Effects of senegal’s science and technology curriculum on the interest and self-concept of middle-school-students

Ousmane Sy, Patrice Potvin


The present study aimed to explore the students’ middle-school interest for science and technology (S&T) but also the evolution of this interest while comparing two science and technology curriculum. In this study, the researchers collected data through a questionnaire on interest and self-concept in S&T. Four hundred and seventy-one middle-school students from general middle schools (known as “collèges d’enseignement moyen” [CEMs]) and specialized science and technology schools (known as “blocs scientifiques et technologiques” [BSTs]) in Dakar, Senegal responded to our questionnaire. Data analysis included a two-way repeated analysis of variance (ANOVA) measurement with time as a repeated factor and the group as a fixed factor. The results of the analysis of variance show that the interaction is significant for students’ interest in S&T at school. The simples effect interpretation shows that a significant difference (p = .002) between the levels of interest expressed in the pre-test and at the post-test by the BST group and the comparison of means shows that the BST group expresses scores of interests in the post-test that are lower than those expressed in the pre-test (M = -.260). Furthermore, the analysis of the results also shows a significant difference (p <.001) between the interest scores expressed in the pre-test and at the post-test by the CEM group. Contrary to what is observed with the BST group, the comparison of the means shows that the CEM group expresses a higher post-test interest compared to the pre-test (M = .596). The results show that the self-concept scores expressed by the BST group are therefore different from those expressed by the CEM group regardless of the time and in favour of the CEM group both in pretest (M = .36) and in the post-test (M = .46).

Background: Over the past few years, several international studies have addressed the issue of student interest in science and technology (S&T). The findings of these studies describe the phenomenon of declining interest the higher the level of education. Senegalese education system is not an exception to this rule. Several studies in that country refer to the factors that contributes to this decline.

Purpose: The present study aimed at exploring the effect of a special science and technology curriculum on students’ middle-school interest.

Sample/Setting: Stakeholders set consist of eleven experienced secondary science teachers (6 classes in each school). We asked them to teach as usual without changing their practice. We submitted a survey to their respective students to take measures of their interest at the beginning and at the ending of the session. The total sample size is of 471 students.

Design Methods: A pre-post comparison of student interest and self-concept scores was performed. A repeated-measure analysis of variance made possible to monitor the evolution of student interest and self-concept in the two curriculum cases (CEM and BST).

Results: The results suggest that the interest and the self-concept toward S&T expressed by CEMs’ students evolved positively. Interest expressed by students who have experienced the BSTs’ S&T curriculum has declined. This does not reflect the expected results from the beginning.

Conclusions/Implications for classroom practice and future research
Even though BSTs were intended to be an opportunity to teach science and technology under suitable conditions, it does not appear that science and technology courses are always provided as indicated when the initiative was created. Indeed, these conclusions suggest that we investigate the effect of the quality of S&T courses on student interest and self-concept.

Keywords: Science and Technology, Interest, Self-Concept


Science and technology, interest, self-concept

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25321/prise.2020.927


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About The Authors

Ousmane Sy
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

Département des sciences de l'éducation

Patrice Potvin
Université du Québec à Montréal

Département de didactique