How attitudes and beliefs about physics change from high school to faculty

Simon P. Bates*, Ross K. Galloway, Claire Loptson, Katherine A. Slaughter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We present results of a pseudolongitudinal study of attitudes and beliefs about physics from different cohort groups ranging from final-year high school students in the UK to physics faculty (N = 637), using the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS) instrument. In terms of overall degree of expertlike thinking, we find little change in cohorts at different stages of their undergraduate degrees, with a flat profile of expertlike thinking across the years of an undergraduate degree. Significant differences in overall CLASS scores occur for cohorts across entry and exit points of the undergraduate program. At the entry boundary, our data for high school students provides strong evidence of a selection effect, with students who intend to major in physics at university displaying more expertlike views than those students who are merely studying the subject to final year in high school. A similar effect is suggested at the exit boundary but is not definitive.

Original languageEnglish
Article number020114
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical review special topics-Physics education research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2011

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