Student attitudes toward science-technology-society resulting from visitation to a science-technology museum

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Abstract

Are student attitudes toward science-technology-society (TSS) affected by visitation to science-technology museums? The purpose of this study was to determine whether such visitations affected student STS attitudes, and in what ways particular factors of the visitation impacted these attitudes. Factors examined included prior classroom experience with STS, instructional methodology employed by teachers, grade level, socioeconomic status, school type (public or private), and gender. The subjects involved in the study were 194 Kansas students in grades 6-8, and their 13 classroom teachers. Data were collected via a pretest-posttest control group design by using study-specific questionnaires and the Moore-Sutman Scientific Attitudes Inventory. Results indicated that significant differences in attitudes were present between visiting and nonvisiting students and between grade levels. No significant differences were found between other factors. One possible conclusion is that sound pedagogy should be used prior to and during museum visitations as well as in the classroom.

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