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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Publication details

Kind, P.M., Jones, K. & Barmby, P. (2007). Developing attitudes towards science measures. International Journal of Science Education 29(7): 871-893.

Author(s) from Durham


In this study, we describe the development of measures used to examine pupils' attitudes towards science. In particular, separate measures for attitudes towards the following areas were developed: learning science in school, practical work in science, science outside of school, importance of science, self-concept in science, and future participation in science. In developing these measures, criticisms of previous attitude studies in science education were noted. In particular, care was taken over the definition of each of the attitude constructs, and also ensuring that each of the constructs was unidimensional. Following an initial piloting process, pupils aged 11-14 from five secondary schools throughout England completed questionnaires containing the attitude measures. These questionnaires were completed twice by pupils in these schools, with a gap of four weeks between the first and second measurements. Altogether, 932 pupils completed the first questionnaire and 668 pupils completed the second one. Factor analysis carried out on the resulting data confirmed the unidimensionality of the separate attitude constructs. Also, it was found that three of the constructs - learning science in school, science outside of school, and future participation in science - loaded on one general attitude towards science factor. Further analysis showed that all the measures showed high internal reliability (Cronbach's a > 0.7). A particular strength of the approach used in this study was that it allowed for attitude measures to be built up step-by-step, therefore allowing for the future consideration of other relevant constructs.

School of Education