Development of an instrument to measure high school students' global awareness and attitudes: Looking through the lens of social sciences

Renita Ferreira, Florida International University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to develop an instrument to measure high school students’ perspectives on global awareness and attitudes toward social issues. The research questions that guided this study were: (a) Can acceptable validity and reliability estimates be established for an instrument developed to measure high schools students' global awareness? (b) Can acceptable validity and reliability estimates be established for an instrument developed to measure high schools students' attitudes towards global social issues? (c) What is the relationship between high school students’ GPA, race/ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, parents’ education, getting the news, reading and listening habits, the number of classes taken in the social sciences, whether they speak a second language, and have experienced living in or visiting other countries, and their perception of global awareness and attitudes toward global social issues. ^ An ex post facto research design was used and the data were collected using a 4-part Likert-type survey. It was administered to 14 schools in the Miami-Dade County, Florida area to 704 students. A factor analysis with an orthogonal varimax rotation was vii used to select the factors that best represented the three constructs – global education, global citizenship, and global workforce. This was done to establish construct validity. Cronbach’s alpha was used to determine the reliability of the instrument. Descriptive statistics and a hierarchical multiple regression were used for the demographics to establish their relationship, if any, to the findings. ^ Key findings of the study were that reliable and valid estimates can be developed for the instrument. The multiple regression analysis for model 1 and 2 accounted for a variance of 3% and 5% for self-perceptions of global awareness (factor 1). The regression model also accounted for a 5% and 13% variance in the two models for attitudes toward global social issues (factor 2). The demographics that were statistically significant were: ethnicity, gender, SES, parents’ education, listening to music, getting the news, speaking a second language, GPA, classes taken in the social sciences, and visiting other countries. An important finding for the study was those attending public schools (as opposed to private schools) had more positive attitudes towards global social issues (factor 2) The statistics indicated that these students had taken history, economics, and social studies – a curriculum infused with global perspectives.^

Subject Area

Education, Tests and Measurements|Education, Evaluation|Education, Secondary|Education, Social Sciences

Recommended Citation

Renita Ferreira, "Development of an instrument to measure high school students' global awareness and attitudes: Looking through the lens of social sciences" (January 1, 2011). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. Paper AAI3472030.
http://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/dissertations/AAI3472030

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