An Analysis of Achievement in Science, Piagetian Conceptual Frameworks and Attitude towards Learning Science among Elementary and Secondary School Children in Pakistan

Research Article

This study analyzed the 8th and 10th graders' attitude towards learning science (ATLS), required cognitive skills for science examination questions (SEQ), and patterns of actual cognitive skills (ACS), in accordance with the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy (RBT) and the Piagetian Conceptual Frameworks (PCFs). The sample of the study consisted of 564 (boys and girls) 8th and 10th graders of government elementary and high schools in Sindh province of Pakistan. The RBT applied to break down the 8th graders General Science examination questions in terms of Piagetian conceptual frameworks. A Cognitive Science Achievement Test (CSAT) based on the RBT administered to measure the students' scores in science. In this study we applied causal comparative research design and stratified sampling technique for sample collection. The students' ATLS measured through Test of Science Related Attitudes (TOSRA, Fraser (1982)), whereas the existing PCFs of the students calculated by administering of the Group Assessment of Logical Thinking Test (GALT). The results showed that, the cognitive difficulty levels of SEQs found in uneven distribution at different PCFs, throughout examination questions. Most of the students were at different sub-stages of the Concrete Operational Level (COL) and a few were at Early Formal Operational Level (EFOL), while only four students out of 564 were at Mature Formal Operational Level (MFOL). In addition, the male students scored higher on the GALT in comparison with the female students. However, there was no significant difference found between the scores of eighth and tenth graders on the GALT. The findings concluded that a gap exists between students' reasoning ability and SEQ's difficulty level, and to increase in quantity of this gap, a decrease in ATLS occurs. Curriculum developers and paper setters need to follow a model in terms of RBT and PCFs for deciding the nature, level and complexity of the questions while developing science assessment techniques for all graders.

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