of introductory statistics in the health and behavioral sciences at the tertiary level. These five dimensions influence instructors' attitudes. Additional studies are required to confirm these structural and psychometric properties. (Contains 1 table, 1 figure, and 2 footnotes.)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A