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Studying students' attitudes towards science from a cultural perspective but with a quantitative methodology: border crossing into the physics classroom

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  • L. Krogh, Denmark
  • Poul V. Thomsen, Denmark
  • Centre for Studies in Science Education
This study applies the concept of cultural border (or boundary) crossing first introduced by Phelan et al. (1991) to the investigation of students' attitudes towards physics and to their choice of physics for A-level. A typology of border crossings is introduced and a number of possible crossings are hypothesized; for example, family background (parents' occupation and thinking style), low general school interest among family and peers, students' non-scientific perception of knowledge, their 'more-than-just-absorption' purposes of knowledge-acquisition and other value-related judgements. The quantitative methodology used here makes it possible to build regression models of students' attitudes and compare the possible impact of the border crossings with that of personality variables and teacher and teaching style characteristics. It is found that cultural border crossing factors are important predictors for attitudes towards physics as well as for choice of A-level physics in the Danish upper secondary school ('gymnasium').
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Pages (from-to)281-302
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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