THE DEVELOPMENT OF ATTITUDE TOWARDS SCIENCE (BIOLOGY): VIEWS FROM RESEARCH 

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CHAPTER TWO THEORIES ON ATTITUDE DEVELOPMENT: VIEWS FROM RESEARCH

INTRODUCTION

The main aim of this study is to determine the attitudes of secondary school learners towards involvement in curriculum development as well as towards specific biology content and the implications thereof for curriculum development. In chapter one, the problem of the study was analysed and stated. The concepts « Adolescent » and « Curriculum » were defined and extensively discussed. This was followed by the demarcation of the field of the study and the division of chapters. In this chapter, the literature on the development of learners’ attitudes towards certain variables related to biology in secondary schools will be reviewed. The variables that may influence these attitudes and their implications for curriculum development are examined. A review of the literature will be based on publications published from 1980 onwards. However, under considered and unavoidable circumstances a reference to earlier sources will be cited.
Finally, some implications of attitudes towards science (biology) for curriculum development will be stated.

THE CONCEPT « ATTITUDE »

Notwithstanding the definitions of attitude presented in the first chapter, it is important that the concept be further analysed to delineate the meaning intended for this study.
• Gardner (1975: 1) has identified two categories of an attitude. These are the « scientific attitude » and « attitude towards science ». The former category of attitude is related more closely to a person’s state of mind. It is better described as a style of thinking and is therefore, cognitive. This cognitive thinking style is characterised by such words as open-mindedness, honesty, suspended judgement, critical thinking, et cetera. Whereas, « attitude towards science » is characterised by the existence of an attitude object, namely:
Science and scientists. Therefore, statements like « I hate science » and « I like science » express attitude towards science and they belong to this category.
« Attitude towards science » is both emotional and behavioural in nature and is the focus of this study.
• Koballa and Crawley (1985:223) have introduced the concepts « belief’ and « behaviour » in their analysis of the meaning of attitude. Beliefs are related to behaviour because both contribute to the formation of attitudes (p. 225). However, attitudes differ from beliefs in as far as the former engenders a predisposition to respond emotionally, which the latter may not. Attitude as belief refers to the acquired information that a person accepts as true, and it is therefore, cognitive in nature. This may have positive, negative or no evaluative implications for the study of science. For instance, that science is « too mathematical » or « messy », denotes a person’s belief system. This example has some negative implications that may lead people to conclude that they should not study science. On the other hand, attitude may influence behaviour and this is often characterised by a person’s inclinations to opt for science, buy scientific magazines, attend science fairs, etcetera. However, like beliefs, behaviour may have positive, negative or no evaluative implications for the study of science. Therefore, any effort to change attitude should also deal with belief and behavioural changes. This is because the principles involved in attitudinal change are the same as those involved in changing beliefs about science and science-related behaviours.
• Shrigley, Koballa and Simpson (1988) have related attitude to belief, value and opinion. To them beliefs and opinions are cognitively oriented although the latter are also employable in verbal expressions (p. 659). Values, on the other hand, are culturally bound. Although these concepts are thus related to attitudes, these researchers argue that they may only be used to support rather than supplant them. Thus, the analogies of attitudes with other variables by Koballa and Crawley (1985) as well as Shrigley, Koballa and Simpson (1988) may be summarised as follows:
• Charen (1966:55) has identified two contexts in which attitudes may be examined. One is concerned with the behaviour associated with scientific procedures as methods involved in critical reasoning (scientific attitude). The other is concerned with feelings and emotional reactions, such as interest, curiosity and stimulation that constitute a way of looking at one’s environment and co-exist with the procedures of science. Therefore, the analogies of attitude with other variables by Gardner (1975) and Charen (1966) may be summarised as follows:
• Allen (1960:66) equates attitude with motivation. He argues that a person with favourable attitudes towards an activity is one who may easily be motivated to undertake such an activity. To him attitude is emotional and behavioural.
• Goodwin and Klausmeier (1975:303) conceive of attitudes as having affective and cognitive components. They also associate attitude with behaviour.
Therefore, from the various attempts to put the concept attitude in perspective, and for the purpose of the present study, the term attitude will be linked to the person’s emotional/conative/affective and behavioural manifestations. Throughout this study, attitude towards science will refer to a general and enduring positive or negative feeling about science. It will centre on concepts such as interests, curiosity, motivation and stimulation as behavioural manifestations. Consequently, attitude towards science will not be confused with the scientific attitude described above. Attitude towards science (biology) is the aspect involved in this study. However, it must be remembered that although attitudes towards science direct and allow the prediction of science-related behaviour, one’s positive or negative response to an attitude questionnaire may not necessarily be predictive of science behaviours at a later stage. In this way, the relationship between attitude and behaviour becomes one of probability rather than a deterministic relationship.

 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF ATTITUDES IN SCIENCE EDUCATION

Schofield, (in Newton 1975:368), stressed the importance of learners’ attitudes when he said: we should consider much more closely than perhaps in the past pupils’ perception of the science we teach them. This is because we have too often thought of the problems we face about our own perception. We have therefore, failetl to project ourselves into the minds of our pupils, and to imagine what school science is like to someone growing up in the ordinary society we have bequeathed to them.

CHAPTER 1 THE RESEARCH PROBLEM: STATEMENT AND DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS
1.1 INTRODUCTION
1.2 ANALYSIS OF THE PROBLEM
1.2.1 Awareness of the problem
1.2.2 Examination of the problem- an historical background
1.3 THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
1.4 AIMS OF THE STUDY
1.4.1 Specific aim/s
1.4.2 General aim/s
1.5 DEMARCATION OF THE FIELD OF STUDY
1.6 DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS
1.6.1 Adolescence and the adolescent
1.6.2 The period of adolescence
1.6.3 Developmental aspects of adolescence
1.6.3.1 Cognitive development
1.6.3.2 Affective development
1.6.3.3 Social development
1.6.3.4 The adolescent and identity formation
1.6.4 Attitudes
1.6.5 The curriculum
1.7 PROGRAMME OF STUDY
CHAPTER2 THEORIES ON ATTITUDE DEVELOPMENT: VIEWS FROM RESEARCH
2.1 INTRODUCTION
2.2 THE CONCEPT « ATTITUDE »
2.3 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF ATTITUDES IN SCIENCE EDUCATION 
2.4 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY OF ATTITUDES 
2.5 THE DEVELOPMENT OF ATTITUDE TOWARDS SCIENCE (BIOLOGY): VIEWS FROM RESEARCH 
2.5.1 The role of the teacher in attitude development
2.5.1.1 General overview
2.5.1.2 Teaching methods
2.5.1.3 Teacher personality
2.5.2 The role of the learner in attitude development
2.5.2.1 General
2.5.2.2 Gender
2.5.2.3 Age
2.5.2.4 Other variables related to the learners
2.5.3 The role of the curriculum on attitude development
2.5.3.1 Introduction
2.5.3.2 Curriculum as everything to which learners are exposed to at school
2.5.3.3 Curriculum as content and the way it relates to learners’ attitudes towards biology
2.5.4 The role of the classroom environment on attitude
development
2.6 SUMMARY
CHAPTER3 MODELS OF CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT AND THEIR INFLUENCE ON BIOLOGY CONTENT
3.1 INTRODUCTION
3.2 CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT: A FRAMEWORK FOR BIOLOGY EDUCATION
3.3 BACKGROUND TO CURRICULUM THEORISING: APPROACHES, FOUNDATIONS AND DESIGNS 
3.3.1 Approaches and foundations for curriculum development
3.3.1.1 The technocratic approach and curriculum development
3.3.1.2 The non-technocratic approach and curriculum development
3.3.1.3 An outcomes-based approach to curriculum development
3.3.2 Curriculum designs/orientations
3.3.2.1 Subject-centred designs
3.3.2.2 Process-centred designs
3.3.2.3 Learner-centred designs
3.4 THE NEED FOR A CONCEPTUAL SHIFT: TOWARDS A LEARNER-CENTRED MODEL OF CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT IN BIOLOGY
3.4.1 Paradigm shifts and curriculum development
3.4.2 A paradigmatic context of the biology curriculum
3.4.2. 1 Ideology and curriculum development
3.4.2.2 The stage of development in South Africa
3.5 THE LEARNER-CENTRED DESIGN AND CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT IN BIOLOGY EDUCATION
3.6 CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT IN BIOLOGY EDUCATION: THE HUMANIST APPROACH
3.6.1 Characteristics of the humanist curriculum
3.6.1.1 Purpose of the humanist curriculum
3.6.1.2 Role of the teacher
3.6.1.3 Organisation
3.6.1.4 Evaluation
3.7 THE CURRICULUM DECISION-MAKING PROCESS
3.7.1 Levels of curriculum decision-making
3.7.2 Leamer participation in curriculum development
3.8 MODELS OF CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT 
3.8.1 Determination of the learners
3.8.2 Determination of the learners’ concerns
3.8.3 Diagnosis of the reasons for the concerns
3.8.4 Selection of organising ideas
3.8.5 Selection of content
3.8.6 Determination of the learning skills based on content
3.8.7 Determination of the teaching procedure
3.8.8 Denotation of the intellectual outcomes
3.9 SUMMARY 
CHAPTER4 THE RESEARCH DESIGN
4.1 INTRODUCTION 
4.2 RESEARCH DESIGN 
4.2.1 General problem statement
4.2.2 Specific problem statements and hypotheses
4.2.2.1 Research problem 1
4.2.2.2 Research problem 2
4.2.2.3 Research problem 3
4.2.2.4 Research problem 4
4.2.2.5 Research problems and hypotheses for grade 1 0 learners
4.2.2.6 Research problems and hypotheses for grade 11 learners
4.2.2.7 Research problems and hypotheses for grade 12 learners
4.3 THE STATISTICAL TECHNIQUES 
4.4 THE OBJECTIVES OF THE EMPIRICAL INVESTIGATION 
4.5 PLANNING THE EMPIRICAL RESEARCH
4.5.1 The research group
4.5. 1.1 Sampling
4.5.1.2  The size of the sample
4.5.1.3  Sampling procedure
4.5.2 Permission for and execution of empirical investigation
4.5.3 The questionnaire
4.5.3. 1 The questionnaire format
4.5.3.2 Validity and reliability
4.5.3.3 Pilot study
4.6 SUMMARY
CHAPTERS RESULTS AND DISCUSSION OF RESULTS
5.1 INTRODUCTION
5.2 BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
5.2.1 Sample
5.2.2 Age groups
5.2.3 Gender
5.2.4 Grades
5.2.5 School type
5.3 ANALYSIS OF THE RESULTS
5.3.1 Research problems focusing on involvement in curriculum development in learners of different ages
5.3.1.1 Research problem 1
5.3.1.2 Research problem 2
5.3.1.3 Research problem 3
5.3.1.4 Research problem 4
5.3.2 Research problems focusing on specific biology content for grade 10 learners
5.3.2.1 Research problem 5
5.3.2.2 Research problem 6
5.3.2.3 Research problem 7
5.3.2.4 Research problem 8
5.3.2.5 Research problem 9
5.3.3 Research problems focusing on specific biology content for grade 11 learners
5.3.3.1 Research problem 10
5.3.3.2 Research problem 11
5.3.3.3 Research problem 12
5.3.3.4 Research problem 13
5.3.3.5 Research problem 14
5.3.4 Research problems focusing on specific biology content for grade 12 learners
5.3.4.1 Research problem 15
5.3.4.2 Research problem 16
6.3.4.3 Research problem 17
5.3.4.4 Research problem 18
5.3.4.5 Research problem 19
5.4 SUMMARY 
CHAPTERS CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
6.1 INTRODUCTION 
6.2 CONCLUSIONS FROM THE LITERATURE REVIEW 
6.3 CONCLUSIONS FROM THE EMPIRICAL RESEARCH
6.4 FINAL CONCLUSIONS FROM THE LITERATURE STUDY AND THE EMPIRICAL RESEARCH 
6.5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS
6.6 IMPLICATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE CURRICULA DEVELOPMENT 
6.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
6.8 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH
6.9 CONCLUSION
BIBLIOGRAPHY
APPENDIX A
APPENDIX B
APPENDIXC

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