Students' interest in physics is one of the national physics curriculum goals for compulsory education and it is also one of students' motivations to learn. To understand the corresponding status as achieved in the Urumqi area of Xinjiang, China, we applied the Chinese version of the questionnaire in the ROSE (Relevance Of Science Education) Project as a research tool, to collect data from 1680 ninth grade students in 28 Urumqi middle schools and then specifically analyzed the students' interest in physics learning and the underlying influencing factors. Our preliminary research findings revealed that: (1) the ninth grade physics students in general showed positive interest towards physics learning with boys having higher interest than girls; (2) boys and girls were both most interested in topics of the themes like the universe, new energy and energy efficiency, the influence of radiation on the body; (3) students had much lower interest in topics of the themes such as atoms, molecules, invisible light, the principle of optical instruments, how to generate electricity and household appliances; (4) students’ physics learning interest was affected by (or positively correlated with) certain factors like the impression of science classes, views on science and technology, and out-of-school physics-related learning experiences; (5) there were significant gender differences between male and female students in terms of their physics learning interest, views on science and technology, out-of-school physics-related learning experiences in which boys were in general having a more positive or favorable attributes than girls in those three aspects. The underlying reasons and the educational implications for those findings will be discussed in this paper.
|Published - Jul 2013