An Investigation of Students’ Attitudes to Science, Mathematics and the Use of Technology in Lower Secondary Education

Niamh Burke O'Connell, Majella Dempsey, Ann O'Shea
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Abstract


This paper explores lower secondary school students’ attitudes to mathematics and science, to the teaching and learning of these subjects and the use of technology in the classroom. The data analyzed in this paper were obtained as part of an international project, Formative Assessment in Science and Mathematics Education (FaSMEd), that examined whether technologically enhanced formative assessment practice could improve the attitude and attainment of learners in science and mathematics at lower secondary level. This paper is focused on data from a survey and Q sort activities which investigated students’ viewpoints in the context of mathematics and science classes in Ireland. The analysis showed that in general students have a positive attitude and self-image about learning science and mathematics, however the science students had a significantly more positive view of the subject, of their ability, and of the use of technology than their mathematics peers. The Q sort data showed that students who preferred to work alone tended to find technology less helpful than students who liked to work collaboratively. Students who saw the value of technology were often persistent and liked working with others. This has implications for the integration of technology in science and mathematics classes.

Keywords


Affective variables, Technology, Formative assessment, Q methodology

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References


Burke O’Connell, N., Dempsey, M., & O’Shea, A. (2019). An investigation of students’ attitudes to science, mathematics and the use of technology in lower secondary education. International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology (IJEMST), 7(4), 319-334.


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