Attitudes Towards Science Among Senior Secondary Students in Fiji
Brown, S; Naiker, M; Sharma, B; Wakeling, L; Johnson, J; Mani, J; Kumar, B; Naidu, A; Khan, N
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In order to investigate gender and ethnicity-based differences in scientific attitudes among Fijian students, the widely studied Test of Scientific Related Attitudes (TOSRA) was administered to 1401 senior secondary Fijian students (Years 11–13; approximately 15–18 years of age). Students generally had a positive attitude towards science overall in Years 11–13, with females showing a more positive attitude than males. By Year 13, the attitudes of females towards science had become more negative. The attitude of iTaukei students towards science started out lower than other ethnicities in Year 11 and increased during Year 12, before falling to below the starting attitude levels in Year 13. Fijian students of Indian descent generally had a positive attitude towards science that remained consistent throughout Years 11–13, with an increase in leisure and career interest in science in Year 13. A strong correlation was found between the ethnicity of a student and their first language. Continued science outreach programmes, particularly in Year 12, are important to achieve and retain scientific interest and attitudes among Fijian secondary students.