Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Earl Doughty


The importance of attitude toward the teaching and understanding of science has long been a concern of researchers. Its importance in the schools, as a means to influence academic achievement, continues to be felt. Teachers, often without trying, pass on to their students attitudes about science that are unproductive. It is, therefore, important for teachers to possess attitudes supporting the subjects that they teach. The problem then is determining what factors contribute to these teacher attitudes and how are they passed on to students.

Past research has failed to show conclusively what actually contributes to the creation of positive and negative attitudes towards science. It has been shown that students at the primary grades tend to like science more than the older students, while the younger students' teachers dislike science and the secondary grades teachers feel very positive toward science.

This study polled the students in two different education courses in order to determine what effect, if any, these courses had on student attitudes toward science and the teaching of science. The courses polled were Elementary Education 1230, an introduction education class, and Elementary Education 3290, the science methods course that all elementary education majors must complete.

The findings of the study indicate that the science methods course Elementary Education 3290 does cause an increase in the positive attitudes of those students who complete this course. It is not clear, however, if this change is due to the different age levels of the students, i.e. maturation level or if it was actually the course and course content. Further investigation is needed to determine more accurately the relationship between the science method course and preservice elementary teachers attitudes toward science and the teaching of science.