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Appears in:
Pages: 1920-1928
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-0557-3
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain

THE PREDICTIVE EFFECT OF ATTITUDES TOWARDS SCHOOL SCIENCE AND REASONING ABILITIES ON PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY ACHIEVEMENT: A STUDY WITH PORTUGUESE 7TH GRADE STUDENTS

P. Vilia1, A. Candeias2, A. Neto2, D. Varelas3

1University of Évora, School of Social Sciences and Centre for Studies in History and Philosophy of Science (PORTUGAL)
2University of Évora, School of Social Sciences and Centre for Educational Research and Psychology (PORTUGAL)
3University of Évora, Centre for Educational Research and Psychology (PORTUGAL)
There is a broad agreement that there is a positive and statistically significant correlation between academic achievement of students and their cognitive capabilities (Candeias et al., 2007; Deary et al., 2007). There is also a general agreement that attitudinal constructs are positively correlated with student achievement, although this relationship has been a matter of debate with different studies reporting mixed results (Tytler & Osborne, 2012).

This study investigated the influence of student’s attitudes towards physics and chemistry (ATPC) and their reasoning abilities on academic achievement on that school subject, among Portuguese 7th grade students using the data collected during Project- Academic Performance and Development: a longitudinal study on the effects of school transitions in Portuguese students. Participants were 313 students: 151 boys (48,2%) and 162 girls (51,8%) aged 11 to 15 years old (µ=12,48±0,61).The attitude data were collected using the Attitude towards Physics and Chemistry Questionnaire (ATPCQ) (Neto et al., 2013) and the Reasoning Test Battery (RTB) (Almeida & Lemos, 2006) was used to assess the students reasoning abilities. Achievement was measured using the students’ quarterly (nine-week) grades in the physics and chemistry subject. The ATPCQ allows the assessment of three attitude dimensions: affective, instrumental and behavioral. The RTB assesses five reasoning dimensions: numerical, verbal, spatial, abstract and mechanic.

Multiple regression stepwise analyses (R) and standardized regression coefficients (β), calculated with IBM SPSS Statistics 21 software, were used to investigate the relationships between the three attitude dimensions towards Physics and Chemistry and the five reasoning dimensions and achievement in each of the three school terms.

Significant models emerged in all three terms (1st term: F6,261=21.893; p < 0.0005; R2Adj=0.324; 2nd term: F6,258=23.441; p < 0.0005; R2Adj=0.343; 3rd term: F6,288 =22,396; p < 0.0005; R2Adj=0.308). All the dimensions of both variables studied were significant predictor variables β values ranging between 0,405 and 0.115, with the exception of RTB numerical reasoning. The models obtained from the use of both variables were always stronger accounting for higher proportions of student’s grade variations.

The results show that ATPC and RTB had a significantly positive, relationship with student’s physics and chemistry achievement, indicating that both attitudinal and cognitive variables should be taken into account on science education as well as in educative intervention.

P. Vilia is supported by a PhD grant from Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) (SFRH/BD/90575/2012)
@InProceedings{VILIA2014PRE,
author = {Vilia, P. and Candeias, A. and Neto, A. and Varelas, D.},
title = {THE PREDICTIVE EFFECT OF ATTITUDES TOWARDS SCHOOL SCIENCE AND REASONING ABILITIES ON PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY ACHIEVEMENT: A STUDY WITH PORTUGUESE 7TH GRADE STUDENTS},
series = {6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN14 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-0557-3},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {7-9 July, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {1920-1928}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. Vilia AU - A. Candeias AU - A. Neto AU - D. Varelas
TI - THE PREDICTIVE EFFECT OF ATTITUDES TOWARDS SCHOOL SCIENCE AND REASONING ABILITIES ON PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY ACHIEVEMENT: A STUDY WITH PORTUGUESE 7TH GRADE STUDENTS
SN - 978-84-617-0557-3/2340-1117
PY - 2014
Y1 - 7-9 July, 2014
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN14 Proceedings
SP - 1920
EP - 1928
ER -
P. Vilia, A. Candeias, A. Neto, D. Varelas (2014) THE PREDICTIVE EFFECT OF ATTITUDES TOWARDS SCHOOL SCIENCE AND REASONING ABILITIES ON PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY ACHIEVEMENT: A STUDY WITH PORTUGUESE 7TH GRADE STUDENTS, EDULEARN14 Proceedings, pp. 1920-1928.
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