Advertisement

Research in Science Education

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 101–105 | Cite as

Development of an instrument for measuring attitudes of early childhood educators towards science

  • Ruth Coulson
Article

Abstract

The attitude towards science of first year early childhood education students was explored using an instrument developed for the purpose. The instrument comprises four Likert-type scales, biographical items and two open-ended attitude items. The four scales, characterised as ‘confidence’, ‘enjoyment’, ‘usefulness’ and ‘appropriateness of science for young children’, were supported by varimax factor analysis and had reliabilities from 0.83 to 0.88. Use of the combined scales as a general ‘attitude towards science’ scale was supported by principal components analysis; reliability for the combined scale was 0.94. Comments made in response to the open-ended items supported the validity of the scales. For the student group as a whole, mean scores on all scales were slightly to moderately positive, with the highest mean being for the ‘science for young children’ scale. Students who had studied at least one science subject at Year 12 level had significantly higher scores on all scales than students who had not studied science at senior level.

Keywords

Principal Component Analysis Young Child Early Childhood Education Student Early Childhood Education 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ajzen, I. (1988).Attitudes, personality and behaviour. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Gable, R. K. (1986).Instrument development in the affective domain. Boston: Kluwer-Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  3. Gardner, P. L. (1975). Attitudes to science: a review.Studies in Science Education, 2, 1–41.Google Scholar
  4. Lawrenz, F., & Cohen, H. (1985). The effect of methods classes and practice teaching on student attitudes toward science and knowledge of science processes.Science Education, 69, 105–113.Google Scholar
  5. Morrisey, J. T. (1981). An analysis of studies on changing the attitude of elementary student teachers toward science and science teaching.Science Education, 65, 157–177.Google Scholar
  6. Munby, H. (1980). An evaluation of instruments which measure attitudes to science. In C. P. McFadden (ed).World trends in science education. Halifax, Nova Scotia: The Atlantic Institute of Education.Google Scholar
  7. Munby, H. (1983). Thirty studies involving the “Scientific Attitude Inventory”: What confidence can we have in this instrument?Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 20, 141–162.Google Scholar
  8. Schibeci, R. A. (1984). Attitudes to science: an update.Studies in Science Education, 11, 26–59.Google Scholar
  9. Shrigley, R. L. (1990). Attitude and behaviour are correlates.Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 27, 97–113.Google Scholar
  10. Skamp, K. (1989). General science knowledge and attitudes towards science and science teaching of preservice primary teachers: implications for preservice science units.Research in Science Education, 19, 257–267.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Australasian Science Education Research Association 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth Coulson
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Early Childhood StudiesUniversity of MelbourneKew

Personalised recommendations