Science classroom learning environments in India

Year: 2002

Author: Koul, Rekha, Fisher, Darrell

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

For the first time in Jammu, India, multiple research methods from different paradigms were used in this interpretive study to explore the nature of classroom environments. A sample of 1,021 students from 32 science classes in seven co-educational private schools completed the questionnaire on What is Happening in This Class (WIHIC) and attitude scale. Data analyses supported the validity and reliability of the instrument when used in this context. Significant positive associations between the WIHIC scales and their attitudes supported the predictive validity of the WIHIC. The multiple regression showed that, three scales namely Investigation, Task Orientation and Equity were positively and significantly related to student's attitudes. The quantitative data provided a starting point from which other qualitative methods (interviews and observations) were used to gain a more in-depth understanding of the classroom environments there. An educational critique has been used to describe the social, cultural, economical and political factors that may be responsible for the present prevailing learning environments. The findings from the quantitative data were supported by the findings of interviews and observations.