The typology and development of attitude to primary science education

Gray, A., 2001. The typology and development of attitude to primary science education. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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The introduction and development of science within the primary curriculum has been a challenge to teachers, parents and children and a highly politicised decision. Augmenting any difficulties are the images of science within popular culture and the traditions of scientific inquiry that have maintained the Western, male elitist hierarchy of the Vienna circle throughout the last millennium. The Royal Society's committee on the public understanding of science has recognised the difficulty in recruiting students to higher-level science study and embarked on a programme of sponsorship to address this. At the same time major governmental policy changes have provided a new 'market' model of education that has encouraged parental involvement in schools and enforced a new 'transparency' of evaluation on schools through league tables and Ofsted.

Set against this backdrop, this research explores the development of attitudes to science and science education in the parent's of primary school aged children. It examines the perceptions of science and science education through the narrative of the parent's and their understanding of the interaction between different areas of science. The use of key events within narrative as a method of exploring attitude and conceptual development is novel to this research and through this exploration the concept of attitude itself is examined and criticised developing a new concept of attitude as process-based rather than static or crystallised. This reconceptualisation allows a more operational understanding of attitude that overcomes the difficulties of the traditional concept, which has only a limited theoretical basis on which to examine behaviour.

The research generates a typology for views of science and the more operational compliment to this, stance to science. This framework allows a greater understanding of attitude formation, how science is perceived and how this perception is actualised. It is particularly interesting given the current interest in increasing parental involvement in the education of their children, as this may lead to a greater impact of parental attitude on children. This study argues that the affective component of attitude is of paramount important in the developing science experiences children and the narrative nature of knowledge transmission can illuminate how parents relate to their children's experiences at school.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Gray, A.
Date: 2001
ISBN: 9781369316025
Divisions: Schools > School of Education
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 24 Sep 2020 15:34
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2023 11:03

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