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Social science that makes a difference Attitudes to science: views of the public and a slice (15 year olds) Vijay Reddy and Andrea Juan Department of.

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Presentation on theme: "Social science that makes a difference Attitudes to science: views of the public and a slice (15 year olds) Vijay Reddy and Andrea Juan Department of."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Social science that makes a difference Attitudes to science: views of the public and a slice (15 year olds) Vijay Reddy and Andrea Juan Department of Science and Technology Research Seminar Series March 2015

3 Social science that makes a difference Storyline of this presentation This section is to reflect on studies undertaken on science engagements. At the HSRC we are trying to build a research agenda on public attitudes to science. In this presentation we will report on findings from two studies. i.public attitudes to science with data from the South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS) and ii.one slice of the public, viz. grade 9 school students attitudinal data obtained from the Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMSS). Sub-text of my presentation is importance of research in this field

4 Social science that makes a difference Papers and Publications Reddy V, Juan A, Hannan S, Arends F, Gastrow M (2015) Science Awareness, Attitudes and Astronomy. Report to the Department of Science and Technology Reddy V, Gastrow M, Juan A (2013) Public attitudes to science in South Africa. South African Journal of Science Juan A, Reddy V and Hannan S (2014) Attitudes to Science: Part of the Puzzle to Improve Educational Achievement Science and society OR society and science PublicS

5 Social science that makes a difference 1. PUBLIC ATTITUDES TO SCIENCE Measuring attitudes by SASAS In 2013, 2739 adults over 16 years old participated Nationally representative stratified sample, weighted on 2011 census results Broader survey instrument includes social, cultural, demographic, and geographical data SASAS included internationally used measure of attitudes to science and technology: Four items measure “promise” /benefits of science Three items measure “reservation”/risks of science

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10 2. Grade 9 learners attitudes to science TIMSS assesses and benchmark South African mathematics and science performance in an international study. TIMSS is conducted every four years since In TIMSS 2011, 45 countries participated at the grade 8/9 level. In August 2011, the HSRC administered the TIMSS 2011 mathematics and science instruments in 285 schools to grade 9 learners in public and independent schools. A set of 21 items related to learner attitudes to science. Three indices were created from the items: Enjoyment: intrinsic motivation Valuing: Extrinsic & seeing the utility of science Self-confidence: ability beliefs to learn science.

11 Social science that makes a difference 2.1 The schooling system pipeline 2003 Grade Grade Grade Grade Grade Grade Bachelor's pass Bachelor's pass Potential pool of STEM skills >40% Maths >40% Physics

12 Social science that makes a difference 2.2.Why the interest in science attitudes for school learners 2.2.Why the interest in science attitudes for school learners Emerging literature highlights the importance of cognitive (academic) and non-cognitive (motivation, values, interests, and attitudes) in producing the desired educational, social and economic outcomes. There is a bi-directional relationship between cognitive & non- cognitive aspects. Evidence suggests that while both cognitive and non-cognitive traits evolve over the lifecycle, non-cognitive skills can be influenced more successfully and later in life than basic cognitive skills. Social policy focusing on non-cognitive traits, such as attitudes, may therefore be effective in addressing low math achievement.

13 Social science that makes a difference 2.3. Learner views of science

14 Social science that makes a difference 2.4 Enjoyment, Value and Confidence in Mathematics and Science in TIMSS 2011

15 2.5. Science Attitudinal patterns of Singapore, Botswana, and South Africa

16 2.6. Enjoyment, Valuing and Self-Concept of Science by average achievement score

17 Social science that makes a difference 2.7. The relationship between attitudes and achievement Enjoyment = 24 Achievement points Value = 15 Achievement points Self confidence = 10 Achievement points

18 Social science that makes a difference 3. Overall Implications Need for an instrument to measure views/ attitudes of public to science. Need to have a theory of change that will facilitate programmes to change attitudes For the schooling system need to focus on encouraging the enjoyment of science, as well as building students self-confidence in their ability to learn science.


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