Attitudes about Science among Non-Majors at a Two-Year Campus of a Liberal Arts University.Report as inadecuate

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A study was conducted at two open-access, 2-year branch campuses of Ohio's Miami University to assess the levels of science anxiety, interest, and preparedness among students in science-related (SR) majors and general studies (GS) students. Surveys were distributed on the first day of class to students enrolled in 23 chemistry, microbiology, and physics classes in 1993-94, 1994-95, and 1995-96. Study findings, based on an analysis of 436 valid surveys, included the following: (1) 10% of the 242 SR students and 13% of the 194 GS students reported high anxiety; (2) 6% of GS students and 2% of SR students reported high levels of boredom, while low preparedness was reported by 26% of the GS and 13% of the SR students; (3) anxiety and interest scores correlated with exam scores for the GS group; (4) there was no correlation, however, between reported preparedness and exam scores for either group; (5) in responses to open-ended questions about anxiety, GS students cited subject-specific causes much more often than general causes compared to SR students; (6) high anxiety GS students were the most likely group of students to indicate that clear teaching would reduce their anxiety; and (7) none of the students who reported high anxiety levels suggested that an exciting teaching style could reduce anxiety. Contains 17 references. Data tables are attached. (JDI)

Descriptors: Anxiety, Correlation, Multicampus Colleges, Science Curriculum, Science Education, Scores, Student Attitudes, Student Interests, Student Motivation, Tables (Data), Teaching Styles, Two Year College Students, Two Year Colleges

Author: Cowan, Marjorie M.; Piepgrass, Kent W.



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