Eco-cultural influences upon students' concept attainment in science



It is becoming increasingly evident that the nature of the environment (ecology) influences the culture of a people. The prediction that such eco-cultural variables could exert influence on students' concept attainment in science was tested in this study using a 2 (general environment) × 2 (reasoning pattern) × 2 (nature of home) × 2 (goal structure) fixed-effect ANOVA design. The results showed that (1) students who live in a predominantly automated environment did better than those in a predominantly manual environment; (2) students whose reasoning patterns were predominantly magical and superstitious performed significantly lower than those who were empirical in reasoning; (3) rural dwellers were predominantly cooperative in outlook; (4) students who expressed preference for cooperative learning did significantly better than those who expressed preference for competitive and individual work; and (5) students from authoritarian homes achieved less well on the science concept test when compared with those from permissive homes. A number of important implications from these findings are drawn.