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Citation:George, R., & Kaplan, D. (1998). A structural model of parent and teacher influences on science attitudes of eighth graders: Evidence from NELS:88. Science Education, 82(1), 93-109.

The researchers investigate the influence of parental and teacher factors on the science attitudes of 8th graders. Their data suggested that parent involvement was a significant influence on student participation in science activities and on science attitudes. They found parent education had a significant relationship to the extent of parent involvement, visits to libraries and museums, and students' extracurricular science activities. The researchers used the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS:88) data for relevant surveys and tests of students and surveys of parents, school administrators, and teachers. Teachers of the students in the sample completed a questionnaire about the students, school and teacher characteristics, course content, and teaching practice. Researchers concluded that parent involvement had an important relationship to science attitudes, and suggested that parents can foster positive attitudes by encouraging children to participate in science activities and by discussing class and school experiences. Though the study relied on survey data, science teachers may find these suggestions valuable to share with parents during back-to-school nights and in other communications.

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