TURKISH UNIVERSITY STUDENTS’ ATTITUDES TOWARD BIOLOGY: THE EFFECTS OF GENDER AND ENROLMENT IN BIOLOGY CLASSES
Authors: Muhammet Usak, Pavol Prokop, Mustafa Ozden, Murat Ozel, Kadir Bilen, Mehmet Erdogan
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Research on the association between achievement and attitudes belong to fundamental questions in science education research. It is proposed that more positive attitudes are associated with better learning outcomes in science. However, recent research has revealed controversial results either supporting or rejecting the “attitude-achievement hypothesis”. Moreover, very little is known about attitudes toward science among university students. In this study undertaken with a large number of university students in Turkey (n= 1301), we examined whether achievement correlates with attitudes toward biology, whether girls have more positive attitudes than boys as observed in previous research and whether those who enrolled in biology classes show more positive attitudes toward biology than those in humanities. The results indicated only weak, although statistically significant, association between attitudes and achievement. Furthermore, both achievement and attitudes toward biology were not influenced by gender or enrolment in biology classes. These results somewhat surprisingly cast doubts on relationships between attitudes and achievement and effects of gender on attitudes toward biology among university students.