Science classroom learning environments and student attitudes in Singapore, Australia and the South Pacific

Year: 1996

Author: Wong, Angela F. L., Waldrip, Bruce G.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The science laboratory classroom environments of secondary schools and the attitudes of secondary science students in Singapore, Australia and countries of the South Pacific were compared in this study. A prevalidated version of the Science Laboratory Environment Inventory (SLEI) was used to assess the students' perceptions of their learning environments while adapted versions of the Test of Science-Related Attitudes (TOSRA) were used to measure their attitudes toward science. Analysis of data generated found similar science laboratory learning environments across most secondary schools, with one of the environment scales, Open-Endedness, as the least favourable scale. The analysis also revealed that students in the South Pacific countries had particularly strong attitudes to science. The study raises the possibility that science teaching has its own culture independent of the culture(s) of the country, with an inherent resistance to local adaptation of 'imported' curricula.