Browsing by Subject "Item response theory"

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  • Aivelo, Tuomas; Uitto, Anna (2021)
    Understanding how teaching affects students' attitudes and beliefs is notoriously difficult, specifically in a quickly evolving and societally relevant field such as genetics. The aim of this survey study is to capitalize our previous research and examine how teaching relates to Finnish secondary school students' liking of, self-concept in and experienced utility of genetics, attitude towards gene technology and belief in genetic determinism. In this unique setting, we used as explanatory variables their teachers' teaching emphases and learning materials, and as student-related factors, we used gender and the number of biology courses attended. Item-response theory with exploratory, confirmatory, and explanatory analyses were carried out to model the data. Teaching explained students' attitudes and beliefs: if the teacher's emphasis was Hereditary or the textbook with stronger Mendelian emphasis was used, students tended to havemore negative attitudes towards learning genetics and stronger belief in genetic determinism . Our results also suggest gender differences: male students had more positive attitude towards gene technology, higher self-concept, whereas as utility of genetics and belief in genetic determinism were higher in females. The results suggest that teaching' approaches as well as learning materials need updates to fulfil the needs for genetics literacy