What Makes Children Like Learning Science? An Examination of the Attitudes of Primary School Students towards Science Lessons

Shoshana Agranovich, Orit Ben-Zvi Assaraf


This study examines attitudes to school science classes amongst primary school children, based on the
assumption that these will influence their attitudes and choices later in life. 1298 primary school students in
grades 4-6 were given a Likert-type questionnaire and asked to provide verbal explanations for their
agreement/disagreement with each item. The items were divided into three "clusters," representing three central
influences on student attitudes: "motivational factors", "locus of control" and "relevance of science."
Our results support the findings of previous research in elements such as students' enthusiasm for experiments,
and reveal some interesting discrepancies in the way boys and girls assess the relevance of science they learn in
school. While the questionnaire shows that most of the students saw discussion in science class as a source of
interest, students' explanations and their answers to the open-ended questions also indicate that the most common
model of a science lesson they see is readings from the textbook, accompanied by the teacher’s explanations.
Only about one half of the students claim to take an active part in lessons, answering questions asked by the
teacher in class, taking part in class discussions, and expressing their opinions. The teacher is perceived as a
significant part of the learning process. The students’ explanations indicate that they see the teacher as a primary
source of information and authority.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/jel.v2n1p55

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