Scientific literacy in a selected sample of Jamaican grade nine students from New Secondary and All Age schools

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This study sought to: (a) devise a method of assessing scientific literacy suitable for Jamaican Grade 9 students, and (b) determine some of the factors influencing the level of scientific literacy among the Ss from New Secondary and all-age schools. Five scales measuring four of the dimensions of scientific literacy outlined in the model by Showalter et al (1974) were administered to a sample of 643 Grade 9 students. Results of the data analysis revealed that: 1) Mental Ability, Motivation, and, to a lesser degree, Reading Ability were the outstanding overall predictors of criterion performance; 2) the stimulation for science provided by home and school backgrounds affected the attainment of scientific literacy more in rural than in urban Ss; 3) urbanization manifested its influence early in the child's life, and with particular reference to the amenities of his primary school locale; 4) school type made no significant difference to Ss' scores on scientific literacy measures; and 5) student sex made no meaningful difference to the performance of Ss


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