Investigating the Attitudes toward Science among the Secondary Students of Orang Asli and Mainstream Ethnicities in Malaysia

    Eng Tek Ong ,Khar Thoe Ng ,Mohd Hairy Ibrahim ,Norwaliza Abdul Wahab ,Fauziah Mohd SA’ad ,Nurulhuda Abd Rahman ,Charanjit Kaur Swaran Singh

    Abstract

    The inculcation of positive attitudes toward science is one of the valid and crucial goals of science education. While research into attitudes toward science has been conducted amongst students in Malaysia, there is, nevertheless, still an inadequacy of such kind of research amongst the students of the Indigenous People, known as Orang Asli in Malaysia, particularly at the secondary level. Using a causal-comparative research design, this study investigates the main effects of gender and ethnicity, and the two-way gender and ethnicity interaction effect on attitudes toward science. Using a five-point-scale with 11-item unidimensional Attitudes toward Science in School Assessment (ATSSA) Questionnaire that is valid and reliable, it was administered to 167 Form 1 and Form 2 respondents from a national secondary school in the state of Perak that educates predominantly the Indigenous People, alongside other ethnicities. The dataset was analysed using a two-way (gender and ethnicity) factorial ANOVA. The findings indicated that while there were no significant main gender and two-way interactional effects, the main ethnicity effect was significant, in which the follow-up post hoc test indicated that the Orang Asli students have higher levels of attitudes toward science as compared to their peers of Chinese and Indian ethnicities. The results are discussed in the context of science teaching and learning at the secondary level.

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