Development of an instrument for measuring attitudes of early childhood educators towards science
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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.
KeywordsPrincipal Component Analysis Young Child Early Childhood Education Student Early Childhood Education
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