About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 9105-9115
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.0981

Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain

WHAT IS HAPPENING TO SCIENCE SUBJECTS IN PUBLIC EDUCATION? - UNIVERSITY STUDENTS’ OPINION ABOUT TEACHING SCIENCE

E. Malmos, M. Chrappán, E. Jász

University of Debrecen (HUNGARY)
The devaluation of science literacy is not today’s problem (Ormerod & Duckworth, 1975).
In the last few decades the standard and prestige of teaching science subjects have been attempted to raise with the help of different methods and tools (Osborne el at, 2003, 2007).

In several countries expenditure spent on education has grown, numerous thorough and long-term reforms have been introduced, however, with little success or positive effect (McKinsey & Company 2007, 2010; Rocard et al, 2010). What is more, a part of the scientific elite is still convinced that standards of education may be raised by more rigorous requirements, despite the fact that more and more students tend to refuse those science subjects that need abstract thinking and understanding more complex relationships (Sjøbeg & Schreiner, 2005; Máth, 2007; Chen et al, 2012).

In our search based on this, within the frame of OTKA project No. K105262 entitled The novel, interdisciplinary approach of natural science subject pedagogical researches, we aimed to analyse students’ attitudes towards science subjects in public and higher education from different aspects. Our research has been going on since 2014. In our present paper we try to focus on the results based on the students of University of Debrecen who filled out self-completed questionnaires (N=410 capita).

The questionnaire (Cronbach alpha= 0,81) includes a module of subject preferences, several question blocks on methodology and the use of various school equipment as well as questions about the attitudes of teachers and students’ learning habits and motivation to learn. To all these questions we linked the sociological variables. In the questionnaire the learners could give most of their answers on a 5-grade Linkert scale.

Our statistical results underpin public thinking and previous scientific research results. In the preference rank of subjects, science subjects are in the last place, among which chemistry (A=2,99) and physics (A=2,72) fell well behind compared to the other subjects, their preference average does not even reach rank 3 on the 5-grade Linkert scale. From the answers it becomes evident that the main methodological tools of teaching science subjects include uninteresting subject contents, lectures and explanations as well as sketches drawn up on the board (the use of ppt is around 2,85). Online learning is not typical either (less than 6% of respondents said that they had the opportunity to see ppt presentation at least once during their secondary school studies), classroom management forms apart from frontal are sporadic (around 12% of respondents) and student experiments are almost completely missing from the repertoire (A<2). Students mainly missed group work, experiments and online learning as well as teachers’ enthusiasm and lively subject contents from science education. It is a controversial data that rank numbers related to either subject preferences or their usefulness and variedness does not show attachment with the fact whether a student is majoring in natural science at present.

However, it may be concluded from the answers that refusing science subjects is not complete and eventual, future generations feel the importance of the problem and they are open to new solutions which are primarily related to teachers.
@InProceedings{MALMOS2016WHA,
author = {Malmos, E. and Chrapp{\'{a}}n, M. and J{\'{a}}sz, E.},
title = {WHAT IS HAPPENING TO SCIENCE SUBJECTS IN PUBLIC EDUCATION? - UNIVERSITY STUDENTS’ OPINION ABOUT TEACHING SCIENCE},
series = {8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN16 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-8860-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2016.0981},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2016.0981},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {9105-9115}}
TY - CONF
AU - E. Malmos AU - M. Chrappán AU - E. Jász
TI - WHAT IS HAPPENING TO SCIENCE SUBJECTS IN PUBLIC EDUCATION? - UNIVERSITY STUDENTS’ OPINION ABOUT TEACHING SCIENCE
SN - 978-84-608-8860-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2016.0981
PY - 2016
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2016
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN16 Proceedings
SP - 9105
EP - 9115
ER -
E. Malmos, M. Chrappán, E. Jász (2016) WHAT IS HAPPENING TO SCIENCE SUBJECTS IN PUBLIC EDUCATION? - UNIVERSITY STUDENTS’ OPINION ABOUT TEACHING SCIENCE, EDULEARN16 Proceedings, pp. 9105-9115.
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