Measurement of Some Jamaican High School Students' Levels of Anxiety Towards Science
Keywords:Science, Secondary School Students, Anxiety, Jamaica
AbstractAnxiety is one of the major psychological variables which interferes with students' learning and performance. One main purpose of this study, therefore, was to measure the levels of anxiety that some Jamaican high school students showed towards science. A second main purpose was to investigate the effects of variables such as grade level, gender, school location, number of science subjects the students were studying and their science subject preference on their levels of anxiety. A total of 313 - 149 boys and 164 girls, comprising 133 grade 9 and 180 grade 11 students - from two rural and four urban high schools formed the study's sample. The Zuckerman Affect Adjective Checklist modified by Docking - 1978 - was the instrument used to measure the students' anxiety levels. The results showed that the students fell into three anxiety levels: low - 10.86 percent, average - 78.60 percent and high - 10.54 percent; rural school students were significantly more anxious than the urban ones; grade 11 students were slightly more anxious than theÂ students; the females were slightly more anxious than the grade 9 students; the females were slightly more anxious than the males; students studying three science subjects were slightly more anxious than those studying two or one subject; students who preferred biology were slightly less anxious than those who preferred either physics or chemistry. The implications of the findings for science education are emphasized.
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