Thinking about Science Survey Instrument (TSSI)

Many scientists and science educators are concerned about the public's ambiguous relationship with science and this public includes elementary teachers. Like many citizens, too many elementary teachers find science disconnected from everyday life and thinking. Science is a "school subject" not an important part of everyday life. Some may believe that science conflicts with important personal beliefs they hold about other areas of life such as religion and art. Elementary teachers who feel this disconnection with science will at best approach science teaching as something one does if school authorities demand it. Given that we are now promoting constructivist approaches to science teaching among teachers who frequently face the challenges of multiculturalism, and in addition the rising challenges to science itself, society's demands of elementary teachers is all the more greater. The demands increasingly require of teachers an engagement with science at a significant level of depth and sophistication. The research reported here is about developing new insight on the processes of elementary science teacher education and development, and in general the development of the public understanding of science, vis-a-vis social and cultural factors that contribute either to science resistance or affirmation of science. This document reports on the development of a quantitative instrument for assessing socio-cultural resistance to, and support for, science that can be employed in efforts to quantitatively document the presence or absence of significant cultural concerns.

Average Review: 3 (3.0)

by anonymous, , , 3

The TSSI was developed for use with teachers to assess their attitudes toward science. While it is not written at a terribly high level, the tool appears to be aimed toward youth or adults, at least high school age. The general purpose is to assess attitudes toward science in general, and the article describes the division of questions into subscales assessing various dimensions of attitudes toward science, such as the overall importance of science, its compatibility with religion, its relationship to nature, and the appropriate governmental funding level for scientific research. It could be used in a general assessment of the sample's attitudes toward science in general.