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The Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS) has been widely acknowledged as a useful measure of student cognitive attitudes about science and learning. The initial University of Colorado validation study included only 20% non-Caucasian student populations. In this Brief Report we extend their validation to include a predominately under-represented minority population. We validated the CLASS instrument at Florida International University, a Hispanic-serving institution, by interviewing students in introductory physics classes using a semistructured protocol, examining students’ responses on the CLASS item statements, and comparing them to the items’ intended meaning. We find that in our predominately Hispanic population, 94% of the students’ interview responses indicate that the students interpret the CLASS items correctly, and thus the CLASS is a valid instrument. We also identify one potentially problematic item in the instrument which one third of the students interviewed consistently misinterpreted.


This article was originally published in DOAJ Phys.Rev. ST Phys. Educ.Res. 5, 023101 (2009).

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.