Scientific Literacy of Undergraduate Chemistry Students in the University of the West Indies, Barbados: Individual and Joint Contributions of Age, Sex and Level of Study

Leah Garner-O’Neale, Jelisa Maughan, Babalola Ogunkola


The purpose of this study was two-fold. Firstly, to determine the level of scientific literacy of Chemistry undergraduate students at The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus and secondly to investigate the individual and joint contributions of sex, age and level of study to the level of scientific literacy of the students. A total of one hundred and one (101) Chemistry undergraduate students from across the preliminary, 1st, 2nd and final years, participated in the study. The instrument chosen for this investigation, was the Basic Scientific Literacy Questionnaire (BSLQ) developed by Richard Carrier in 2001, which consisted of twenty-four (24) ‘True’ and ‘False’ questions. The instrument was found to be reliable with Crombach Alpha value of 0.6. The contributions of the variables sex, age range and level of study to the level of scientific literacy, were also analyzed and these were done via Independent Sample t-tests, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and linear regression. A confidence level of 95% was the set level for all of the analyses conducted. It was found that overall, the Chemistry undergraduate students are at a ‘Good’ level of scientific literacy. There were no statistically significant differences in the level of scientific literacy based on age range and level of study. However, sex was found to have contributed most and significantly to variations in the level of scientific literacy of the undergraduate chemistry students.

DOI: 10.5901/ajis.2013.v2n10p55

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Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies ISSN 2281 3993(Print) ISSN 2281-4612(Online)

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