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Caleon, I. S., & Subramaniam, R. (2004). Attitudes towards science of gifted and non-gifted upper primary students. In L. C. Chew (Ed.), Innovation & enterprise: Education for the new economy: Proceedings for the ERAS Conference (pp. 713-725). Singapore: Educational Research Association.
The attitudes towards science of gifted as compared to mainstream students have not yet
been explored in the Singapore context. As attitudes towards science are very much
associated with achievement and future decisions on the part of the students, and
particularly useful in conceptualizing innovations for teachers and curriculum developers,
this investigation was undertaken to determine whether differences in such attitudes
exists between gifted and non-gifted students (divided into EMI and EM2 streams) and
between boys and girls. A total of 653 upper primary students from co-educational
government and government-aided schools were involved in this study. The attitude
subscales included were enjoyment of science, appreciation of the social implications of
science and preference for science careers. Using multivariate analysis of variance
(MANOVA), it was found that gender and ability had significant effects on all the three
attitude subscales, but gender and ability interaction was significant only on the firi;t two
subscales. Boys, in general, had more positive views about science than girls. Overall,
the gifted and EM 1 students had comparable attitudes towards science; both of them
consistently showed more positive attitudes than EM2 students. Such general findings
were also mirrored in career preference subscale results. Gifted and EM1 boys viewed
science as more enjoyable and as having more importance in society than EM2 students.
Girls from different ability groups had similar views on enjoyment of science, but differences on perceptions of the social implications of science were prominent among
EM 1 and EM2 girls.
This paper was published in the Proceedings of ERAS Conference held in Singapore from 24-26 November 2004
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