Page: 257-270 Author: Kubiatko, M., Mrázková, K., Janko, T. Key words: questionnaire, attitudes, geography, lower secondary school pupils
Geography teaching has great potential value in explaining to pupils fundamental events in the changing world arising from the relationships between the natural and human environment. But this potential can be realised only if pupils are interested in the subject. Pupils‘ interest in a subject derives from their attitudes to the subject. Geography as a teaching subject is a traditional part of the Czech curriculum but research on attitudes to this subject has been absent in the Czech Republic.
This study is focused on the investigation of pupils‘ attitudes to geography as a teach-ing subject and on pupils‘ out-of-school interests relating to geography. The influence of variables like gender, grade and favourite subject on attitudes to geography was investigated. The sample consisted of 540 lower secondary school pupils from six schools. The number of girls was 315 and number of boys was 225. The age of respondents was between 11-15 years (Equation x = 13,04; SD = 1,18), most respondents being in the 8th grade. The respondents were divided into 5 groups on the basis of stated favourite subject: 1. science subjects 2. technical subjects 3. social science subjects 4. health subjects 5. students who have no favourite subject. The pupils‘ attitudes were measured on a 5-point scale of Likert type, with the number of items being 27. The results were evaluated by factor analysis and analysis of variance. The reliability of the measurement tool was determined by Cronbach‘s alpha coefficient.
The results showed relatively neutral attitudes toward geography among Czech pupils. The grade and favourite subject had a significant influence on pupils‘ attitudes to geography. The effect of gender was not significant.