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ERIC Number: EJ1164758
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1089-9995
The Paradox of Middle and High School Students' Attitudes towards Science versus Their Attitudes about Science as a Career
Kitts, K.
Journal of Geoscience Education, v57 n2 p159-164 Mar 2009
From 2005-2007, 86 pre-service science teachers surveyed 2,535 middle and high school students in 27 rural, suburban and urban school districts in Northern Illinois on their attitudes about science. The survey consisted of ten questions on a ten-point Likert scale covering interest in science, attitudes about scientists and student confidence in, and desire to do science. These students no longer hold most stereotypes cited in the literature. For example, all students feel that girls are capable of science, that science is interesting and that their parents would be proud of them if they were to become scientists. However, very few students felt they might want to become scientists. Previous attempts to increase the numbers of students participating in science by targeting these stereotypes have been effective in changing student attitudes about science but have failed to increase the desire among students to become scientists. These students feel they "can" do science; they simply do not "want" to do science. This paradox is a different kind of problem than has been previously identified in the geoscience community and will require a retooling of approaches and programs wishing to increase student participation.
National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Carleton College W-SERC, One North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057. Tel: 540-568-6675; Fax: 540-568-8058; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A