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The development and use of an instrument to assess students' attitude to the study of chemistry

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Publication details

JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
DatePublished - Aug 2001
Issue number8
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)833-845
Original languageEnglish


This paper reports on aspects of a three-phase study whose aim was to gather information on undergraduates' responses to the study of science. The emphasis of this paper is on methodological issues arising from considerations of how to measure and analyse data on attitudes. The study draws on the methodology employed in an earlier study undertaken in Canada, the Views on Science-Technology-Society (VOSTS) study, applying the methodology in a new context. The first two phases involved the development and validation of an appropriate research instrument. The third phase involved using the instrument with students in the first year of study at a South African University. In additional to the quantitative data gathered, the students' responses on the instrument were used to develop in-depth 'profiles' of particular groups of students. This technique proved particularly effective in identifying areas for possible remedial action.

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