The purpose of this study is to ascertain what personal and professional characteristics are related to elementary attitudes toward science and the scientific institution. The Schwirian Science Support Scale (TRI-S) was administered to 191 elementary teachers and analysis of variance was used to analyze the data.
The personal characteristics examined are: (1) age; and (2) religious preference. The six professional characteristics explored are: (1) highest academic degree held; (2) semester hours of college science; (3) type of undergraduate institution attended; (4) years teaching experience; (5) grade level taught; and (6) the nature oj the teaching experience, i.e., continuous or interrupted.
Of these eight independent variables, age is associated with the greatest attitudinal differences, the younger teachers expressing the more positive attitudes toward science. Teachers who graduated from state schools had more positive attitudes than those who came from private, liberal arts institutions. There was also a positive association found between number of hours in science and positive science attitudes.