European study shows when teachers like science, students do too
Did you ever blame your teacher for hating science? New research shows that the shrinking number of students in Europe who choose to study science is influenced by how schools and teachers shape their attitudes. The research findings were applied in the EU-supported POLLEN ('Pollen seed cities for science, a community approach for a sustainable growth of science education in Europe') project, funded under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).
Led by Professor Tina Jarvis of the School of Education at the University of Leicester in the UK, the study examined how the ideas of science and technology develop in the minds of young children.
Based on the findings, students start off their education by having a narrow or inaccurate view of science and technology. Their development is impacted by two factors: the school and how its teachers are trained.
For the two-year study, Professor Jarvis and her team identified four teacher types, focusing on who required different types of 'science in-service', a programme to help change attitudes about science. A link was demonstrated between the types of teacher and the rate of development of pupils' understanding of science as well as their attitudes.
University of Leicester: