Science Survey | Art Survey

Mäori Survey
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Science Survey
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Attitudes and Motivation
The national monitoring assessment programme recognises the impact of attitudinal and motivational factors on student achievement in individual assessment tasks. Students' attitudes, interests and liking for a subject have a strong bearing on progress and learning outcomes. Students are influenced and shaped by the quality and style of curriculum delivery, the choice of content and the suitability of resources. Other important factors influencing students' achievements are the expectations and support of significant people in their lives, the opportunities and experiences they have in and out of school, and the extent to which they have feelings of personal success and capability.

Science survey
The national monitoring science survey sought information from students about their curriculum preferences and their perceptions of their achievement and potential in science. Students were also asked about their involvement in science related activities within school and beyond. There are numerous research questions that could be asked when investigating student attitudes and engagement. In national monitoring it has been necessary to focus on a few key questions that give an overall impression of how students regard science in relation to themselves.

Each survey was administered in a session containing team and independent tasks. The surveys included 16 questions that could be responded to by ticking or circling a chosen response. Responses to these 16 questions are summarised in the large table on the next page. Two questions required written responses, which are summarised below.

Students were asked to indicate their first three preferences from a list of six class science activities. The percentages choosing each activity as first preference and as one of the top three preferences are tabulated below.

    Science Activity
1st Choice
Top 3
% responses
% responses
being told about science
being shown about science
reading about science
talking about science
going on field trips
doing things like experiments

Two activities ("going on field trips" and "doing things like experiments") were strong first preferences for Mäori students in general education. Students in Mäori immersion programmes favoured "going on field trips" over all other activities. When the top three preferences were considered, all of the activities with an experimental emphasis were strongly favoured by Mäori students in general education, but "going on field trips" was the only activity strongly favoured by students in Mäori immersion programmes.

One open-ended question was asked. Responses to the question "What do you like doing most in science in your own time" were coded into 9 categories. Easily the most popular category for Mäori students in general education was "doing experiments" (47% of students). That was also the most popular category for students in Mäori immersion programmes, but the level of support was much lower (9% of students).

Student Responses to the Year 8 Science Survey
percentages — Mäori students in general education    Mäori Immersion students
a . . . .
1. How much do you like doing science at school?  37  51 52  37 9  10 2  2
a   heaps quite a lot some very little
2. How much do you think you can learn about science at school? 14  14 39  59 42  25 5  2
    more about the same less
3. Would you like to do more or less science at school?  37  45 52  53 7  2
a   heapsa quite a lot sometimes never
4. How often does your class do really good things in science? 7  10 18  29 69  55 6  6
5. How often do you do these things in science at school?
a. Field trips/work outside
6  6 11  22 37  56 30  16
b. Visit science activities
4  9 9  30 50  35 37  26
c. Research/projects
18  10 34  39 47  45 1  6
d. Group work
25  28 39  42 35  28 1  2
e. Experiments with everyday things
7  6 19  36 54  45 20  13
f. Experiments with science equipment
9  7 28  29 39  41 24  23
g. Science competitions
2  4 8  20 54  49 36  27
a . . . .
6. How good do you think you are at science? 9  36 66  48 18  14 7  2
  heaps  quite a lot sometimes never
7. How much do you like doing science things in your own time, when you're not at school? 13  22 66  48 46  31 16  13
8. Do you do some really good things in science in your own time – when you're not at school? 7  5 12  34 49  36 32  25
a yes  maybe   no  
9. Do you want to keep learning about science when you grow up? 32  40 62  49 6  11
10. Do you think you would make a good scientist when you grow up? 3  23 39  37 58  40

Compared to Mäori students in general education, students in Mäori immersion programmes were somewhat more supportive of science programmes at school and science activities in their own time. They also reported that their school programmes included higher levels of field trips, visits to science activities, and experiments with everyday things. The most notable differences, however, were that much higher proportions of students in immersion programmes were very positive about how good they thought they were at science and about their suitability to be good scientists when they grew up.

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