ERIC Number: EJ1134614
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 81
Science Theatre: Changing South African Students' Intended Behaviour towards HIV AIDS
Walker, Graham J.; Stocklmayer, Susan M.; Grant, Will J.
International Journal of Science Education, Part B: Communication and Public Engagement, v3 n2 p101-120 2013
Science centres and other informal learning environments are increasingly becoming venues in which socioscientific issues are presented, sometimes with the aim of influencing attitudes and behaviour. This study investigated the effects of an HIV AIDS science theatre presentation on the behavioural intentions of 697 South African students, a population facing extreme HIV risk. Surveys measured 15 HIV-related intentions before and after the presentation. Significant changes occurred in 9 of 15 intentions including resisting peer-pressure, HIV learning, discussing HIV with family and sexual abstinence. Changes typically involved strengthening of already positive intentions. Regression modelling showed prior intention was the greatest single predictor of intention change, with poor prior intentions associated with greater change. Audience emotional responses of interest and enjoyment, prior knowledge and knowledge change regarding HIV risk, and self-reported learning also predicted intention change; higher scores were associated with greater change. These variables predicted more variation in intention change than prior intentions, suggesting emotional responses in particular, but also knowledge and learning, play an important role in influencing intentions. Demographic variables had no influence on intention change. These findings provide provisional evidence of the importance of the emotions of interest and enjoyment in informal science learning, especially where the aim is to motivate change. The study underscores the potential that science centres and other informal science learning providers have as advocates for positive societal change, even with difficult and contentious issues such as HIV AIDS.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Science Teaching Centers, Informal Education, Science and Society, Theater Arts, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Behavior Change, Intention, Student Surveys, Regression (Statistics), Audience Response, Emotional Response, Science Education, High School Students, Program Effectiveness, Statistical Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa