Factors Affecting Students Interest in Biology Essay

3752 Words Sep 30th, 2011 16 Pages
Science Education International Vol. 17, No. 1, March 2006, pp. 31-48

Factors Affecting Junior High School Students’ Interest in Biology1
RICARDO TRUMPER (rtrumper@research.haifa.ac.il), Faculty of Science and Science Education, Haifa University, Israel
ABSTRACT Our study, conducted as part of the ROSE Project, on students' interest in biology at the end of their compulsory schooling in Israel, and its relation to their views on science classes, out-of-school experiences in biology, and attitudes to science and technology, showed that their overall interest in learning biology was relatively positive but not high; girls showed greater interest in it than boys. Students' interest in learning biology correlated closely with their
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the development in young people of positive attitudes toward learning science" (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1990, p. 184). Several studies have identified a number of factors affecting students' attitudes to science in general. These can be largely categorized as gender, personality, structural variables, and curriculum variables. Gardner (1975) stated that "sex is probably the most important variable related to pupils' attitudes to science" (p. 22). Many studies (e.g., Menis, 1983; Sjøberg, 1983; Weinburgh, 1995; Francis &: Greer, 1999; Jones, Howe & Rua, 2000; Sjøberg, 2000) have reported that males have more positive attitudes to science than females, while others found no statistically significant gender differences (Selim & Shrigley, 1983). Kahle and Meece (1994) published a wide-ranging review on gender issues related to students' attitudes to science subjects. Ormerod and Duckworth (1975) indicated the importance of distinguishing between the physical and biological sciences in respect of gender differences in attitudes to science. Gardner (1974), in a review of gender differences in achievement, attitudes, and personality of science students, stated that there were "clear differences in the nature of 'boys' and 'girls' scientific interests, boys expressing relatively greater interest in physical science activities, while girls are more interested in biological and

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