Do Hands-On Science Activities Impact Student Attitudes, Self-Efficacy, and Student Perceptions of Science?
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of "hands-on" science instruction using the Learning Cycle Approach on the perceptions, attitudes, and self-efficacy of seventh and eighth grade students toward science as a subject. The activities were organized around individual and small group participation and connected science concepts with science activities using the Learning Cycle Approach (AAAS, 2000). Several instruments were used to measure perception, attitude, and self-efficacy: The Draw A Scientist Test -Revised (DAST -R), The Modified Fennema-Sherman Attitude Scale, The Third International Math and Science Study (TIMSS) Positive Attitudes Toward Science Scale (P.A.T.S.), The Morgan-Jinks Student Efficacy Scale (MJSES), and The Third International Math and Science Self-Concept in Science Scale (SCS) for this study. The above instruments were administered twice: at the beginning of the study on May 3, 2005 and at the conclusion of the intervention in June 5, 2005. The results obtained indicated there were no statistical differences in pretest and posttest results for this research study. Although statistically there were no discernable differences, as a teacher I was able to observe differences in the way the students interacted with each other and approached the tasks set before them. Attitudes in class were positive; students were eager to visit the test sites.
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