Developing a questionnaire for evaluating science orientednes of students’ identities

R. Taconis, L.G.A. Putter-Smits, de, S. Henry, P.J. Brok, den, D. Beijaard

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    Science education can be seen as a process of enculturation into science. In this, students extend their identity as to become more science oriented. This suggests that a key factor underlying the appreciation and learning of science is the degree to which the learner’s identity is science oriented. A science oriented identity will bias choices and learning activities beneficial for science learning. A questionnaire was developed and tested for describing students’ ‘identities as learners’ and evaluating the degree to which these are science oriented. Its 65 items comprise five subscales with homogeneity indices ranging from ¿=.62 to ¿=.86. A pilot study among 40 Dutch secondary school students showed that preferring science over non-science subjects and relatively high grades for science subjects as compared to non-science subjects were both strongly correlated to science orientednes of the learner’s identity (rs = .65; p <.1%). This particularly concerns the subscales ‘rational thinking’, ‘model orientednes’, and ‘empirical and practical orientation’. The subscales ‘problem and process view’ and ‘study approach’ showed uncorrelated to these measures. This result supports the questionnaire’s validity, stresses the importance of identity in studying science education, and suggests aspects of identity that particularly relevant to science education.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2009 ESERA conference, Aug. 31- Sept. 4, Istanbul, Turkey
    EditorsM. Fatik Tasar, G. Cakankci, E. Akgul
    Place of PublicationIstanbul
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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