A quantitative and qualitative inquiry into the attitudes toward science of nonscience college students

Authors


Abstract

The attitudes toward science of nonscience college students were investigated using quantitative and qualitative forms of inquiry. Quantitative methods were used to determine (a) how attitudes toward science of nonscience college students compare with attitudes of science majors, and (b) whether attitudes toward science change with instruction. Qualitative assessment was used to investigate attitude development as it relates to science. The subjects were 102 nonscience students and 81 science students. Six attitudinal variables were investigated using the Attitudes Toward Science Inventory (ATSI) as the quantitative instrument. Hotelling's T2 showed a significant difference (p = 0.0001) in attitudes between the two groups. T tests revealed significant differences between the two groups for all six variables. A significant difference (p = 0.0001) was found between pretest and posttest results for the nonscience students. T tests showed significant differences between the two sets of scores for all six variables, indicating a favorable change in attitudes. An interview questionnaire was used to investigate factors contributing to attitude development. The interview results suggested that attitudes toward science are formed by interactions of both school and nonschool variables.

Ancillary