Attitudes, interest, motivation and student engagement: exploring the connection between these constructs in the context of science education
Logan, MR 2011, 'Attitudes, interest, motivation and student engagement: exploring the connection between these constructs in the context of science education', paper presented to 42nd Annual Australasian Science Education Research Association ASERA Conference, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, 29 June - 2 July.
There has been an urgent call for educators to ‘re-think’ the way science is presented in schools (Holbrook, 2007; Tytler, 2007) and there has been little change in this presentation over the decades, particularly in secondary schools despite the strong drive for pedagogical reform in a number of countries (Wilson, Taylor, Kowalski & Carlson, 2010). In many Australian schools traditional teacher-centred lessons are presented, where students have little input into theory lessons or direction of practical lessons and science lessons often lack relevance to the lives of students (Goodrum et al, 2001). This style of science is unlikely to lead to sustained interest in, a positive attitude to, motivation towards, or engagement in, science for students in the 21st Century. This paper examines the literature relating to the constructs: attitude, interest, motivation, and student engagement. Although quite separate, the literature also reveals much overlap between these constructs. The connection between these constructs is explored in terms of the value for practicing teachers and implications for the classroom.