National Association for Research in Science Teaching International Conference (NARST), United States Of America, 1 - 04 April 2009, pp.277
The purpose of this study was two-fold: (1) to investigate high school students’ self- perceptions in learning chemistry by a compara- tive analysis with respect to varying personal characteristics such as gender, grade level, and major (i.e., Science and Mathematics, Social Science-Mathematics, and Undecied) in learning chemistry, and (2) to provide evidence for the reliability of the modified Fennema- Sherman attitude survey to measure students’ attitudes towards learning chemistry. A modified version of Fennema-Sharman attitude scale was administered to Language Prep, 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students. Reliability of the instrument, factor analysis, and GLM analysis of the results were provided in detail. The internal consistency analysis revealed that the instrument had Cronbach alpha values ranging from .90 to .73, referred as highly reliable. The factor analysis showed that there were seven different thematic categories among the items. Overall, findings indicated that students had positive attitudes towards learning chemistry, regardless of their various personal characteristics such as gender, grade level, and major. In addition, students at higher grades tended to have more satisfaction in learn- ing chemistry compared to lower grades. Although male and female students were moderately confident in learning chemistry, female students rated statistically siginificantly higher than male students in their confidence ratings.