Fifteen pupils' positive approach to primary school science: when does it decline?

2012-08-20T11:54:45Z (GMT) by Sarah Turner Gren Ireson
The decline in secondary school pupils' attitudes towards science is well documented. However, recent research has shown that pupils' attitudes to science appear to become fixed during their primary school years. This study investigated end of Key Stage 1 (Yr 2 (ages six to seven years)) and end of Key Stage 2 (Yr 6 (ages 10-11 years)) pupils' attitudes to science, using Klopfer's themes (1971), through a paired activity and interview for Yr 2 pupils and a pre- and post-Test of Science-Related Attitudes questionnaire (adapted) for Yr 6 pupils. The questionnaire was analysed using the mean and chi square values and Cronbach's alpha was calculated to test reliability. The results revealed that while Yr 2 pupils exhibit a thirst for knowledge and enthusiasm for science, Yr 6 pupils' attitudes over the period of one academic year did not change: their attitude towards science was fixed. This insight raises some implications and responsibilities for primary school teachers.