ERIC Number: EJ1113132
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Disentangling Intensity from Breadth of Science Interest: What Predicts Learning Behaviors?
Bathgate, Meghan; Schunn, Christian
Instructional Science: An International Journal of the Learning Sciences, v44 n5 p423-440 Oct 2016
Overall interest in science has been argued to drive learner participation and engagement. However, there are other important aspects of interest such as breadth of interest within a science domain (e.g., biology, earth science). We demonstrate that intensity of science interest is separable from topic breadth using surveys from a sample of 600 middle school students. We also show that these two dimensions contribute differently to learning-relevant behavioral tendencies. Specially, regression analyses show: (1) that intensity of interest predicts both self-reported science classroom engagement and preferences to participate in optional science learning; and (2) that breadth of interest predicts science choice preference, but not science classroom engagement. These findings have implications for the conceptualization of interest, the measurement of interest, and practical applications for educators.
Descriptors: Science Interests, Middle School Students, Student Surveys, Regression (Statistics), Predictor Variables, Learner Engagement, Preferences, Measurement
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A