Advertisement

Influence of Motivating Science Class, Family, and Peer Models on Students’ Approaches to Learning Science: A Structural Equation Modeling Analysis

  • Asghar Soltani
Article
  • 69 Downloads

Abstract

Classroom environment, family, and peers are important factors in influencing students’ science learning. The primary aim of this study was to examine the effects of three environmental factors related to science learning (motivating science class, family models, and peer models) on students’ approaches to learning science (deep approach and surface approach). The sample comprised 308 students in grades 8 and 9 from ten secondary schools. Research instruments were Simpson-Troost Attitude Questionnaire-Revised (STAQ-R) (Owen et al. 2008) and Approaches to Learning Science (ALS) questionnaire (Lee et al. 2008). A structural equation modeling analysis procedure indicated that motivating science class and family models were the strongest predictors of students’ deep approaches to learning science. Further, family models were found to have a significant direct and negative relationship with surface approaches to learning science. The results also revealed that motivating science class had a significant direct effect on peer models. In addition, other hypothesized relationships were not statistically significant. Accordingly, motivating science class and peer models had no significant association with surface approaches to learning science. Also, peer models were found to have no significant association with deep approaches to learning science. These pieces of evidence indicate that a motivating science class and a family who have positive attitudes towards science and are somewhat engaged with science may influence students to adopt deeper approaches to learning science. The results also offer implications for science teaching and learning and raise the potential role of science classroom, parents, and siblings in students’ approach to learning science.

Keywords

Motivating science class Family models Peer models Approaches to learning science Structural equation modeling 

References

  1. Azevedo, F. S. (2011). Lines of practice: a practice-centered theory of interest relationships. Cognition and Instruction, 29, 147–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (1980). Understanding attitudes and predicting social behavior. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  3. Baeten, M., Dochy, F., Struyven, K., Parmentier, E., & Vanderbruggen, A. (2016). Student-centred learning environments: an investigation into student teachers’ instructional preferences and approaches to learning. Learning Environments Research, 19, 43–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baeten, M., Dochy, F., & Struyven, K. (2013). Enhancing students’ approaches to learning: the added value of gradually implementing case-based learning. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 28, 315–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baeten, M., Kyndt, M., Struyven, K., & Dochy, F. (2010). Using student-centred learning environments to stimulate deep approaches to learning: factors encouraging or discouraging their effectiveness. Educational Research Review, 5, 243–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: a social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  7. Bembenutty, H., White, M. C., & DiBenedetto, M. K. (2016). Applying social cognitive theory in the development of self-regulated competencies throughout K-12 grades. In A. Lipnevich, F. Preckel, & R. Roberts (Eds.), Psychosocial skills and school systems in the 21st century. The Springer series on human exceptionality (pp. 215–239). Cham: Springer.Google Scholar
  8. Bentler, P. M., & Bonett, D. G. (1980). Significance tests and goodness of fit in the analysis of covariance structures. Psychological Bulletin, 88, 588–606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Biggs, J. (1987). Student approaches to learning and studying. Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research.Google Scholar
  10. Bryan, R. R., Glynn, S. M., & Kittleson, J. M. (2011). Motivation, achievement, and advanced placement intent of high school students learning science. Science Education, 95, 1049–1065.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Breakwell, G. M., & Beardsell, S. (1992). Gender, parental and peer influence upon science attitudes and activities. Public Understanding of Science, 1, 183–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bruinsma, M., & Jansen, E. P. W. A. (2007). Educational productivity in higher education: an examination of part of the Walberg educational productivity model. School Effectiveness and School Improvement: An International Journal of Research, Policy and Practice, 18, 45–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cano, F., & Cardelle-Elawar, M. (2008). Family environment, epistemological beliefs, learning strategies, and academic performance: a path analysis. In M. S. Khine (Ed.), Knowing, knowledge and beliefs: epistemological studies across diverse cultures (pp. 219–239). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chen, S.-F., Lin, C.-Y., Wang, J.-R., Lin, S.-W., & Kao, H.-L. (2012). A cross-grade comparison to examine the context effect on the relationships among family resources, school climate, learning participation, science attitude, and science achievement based on TIMSS 2003 in Taiwan. International Journal of Science Education, 34, 2089–2106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chin, C., & Brown, D. E. (2000). Learning in science: a comparison of deep and surface approaches. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37, 109–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Crowley, K., Callanan, M. A., Jipson, J. L., Galco, J., Topping, K., & Shrager, J. (2001). Shared scientific thinking in everyday parent-child activity. Science Education, 85, 712–732.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dart, B., Burnett, P., Boulton-Lewis, G., Campbell, J., Smith, D., & McCrindle, A. (1999). Classroom learning environments and students’ approaches to learning. Learning Environments Research, 2, 137–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dabney, K. P., Chakraverty, D., & Tai, R. H. (2013). The association of family influence and initial interest in science. Science Education, 97, 395–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dolmans, D. H. J. M., Loyens, S. M. M., Marcq, H., & Gijbel, D. (2016). Deep and surface learning in problem-based learning: a review of the literature. Advances in Health Science Education, 21, 1087–1112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Duarte, A. A. (2007). Conceptions of learning and approaches to learning in Portuguese students. Higher Education, 54, 781–794.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Eagly, A., & Chaiken, S. (1993). The psychology of attitudes. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth group/Thomson Learning.Google Scholar
  22. Eccles, J. S., & Wigfield, A. (2002). Motivational beliefs, values, and goals. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 109–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Efstathiou, N. T., Risvas, G. S., Theodoraki, E.-M. M., Galanaki, E. P., & Zampelas, A. D. (2016). Health education: effects on classroom climate and physical activity. Health Education Journal, 75, 799–810.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Entwistle, N., & Tuit, H. (1995). Approaches to studying and perceptions of the learning environment across disciplines. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 1995(64), 93–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Fredricks, J. A., Blumenfeld, P. C., & Paris, A. H. (2004). School engagement: potential of the concept, state of the evidence. Review of Educational Research, 74, 59–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. F. (1981). Evaluating structural equation models with observational variables and measurement error. Journal of Marketing Research, 18, 39–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fortus, D., & Vedder-Weiss, D. (2014). Measuring students’ continuing motivation for science learning. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 51, 497–522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Fraser, B. J. (2007). Classroom learning environments. In S. K. Abell, & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Handbook of research on science education (pp. 103–124). Mahwah.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  29. General Medical Council (2003). Approving educational environments. Retrieved from https://www.gmc-uk.org/Educational_Environments___May_2013.pdf_52096709.pdf
  30. Gennaro, E. D., Hereid, N., & Ostlund, K. (1986). A study of the latent effects of family learning courses in science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 23, 771–781.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. George, R., & Kaplan, D. (1998). A structural model of parent and teacher influences on science attitudes of eighth graders: evidence from NELS: 88. Science Education, 82, 93–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Gijbels, D., Donche, V., Richardson, J. T. E., & Vermunt, J. D. (2014). Learning patterns in higher education: dimensions and research perspectives. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  33. Gijbels, D., Segers, M., & Struyf, E. (2008). Constructivist learning environments and the (im)possibility to change students’ perceptions of assessment demands and approaches to learning. Instructional Science, 36, 431–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Gorham, J., & Christophel, D. M. (1992). Students’ perceptions of teacher behaviors as motivating and demotivating factors in college classes. Communication Quarterly, 40, 239–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Grewal, R., Cote, J. A., & Baumgartner, H. (2004). Multicollinearity and measurement error in structural equation models: implications for theory testing. Marketing Science, 23, 519–529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hair Jr., J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., Anderson, R. E., & Tatham, R. L. (2006). Multivariate data analysis (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  37. Haladyna, T., Olsen, R., & Shaughnessy, J. (1982). Relations of student, teacher, and learning environment variables to attitudes toward science. Science Education, 66, 671–687.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hall, R. L., & Schaverien, L. (2001). Families’ engagement with young children’s science and technology learning at home. Science Education, 85, 454–481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Harris, R. D. (2005). Unlocking the learning potential in peer mediation: an evaluation of peer mediator modeling and disputant learning. Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 23, 141–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Ho, E. S. C. (2010). Family influences on science learning among Hong Kong adolescents: what we learned from PISA. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 8, 409–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hu, L.-T., & Bentler, P. M. (2009, 1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10705519909540118.
  42. Hofstein, A., & Kempa, R. F. (1985). Motivating strategies in science education: attempt at an analysis. European Journal of Science Education, 7, 221–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Jamshidi Avanaki, H., & Sadeghi, B. (2014). A comparative study of teacher education in Iran and the UK. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 5, 1153–1159.Google Scholar
  44. Jones, M. H., Estell, D. B., & Alexander, J. M. (2008). Friends, classmates, and self-regulated learning: discussions with peers inside and outside the classroom. Metacognition Learning, 3, 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Jöreskog, K. G., & Sörbom, D. (2006). LISREL 8.80 for Windows. Lincolnwood, IL: Scientific Software International, Inc.Google Scholar
  46. Kaya, S., & Lundeen, C. (2010). Capturing parents’ individual and institutional interest toward involvement in science education. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 21, 825–841.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Kember, D., Biggs, J., & Leung, D. Y. P. (2004). Examining the multidimensionality of approaches to learning through the development of a revised version of the Learning Process Questionnaire. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 74, 261–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Kiamanesh, A. R. (2013). Trends in students’ science achievement across TIMSS studies with emphasis on gender differences in 18 countries. Journal of Iranian Curriculum Studies, 7, 93–116 [In Persian].Google Scholar
  49. Kline, R. B. (2011). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  50. Klopfer, L. E. (1971). Evaluation of learning in science. In B. S. Bloom, J. T. Hastings, & G. F. Madaus (Eds.), Handbook of formative and summative evaluation of student learning. London: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  51. Koballa, T. R., Jr., & Glynn, S. M. (2007). Attitudinal and motivational constructs in science learning. In S. K. Abell, & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Handbook of research on science education (pp. 75–102). Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  52. Koballa Jr., T. R., & Crawley, F. E. (1985). The influence of attitude on science teaching and learning. School Science and Mathematics, 85, 222–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Kuusisto, E., Gholami, G., & Tirri, K. (2016). Finnish and Iranian teachers’ views on their competence to teach purpose. Journal of Education for Teaching, 42, 541–555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Lawrenz, F. (1976). The prediction of student attitude toward science from student perception of the classroom learning environment. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 13, 509–515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Lee, M.-H., Johanson, R. E., & Tsai, C.-C. (2008). Exploring Taiwanese high school students’ conceptions of and approaches to learning science through a structural equation modeling analysis. Science Education, 92, 191–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Liem, G. A. D. (2016). The effects of culture and sex on students’ approaches to learning: inspiring insights from David Watkins’ intellectual inquiries. In R. B. King & A. B. I. Bernardo (Eds.), The psychology of Asian learners (pp. 217–233). Singapore: Springer Singapore.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Lin, T. J., & Tsai, C. C. (2013). A multi-dimensional instrument for evaluation Taiwanese high school students’ science learning self-efficacy in relation to their approaches to learning science. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 11, 1275–1301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Lopez, B. G., Cervero, G. A., Rodriguez, J. M. S., Felix, E. G., & Esteban, P. R. G. (2013). Learning styles and approaches to learning in excellent and average first-year university students. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 28, 1361–1379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Luce, M. R., Goldman, S., & Vea, T. (2017). Designing for family science explorations anytime, anywhere. Science Education, 101, 251–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Marton, F., & Säljö, R. (1984). Approaches to learning. In F. Marton, D. Hounsell, & N. Entwistle (Eds.), The experience of learning (pp. 39–58). Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press.Google Scholar
  61. Marton, F. (1983). Beyond individual differences. Educational Psychology, 3, 289–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Minaei, A. (2013). Assessment of structural comparability and analysis of differential item functioning (DIF) and differential test functioning (DTF) of TIMSS 2007 8th grade science test among Iranian and American students. Educational Measurement, 3, 1–188 [In Persian].Google Scholar
  63. Mullis, I. V. S., Martin, M. O., Goh, S., & Cotter, K. (Eds.) (2016). TIMSS 2015 Encyclopedia: education policy and curriculum in mathematics and science. Retrieved from Boston College, TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center website: http://timssandpirls.bc.edu/timss2015/encyclopedia/
  64. Nolen, S. B. (2003). Learning environment, motivation, and achievement in high school science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40, 347–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Osborne, J. F., Simon, S., & Collins, S. (2003). Attitudes towards science: a review of the literature and its implications. International Journal of Science Education, 25, 1049–1079.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Owen, S. V., Toepperwein, M., Marshall, C. E., Lichtenstein, M. J., Blalock, C. L., Liu, Y., et al. (2008). Finding pearls: psychometric reevaluation of the Simpson-Troost Attitude Questionnaire. Science Education, 92, 1076–1095.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Panizzon, D., & Levins, L. (1997). An analysis of the role of peers in supporting female students’ choices in science subjects. Research in Science Education, 27, 251–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Parpala, A., Lindblom-Ylänne, S., Komulainen, E., & Entwistle, N. (2013). Assessing students’ experiences of teaching–learning environments and approaches to learning: validation of a questionnaire in different countries and varying contexts. Learning Environments Research, 16, 201–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Parpala, A., Lindblom-Ylänne, S., Komulainen, E., Litmanen, T., & Hirsto, L. (2010). Students’ approaches to learning and their experiences of the teaching–learning environment in different disciplines. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 80, 269–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Pascarella, E. T., Walberg, H. J., Junker, L. K., & Heartel, G. D. (1981). Continuing motivation in science for early and late adolescents. American Educational Research Journal, 18, 439–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Patrick, H., & Ryan, A. M. (2008). What do students think about when evaluating their classroom’s mastery goal structure? An examination of young adolescents’ explanations. The Journal of Experimental Education, 77, 99–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Perera, L. D. H. (2014). Parents’ attitudes towards science and their children’s science achievement. International Journal of Science Education, 36, 3021–3041.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Potvin, P., & Hasni, A. (2014). Interest, motivation and attitude towards science and technology at K-12 levels: a systematic review of 12 years of educational research. Studies in Science Education, 50, 85–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Reynolds, A. J., & Walberg, H. J. (1992). A structural model of science achievement and attitude: an extension to high school. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84, 371–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Richardson, J. T. E. (2015). Approaches to learning or levels of processing: what did Marton and Säljö (1976a) really say? The legacy of the work of the Göteborg group in the 1970s. Interchange, 46, 239–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Roman, S., Cuestas, P. J., & Fenollar, P. (2008). An examination of the interrelationships between self-esteem, others’ expectations, family support, learning approaches and academic achievement. Studies in Higher Education, 33, 127–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Saab, N., van joolingen, W. R., & van Hout-Wolters, B. H. A. M. (2009). The relation of learners’ motivation with the process of collaborative scientific discovery learning. Educational Studies, 35, 205–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Salta, K., & Tzougraki, C. (2004). Attitudes toward chemistry among 11th grade students in high schools in Greece. Science Education, 88, 535–547.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Schibeci, R. A. (1983). Selecting appropriate attitudinal objectives for school science. Science Education, 67, 595–603.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Schütte, K., & Köller, O. (2015). ‘Discover, understand, implement, and transfer’: effectiveness of an intervention programme to motivate students for science. International Journal of Science Education, 37, 2306–2325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Simpson, R. D., & Oliver, J. S. (1990). A summary of major influences on attitude toward and achievement in science among adolescent students. Science Education, 74, 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Sha, L., Shcunn, C., Bathgate, M., & Ben-Eliyahu, A. (2016). Families support their children’s’ success in science learning by influencing interest and self-efficacy. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 53, 450–472.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Smith, C. F., & Mathias, H. S. (2010). Medical students’ approaches to learning anatomy: students’ experiences and relations to the learning environment. Clinical Anatomy, 23, 106–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Smith, F. M., & Hausafus, C. O. (1998). Relationship of family support and ethnic minority students’ achievement in science and mathematics. Science Education, 82, 111–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Struyven, K., Dochy, F., Janssens, S., & Gielen, S. (2006). On the dynamics of students’ approaches to learning: the effects of the teaching/learning environment. Learning and Instruction, 16, 279–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Swarat, S., Ortony, A., & Revelle, W. (2012). Activity matters: understanding student interest in school science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 49, 515–537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2000). Using multivariate statistics. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  88. Tait, H., & Entwistle, N. J. (1996). Identifying students at risk through ineffective study strategies. Higher Education, 31, 97–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Talton, E. L., & Simpson, R. D. (1985). Relationships between peer and individual attitudes toward science among adolescent students. Science Education, 69, 19–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Talton, E. L., & Simpson, R. D. (1986). Relationships of attitudes toward self, family, and school with attitude toward science among adolescents. Science Education, 70, 365–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Tare, M., French, J., Frazier, B. N., Diamond, J., & Evans, E. M. (2011). Explanatory parent–child conversation predominates at an evolution exhibit. Science Education, 95, 720–744.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. The Islamic Republic of Iran Ministry of Education. (2012). National Curriculum of Islamic Republic of Iran. Tehran: Author [In Persian].Google Scholar
  93. U.S. Department of Education (2005). Helping your child learn science. Washington, D.C.: Author.Google Scholar
  94. van Aalderen-Smeets, S. I., Walma van der Molen, J. H., & Asma, L. J. F. (2012). Primary teachers' attitude toward science: a new theoretical framework. Science Education, 96, 158–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Vedder-Weiss, D., & Fortus, D. (2018). Teachers’ mastery goals: using a self-report survey to study the relations between teaching practices and students’ motivation for science learning. Research in Science Education, 48, 180–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Vedder-Weiss, D., & Fortus, D. (2013). School, teacher, peers, and parents’ goals emphases and adolescents’ motivation to learn science in and out of school. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 50, 952–988.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Velayutham, S., & Aldridge, J. M. (2013). Influence of psychosocial classroom environment of students’ motivation and self-regulation in science learning: a structural equation modeling approach. Research in Science Education, 43, 507–527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Walberg, H. J. (1984). Improving the productivity of America’s schools. Educational Leadership, 41, 19–30.Google Scholar
  99. Wang, C.-L., & Liou, P.-Y. (2017). Students’ motivational beliefs in science learning, school motivational contexts, and science achievement in Taiwan. International Journal of Science Education, 39, 898–917.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Young, D. J., & Reynolds, A. J. (1996). Science achievement and educational productivity: a hierarchical linear model. Journal of Educational Research, 89, 272–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. Yuen-Yee, G. C., & Watkins, D. (1994). Classroom environment and approaches to learning: an investigation of the actual and preferred perceptions of Hong Kong secondary school students. Instructional Science, 22, 233–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. Zeegers, P. (2001). Approaches to learning in science: a longitudinal study. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 71, 115–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. Zhu, C., Valcke, M., & Schellens, T. (2008). A cross-cultural study of Chinese and Flemish university students: do they differ in learning conceptions and approaches to learning? Learning and Individual Differences, 18, 120–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Education, Faculty of Literature and HumanitiesShahid Bahonar University of KermanKermanIran

Personalised recommendations