Field-study science classrooms as positive and enjoyable learning environments
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We investigated differences between field-study classrooms and traditional science classrooms in terms of the learning environment and students’ attitudes to science, as well as the differential effectiveness of field-study classrooms for students differing in sex and English proficiency. A modified version of selected scales from the What Is Happening In this Class? questionnaire was used to assess the learning environment, whereas students’ attitudes were assessed with a shortened version of a scale from the Test of Science Related Attitudes. A sample of 765 grade 5 students from 17 schools responded to the learning environment and attitude scales in terms of both their traditional science classrooms and classrooms at a field-study centre in Florida. Large effect sizes supported the effectiveness of the field-studies classroom in terms of both the learning environment and student attitudes. Relative to the home school science class, the field-study class was considerably more effective for students with limited English proficiency than for native English speakers.
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