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ERIC Number: EJ1021829
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0693
Addressing the Lack of Measurement Invariance for the Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution
Wagler, Amy; Wagler, Ron
International Journal of Science Education, v35 n13 p2278-2298 2013
The Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE) was constructed to be a single-factor instrument that assesses an individual's overall acceptance of evolutionary theory. The MATE was validated and the scores resulting from the MATE were found to be reliable for the population of inservice high school biology teachers. However, many studies have utilized the MATE for different populations, such as university students enrolled in a biology or genetics course, high school students, and preservice teachers. This is problematic because the dimensionality and reliability of the MATE may not be consistent across populations. It is not uncommon in science education research to find examples where scales are applied to novel populations without proper assessment of the validity and reliability. In order to illustrate this issue, a case study is presented where the dimensionality of the MATE is evaluated for a population of non-science major preservice elementary teachers. With this objective in mind, factor analytic and item response models are fit to the observed data to provide evidence for or against a one-dimensional latent structure and to detect which items do not conform to the theoretical construct for this population. The results of this study call into question any findings and conclusions made using the MATE for a Hispanic population of preservice teachers and point out the error of assuming invariance across substantively different populations.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A