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Student Attitudes, Student Anxieties, and How to Address Them

This book is based on a commitment to teaching science to everybody. What may work for training professional scientists does not work for general science education. Students bring to the classrooms preconceived attitudes, as well as the emotional baggage called """"science anxiety."""" Students may regard science as cold, unfriendly, and even inherently hostile and biased against women. This book has been designed to deal with each of these issues and results from research in both Denmark and the United States.The first chapter discusses student attitudes towards science and the second discusses science anxiety. The connection between the two is discussed before the introduction of constructivism as a pedagogy that can aid science learning if it also addresses attitudes and anxieties. Much of the book elucidates what the authors have learned as science teachers and science education researchers. They studied various groups including university students majoring in the sciences, mathematics, humanities, social sciences, business, nursing, and eduction; high school students; teachers' seminary students; science teachers at all levels from middle school through college; and science administrators. The insights of these groups constitute the most important feature of the book, and by sharing them, the authors hope to help their fellow science teachers to understand student attitudes about science, to recognize the connections between these and science anxiety, and to see how a pedagogy that takes these into account can improve science learning.
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Table of Contents

Preface Introduction 1. Attitudes: What do students believe about the nature of science? 2. Anxieties: Why do students fear science? 3. Connections between attitudes and anxieties 4. Constructivism: A philosophy and pedagogy of science 5. What do we do on Monday morning? Implementing constructivist pedagogy 6. Constructing teaching Appendix 1. Attitudes questionnaire Appendix 2. Multiple regression Appendix 3. Student interview questions Appendix 4. Anxiety questionnaire Appendix 5. Chi-square Appendix 6. Teachers' practices questionnaire Recommended additional readings

About the Author

Helge Kastrup is an astrophysicist and mathematician from the University of Copenhagen. He has taught physics, math and science at levels from ten-year olds to masters students at various Danish schools, universities, teachers' seminary and at the European School Brussels. He has written a number of textbooks and articles on science and pedagogy. His main area of research is science anxiety and pedagogy, in collaboration with Jeffry Mallow and other professors from Loyola Chicago. He is an amateur musician and tennis player. Jeffry V. Mallow is Professor of Physics Emeritus, Loyola University Chicago and Affiliated Professor, University of Haifa. His primary physics research area is quantum mechanics. He discovered and named the phenomenon, ""science anxiety."" Co-founder of the first university clinic to help students overcome this anxiety, he has published widely in the field that he initiated. Much of his work has been in collaboration with Helge Kastrup and other colleagues in Denmark.

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