Diagnostic of Attitudes towards Science Held by Pre-service Science Teachers

By Louis Trudel and Abdeljalil Métioui.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

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The attitudes of the future teachers toward the sciences can influence the way they conceive science teaching and how they interpret the orientation of the new sciences programs in Canada. Indeed, it is important, according to these programs, that the teachers offer their pupils scientific activities where they are active and engaged, for example activities where they have to plan experiments to answer their own questions regarding phenomena. And yet it appears that these new orientations can enter in conflict with the attitudes which the future teachers of sciences have towards their domain. Thus, it is important, for training in science education to better know the attitudes of future teachers towards the sciences. Following a review of literature on attitudes towards sciences, we worked out a questionnaire composed of 52 questions on attitudes towards the sciences. In every question, there is a choice of answers ranging from disagree very much, disagree, do not know, agree, and agree very much. We analysed the answers of this questionnaire, which was distributed to 249 students in teacher education programs of two Canadian universities, with an item response model. Our analyses point out that these questions distributed themselves on an increasing scale of attitudes of a good degree of fidelity (Rasch equivalent of the KR-20 = 0,79). This scale of attitudes towards the sciences could be useful to professors in science education to identify the attitudes of future science teachers towards the sciences and to conceive training activities to encourage them to adopt orientations more in line with those recommended in science programs.

Keywords: Science Teaching, Teacher Training, Scale Development, Attitudes towards Sciences, IRT Model

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.63-84. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.070MB).

Louis Trudel

Professor, Faculty of Education, Université d’Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Louis Trudel is a professor at the University of Ottawa. He received a Ph.D. in education and a B.Sc. in physics from the Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada. He teaches didactics at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Trudel has organized several conferences relating to the training of teachers in the sciences. He has published several articles in specialized magazines and he is editor of a forthcoming volume on scientific education in the abstract mediums. His research interests involve teachers’ and student’s conceptions, and qualitative and quantitative reasoning in physics.

Prof. Abdeljalil Métioui

Professor, Department of Education and Pedagogy, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Abdeljalil Métioui received a B.Sc. in physics from Mohamed Fifth University, Morocco, in 1977, and the D.E.A. degree in physics from Bordeaux-1 University, France, in 1980. He also received a Ph.D. in didactics and an M.Sc. in Physics from Laval University, Canada, in 1987 and 1988 respectively. From 1977 to 1979, Dr. Métioui taught physics at lycée Zaynab, Tangier, Morocco. From 1983 to 1984, he was a teaching fellow at Laval University. He then worked as a research fellow, at the Université du Québec à Hull, in 1988 and 1989. From 1989 to 1992, he was an associate professor at the Département de Génie électriques de l’École de Technologie supérieure et de l’université de Sherbrooke. He taught science-teaching methods at Université de Moncton and Université Sainte-Anne, Canada, in 1993 and 1994 respectively. Since 1995, he has been a professor at the Département d’Éducation et Pédagogie, Université du Québec à Montréal. Dr. Métioui directed research programs in science-teaching methods and technologies and has published numerous articles, as well as given papers on children’s and teachers’ alternative frameworks in science. He has co-authored a book on the technology of electricity. His research interests involve teachers’ and student’s conceptions, and the use of the history and epistemology of science in science teaching.