Student Attitudes/Beliefs

Examining physics identity development through two high school interventions

As part of the STEP UP project, a national initiative to empower high school teachers to inspire young women to pursue physics degrees in college, we developed two lessons for high school physics classes that are intended to facilitate the physics identity development of female students. One discusses physics careers and links to students' own values and goals; the other focuses on a discussion of underrepresentation of women in physics with the intention of having students elicit and examine stereotypes in physics.

Hemeng Cheng
Geoff Potvin
Raina Khatri
Laird Kramer
Robynne M. Lock
Zahra Hazari
Short Description: 

Using structural equation modeling, the researchers test a path model of various physics identity constructs, extending an earlier, established model. In this paper, they also compare a preliminary structural analysis of students' physics identities before and after the career lesson, with an eye towards understanding how students' identities develop over time and due to these experiences.


Science in the LearningGardens: A study of motivation, achievement, and science identity in low-income middle schools

Science in the Learning Gardens (henceforth, SciLG) program was designed to address two well-documented, inter-related educational problems: under-representation in science of students from racial and ethnic minority groups and inadequacies of curriculum and pedagogy to address their cultural and motivational needs. Funded by the National Science Foundation, SciLG is a partnership between Portland Public Schools and Portland State University.

Dilafruz R. Williams
Heather Brule
Sybil S. Kelley
Ellen A. Skinner
Lead Organization(s): 
Short Description: 

This study reports results from 113 students and three science teachers from two low-income urban middle schools participating in SciLG. It highlights the role of students’ views of themselves as competent, related, and autonomous in the garden, as well as their engagement and re-engagement in the garden, as potential pathways by which garden-based science activities can shape science motivation, learning, and academic identity in science.

Invaluable values: an expectancy-value theory analysis of youths’ academic motivations and intentions

Ball, C., Huang, K., Cotten, S. R., Rikard, R. V., & Coleman, L. O. (2016). Invaluable values: an expectancy-value theory analysis of youths’ academic motivations and intentions. Information, Communication & Society, 19(5), 1-21.

Christopher Ball
Kuo-Ting Huang
Shelia R. Cotten
R.V. Rikard
LaToya O. Coleman
Lead Organization(s): 
Short Description: 

While Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields have increased in importance over the past decade, minorities have remained traditionally underrepresented in these fields. In this study we seek to better understand some of the factors that might contribute to or potentially mitigate early STEM pipeline leaks, specifically, high school graduation and college entrance leaks. Student interest formed in the early school years has an impact on future course selections and persistence in school. These choices can have long-term repercussions on the future career options and the financial security of students. We apply expectancy-value theory (EVT) in order to examine the factors that may influence students’ motivations and intentions to complete high school and attend college. Specifically, we investigate if EVT can help to explain change in students’ academic intentions and motivations after a computing intervention. We hypothesize that changes in students’ expectancies for success and subjective task values will be positively associated with changes in students’ intentions and motivations to persist in academia. Data were gathered from a sample of elementary students within an urban, high poverty, and predominately minority school district located in the southeastern USA. Changes in students’ expectancies for success and subjective task values over the course of the intervention played an important role in students’ academic motivations and intentions to both finish high school and attend college. These findings demonstrate that EVT is useful in explaining general academic motivations in young children, which could potentially increase the structural integrity of the STEM pipeline.

A cognitive apprenticeship for science literacy based on journalism

Polman, Joseph L.
Saul, E. Wendy
Newman, Alan
Farrar, Cathy
Singer, Nancy
Turley, Eric
Pearce, Laura
Hope, Jennifer
McCarty, Glenda
Graville, Cynthia
Contact Info: 
Publication Type: 
In press?: 
In Press
Resource Format: 

Abstract: The Science Literacy through Science Journalism (SciJourn) project aims to reframe the discussion of science literacy for citizenship, and explore how science journalism practices can be used to inform a cognitive apprenticeship that increases the science literacy of participants. This symposium features four paper presentations that report on the progress of the SciJourn project.

National NSTA Conference

Event Date: 
Thu, 03/18/2010 - 6:00am to Sun, 03/21/2010 - 11:00am
Associated Dates and Deadlines: 
January 22, 2010 - Earlybird registration deadline
February 12, 2010 - Advanced registration deadline

Join your colleagues in the City of Brotherly Love for NSTA's 58th National Conference on Science Education. Conference registration and exhibits will be at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Most sessions and events have been scheduled at the Convention Center and the Doubletree Philadelphia Hotel, Loew’s Philadelphia Hotel, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, and Sheraton Philadelphia City Center Hotel.

Event Type: 


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