ERIC Number: EJ1145870
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 97
Associations between Attitudes towards Science and Children's Evaluation of Information about Socioscientific Issues
Xiao, Sihan; Sandoval, William A.
Science & Education, v26 n3-4 p247-269 May 2017
Science educators are typically dismayed by the failure of students to use relevant scientific knowledge when reasoning about socioscientific issues. Except for the well-documented association between having more knowledge about a topic and a tendency to use that knowledge, the influences on students' evaluation of information in socioscientific issues are not well understood. This study presents an initial investigation into the associations between upper elementary students' attitudes towards science and their evaluation of information about a socioscientific issue. We surveyed the science attitudes of 49 sixth grade students and then asked them to evaluate information about a socioscientific issue (alternative energy use). Positive attitudes were associated with a more scientific approach to evaluating information in the task. When trying to make judgments, students with generally positive attitudes towards science were more likely to attend to scientific information than other sources. Scientific information, nonetheless, served a variety of socially oriented goals in students' evaluations. These findings warrant further research on the relationship between science attitudes and reasoning about socioscientific issues and support the argument for connecting school science more clearly with everyday concerns.
Descriptors: Elementary School Students, Scientific Attitudes, Evaluative Thinking, Science and Society, Grade 6, Information Sources, Value Judgment, Science Process Skills
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 6; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A