ERIC Number: EJ1060112
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Students' Attitudes toward Science as Predictors of Gains on Student Content Knowledge: Benefits of an After-School Program
Newell, Alana D.; Zientek, Linda R.; Tharp, Barbara Z.; Vogt, Gregory L.; Moreno, Nancy P.
School Science and Mathematics, v115 n5 p216-225 May 2015
High-quality after-school programs devoted to science have the potential to enhance students' science knowledge and attitudes, which may impact their decisions about pursuing science-related careers. Because of the unique nature of these informal learning environments, an understanding of the relationships among aspects of students' content knowledge acquisition and attitudes toward science may aid in the development of effective science-related interventions. We investigated the impact of a semester-long after-school intervention utilizing an inquiry-based infectious diseases curriculum (designed for use after-school) on 63 urban students' content knowledge and aspects of their attitudes toward science. Content knowledge increased 24.6% from pretest to posttest. Multiple regression analyses indicated suggested that the "self-directed effort" subscale of the Simpson-Troost Attitude Questionnaire-Revised best predicted increases in students' science content knowledge. The construct "science is fun for me" served as a suppressor effect. These findings suggest that future after-school programs focusing on aspects of attitudes toward science most closely associated with gains in content knowledge might improve students' enthusiasm and academic preparedness for additional science coursework by improving student attitudes toward their perceptions of their self-directed effort.
Descriptors: Student Attitudes, Scientific Attitudes, Predictor Variables, Achievement Gains, After School Programs, Scientific Literacy, Intervention, Inquiry, Communicable Diseases, Pretests Posttests, Science Achievement, Urban Youth, Multiple Regression Analysis, Questionnaires, Attitude Change, Affective Objectives, Program Effectiveness, Program Evaluation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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