Secondary school students’ attitudes to practical work in biology, chemistry and physics in England

Dr Rachael Sharpe, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science, School of Education

Practical work is frequently and widely used in the teaching of science in secondary schools in England (Bennett 2005). Indeed, many science teachers in England believe its frequent use to be both ‘the “natural” and “right” thing to do’ (Millar 2002, 53) and that it plays an important role in motivating students towards the study of science (Abrahams and Saglam 2010; Hodson 1990). However, many of the claims regarding the affective value of practical work have arisen from broader studies into students’ attitudes to science in general (e.g. Barmby, Kind, and Jones 2008; Bennett and Hogarth 2009; Cerini, Murray, and Reiss 2003; Jenkins and Nelson 2005; Osborne and Collins 2001) rather than to practical work in particular. Indeed, there has been little research that has specifically examined students’ attitudes solely to practical work and how these may change chronologically as students study science throughout their compulsory education. Whilst the onset of a decline in pupil interest in science from Year 7 onwards has been reported (Bennett 2005; Doherty and Dawe 1988) indeed, Abrahams (2009) found that almost a half of Year 7 attitudinal claims about practical work were merely statements of relative preference no study has yet looked to see how attitudes change throughout compulsory secondary science education. Whilst there is research to suggest that teachers consider practical work to have a positive impact on students’ attitudes (Holstermann, Grube, and Bögeholz 2009), students themselves have rarely been asked to express their views about practical work in isolation from science lessons in general. Indeed, Wellington (2005) has suggested that there is a need to ask students direct questions regarding their attitudes to practical work in order to probe further the specific impact that it is having on their attitudes to science.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Dr Rachael Sharpe, University of Lincoln, School of Education

Prof Ian Abrahams, University of Lincoln, School of Education


Secondary school students’ attitudes to practical work in biology, chemistry and physics in England

UoL CoSS research, Education, Schools

Prof Ian Abrahams, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science, School of Education, UoL research CoSS

 

 

 

 

In England, practical work is a major part of secondary school science and yet little research has examined students’ attitudes specifically to practical work.

The research considered students’ attitudes in terms of an established analytical framework incorporating the affective, behavioural and cognitive (ABC) domains and used a mixed methods approach involving questionnaires, lesson observations, and focus group discussions.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Prof Ian Abrahams, University of Lincoln, School of Education

Dr Rachael Sharpe, University of Lincoln, School of Education


 

Developing new ways of measuring the quality and impact of ambulance service care: the PhOEBE mixed-methods research programme

 

Prof Niro Siriwardena, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science, School of Health and Social Care, Director of Community and Health Research Unit, UoL CoSS research CaHRU

Mr Viet-Hai Phung, University of Lincoln, School of Health and Social Care, UoL CoSS research

 

 

 

 

 

Ambulance service quality measures have focused on response times and a small number of emergency conditions, such as cardiac arrest. These quality measures do not reflect the care for the wide range of problems that ambulance services respond to and the Prehospital Outcomes for Evidence Based Evaluation (PhOEBE) programme sought to address this.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Janette Turner, School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield

Niroshan Siriwardena, Community and Health Research Unit (CaHRU), School of Health and Social Care, University of Lincoln and  East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Joanne Coster, School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield

Richard Jacques, School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield

Andy Irving, School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield

Annabel Crum, School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield

Helen Bell Gorrod, School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield

Jon Nicholl, School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield

Viet-Hai Phung, Community and Health Research Unit (CaHRU), School of Health and Social Care, University of Lincoln

Fiona Togher, Community and Health Research Unit (CaHRU), School of Health and Social Care, University of Lincoln

Richard Wilson, School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield

Alicia O’Cathain, School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield

Andrew Booth, School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield

Daniel Bradbury, School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield

Steve Goodacre, School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield

Anne Spaight,  East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust,

Jane Shewan, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Richard Pilbery,Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Daniel Fall, Patient and public involvement

Maggie Marsh, Patient and public involvement

Andrea Broadway-Parkinson, Patient and public involvement

Ronan Lyons, College of Medicine, Swansea University

Helen Snooks, College of Medicine, Swansea University

Mike Campbell, School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield