Students’ interest and experiences in physics and chemistry related themes: Reflections based on a ROSE-survey in Finland

Jari Lavonen, Reijo Byman, Anna Uitto, Kalle Juuti, Veijo Meisalo


Interest in physics and chemistry topics and out-of-school experiences of Finnish secondary school students (n=3626, median age 15) were surveyed using the international ROSE questionnaire. Based on explorative factor analysis the scores of six out-of-school experience factors (indicating how often students had done something outside of school) and eight topic factors (indicating how interested students were in learning about something) were studied. The students had a lot of out-of-school experiences in simple measuring and observing and in ICT use, but they had few science and technology related hobbies and activities or experiences of camping. Several gender differences were found. Observing natural phenomena and collecting objects was the most important factor correlating with the topic factors. Factors measuring experiences of ICT use and the use of mechanical tools had the lowest correlations with the topic factors. Based on the results, the implications for science education will be discussed.

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