Measuring Student Attitudes and Performance in order to Improve Future Performance and Enrolments in Senior Science Subjects.

Sylvia Hicks, Shane MacDonald, Ela Martin

Abstract


With increased demands for scientific literacy with the impending changes to external assessment in Queensland, whereby 50% of a student’s results in senior science and mathematics will be based on external assessment, it is important to incorporate more standardised assessment into a middle school’s program so that students have the requisite literacy skills and self-efficacy to be successful throughout the process. This project aimed to examine whether external examinations such as the International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) Science test, could correlate with internal assessment outcomes, and whether the increased use of scientific literacy through these leads to greater confidence when selecting senior science subjects. Two cohorts of students (Year 9 and Year 10) were included in the research and student learning outcomes post intervention were analysed to determine correlations between the ICAS science results and internal school-based assessment. The results suggest that targeted intervention does improve student self-efficacy and furthermore showed a positive correlation between the external ICAS science test and internal assessment.

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