Classroom and community influences on youths' perceptions of science in a rural county school system

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Abstract

This qualitative, descriptive study presents several dimensions of students' science perceptions in Grades 1–12 in a rural county school system, and relates the pupils' viewpoints to school and nonschool experiences, and to the views of local adults. The students' perceptions of science are also used as a basis to explore three issues that were raised by school administrators and teachers in the community of study, and that have general bearing in science education. These issues are (a) the need for articulation of school science offerings across grade levels; (b) the need for the science program to make connections with locally held ideas and values; and (c) the need for the science program to be comprehensive and accurate, reflecting science professional's thinking, and yet retaining sensitivity to local viewpoints.

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