Date of Award

5-30-1997

Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

First Advisor

Mary Kimball

Abstract

This research looks at students' attitudes toward a biology classroom and how their attitudes mayor may not affect their motivation and achievement. Thirty-nine students in two tenth-grade General Biology classrooms were given a survey that included questions regarding their feelings or attitudes about their biology classroom; about other classrooms, what motivates them, and what they like and dislike about different classes' classrooms. Results indicated that 26 of the 39 participants believed their attitude does affect their achievement and that the students believed a more positive attitude would produce higher grades. Additionally, students said they have a better attitude and are more motivated to achieve when they perceive the subject material as fun, interesting, and relevant to their personal lives. Similar findings in the Young, Reynolds, and Walberg study (1996), as well as other studies (Weinburgh, 1995; Reynolds & Walberg, 1992; and Simpson & Oliver, 1990), suggest other noteworthy factors that affect students' attitude, motivation, and achievement. These included home environment, peers, prior attitudes, prior achievements, instructional time, quality of instruction, and the media. It is suggested that teachers, parents, and others involved in the development of our students take action and participate in the improvement of students' attitudes and achievement.

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