LEBANESE STUDENTS’ CONCEPTIONS OF AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS SCIENCE AND RELATED CAREERS BASED ON THEIR GENDER AND RELIGIOUS AFFILIATIONS
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Students’ attitudes and conceptions seem to be influenced by social/cultural contexts and interactions with other students from diverse backgrounds. Therefore, educators need to study attitudes, conceptions, and career choices in relation to diversity indicators. Such was one focus of the Science Education for Diversity project, which involved collaboration among UK, The Netherlands, Turkey, Lebanon, India, and Malaysia. The purpose of this component of the project was to investigate Lebanese students’ attitudes, conceptions, and career choices in relation to gender and religion. The 1,260 Grade 4 to 8 participants, who came from co-educational private and public schools, purposefully selected to include different religions, filled out a questionnaire designed specifically for the Project. Results from the Lebanon data showed that students generally had positive attitudes towards science. They seemed to identify only things they study about in school as “science” with some gender differences but no differences based on religion. Students seemed to be worried about environmental socioscientific issues. About 40 % of students believed that God created all life and that their families believed that too, with significant differences by gender and religion. Finally, the greater majority stated that they would like a job that ensures recognition and respect. Implications related to maintaining students’ interest in science and science-related careers were discussed.
Keywordsattitudes conceptions diversity factors science
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