Teachers and Students’ Perceptions of Science and Scientists: A Comparative Study

Suzanne El Takach, Abdullah Al Tobi
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Abstract


Teaching science is still relying mainly on frontal teaching and assessed by paper-and-pencil-tests. Also, students in developed countries view science production through doing experiments in a lab, that’s why these students hold a negative view about science and scientists and they do not like to choose their future careers in science. The purpose of this study is to explore Lebanese and Omani school science teachers’ and their students’ perceptions of science and scientists. Using the Draw-a-scientist-test (DAST), qualitative and quantitative data were collected from 26 Lebanese and Omani teachers and their students (N= 571) enrolled in Grades 4 till 9, in both countries, from the public sector. Results showed that the main sources of Lebanese and Omani students of their drawings are the television and the internet. In addition, these sources are significant with the increase in students’ levels. Also, Lebanese students have more stereotypical image of the scientist than Omani counterparts. Overall, Lebanese and Omani students have a positive attitude towards science and scientists, as their teachers, but they emphasized the social and the private life of the scientist. Overall, students choose to have a future career in science and technology; but Omani students choose to have a career in science and technology more than the Lebanese ones. In addition, female students showed a higher interest in doing science in the future more than technology. Finally, Lebanese students do not have common contemporary or past Arab scientists as their Omani peers, but only scientists from the western culture. Data revealed that Einstein was the most popular idol among the sample of the study.


Keywords


DAST, Lebanon, Oman, Student perceptions, Teacher perceptions, Science and technology

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