The Research of Secondary School Students‘ Attitudes Towards Chemistry at Basic School

Charles University, Czech Republic

Supervisor: Pavel Beneš

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After the curricular reform, impact put on general education, including chemistry, brings considerable changes in this area of education. The research presented in this thesis completes the data about students’ attitudes towards chemistry with the information about so far neglected vocational school students’ attitudes. A questionnaire was compiled based on the instruments used for this purpose by other authors. Several items have been altered or added in order to accent the unique condition of Czech vocational schooling. The questionnaire was focused on three spheres: students’ attitudes towards chemistry, didactical facilities used in chemistry education and students’ attitudes towards particular chemical topics. The questionnaire was submitted to students (N = 595) at the beginning of the school year after they entered secondary school. That way the results reflect students’ attitudes constructed at basic schools. The sample contains grammar school, lyceum, science-oriented vocational school, non-scientific vocational school and apprentice school students. The results confirm negative students’ attitudes. They are mostly affected by the difficulty of the subject and also by students’ low interest in the topics. It was also proved that topics close to students’ lives play a vital role in the motivational part. Based on the results of the research, proposals may be word in order to solve the situation: emphasizing activating methods such as experimental work and active observation, revising the curriculum and also curricular revision. The thesis might become a possible resource for further research in influences on students’ attitudes towards chemistry and for revision of the subject matter content, eventually also a resource for a system change in education on schools where chemistry is taught as a general-education subject.

Full text available in Czech: 

Publications related to the dissertation

Rusek, M. (2011). Postoj žáků k předmětu chemie na středních odborných školách. (Pupils’ Attitude to the Subject of Chemistry at Secondary Vocational Schools) Scientia in educatione, 2(2), 23-37.

Rusek, M. (2013). Vliv výuky na postoje žáků SOŠ k chemii. (The Influence of Teaching on Vocational School Students’ Attitudes to Chemistry) Scientia in educatione, 4(1), 33-47.

Rusek, M. (2014). Efekt zařazení chemie do kurikula středních odborných škol nechemického zaměření. (The effect of Including Chemistry Education in the Curriculum of Non-chemical Vocational Schools) Scientia in educatione, 5(2), 13-29.

Rusek, M., & Metelková, I. (2014). Chemistry Teachers' Opinion of Chemistry Education. In P. Cieśla & A. Michniewska (Eds.), Teaching and Learning Science at All Levels of Education (pp. 139-143). Krakow: Pedagogical University of Krakow.

Rusek, M., & Pumpr, V. (2009). Výuka chemie na SOŠ nechemického směru. (Chemistry education at non-chemical vocational schools) In M. Bílek (Ed.), Výzkum, teorie a praxe v didaktice chemie XIX., (pp. 200-206). Hradec Králové: Gaudeamus. 978-80-7041-839-0.

Thesis full reference:
Rusek, M. (2013). Výzkum postojů žáků středních škol k výuce chemie na základní škole. Disertation thesis, Univerzita Karlova v Praze, Pedagogická fakulta, Praha. (The Research of Secondary School Students‘ Attitudes Towards Chemistry at Basic School )

Doctoral Committee: Martin Bílek, Hana Čtrnáctová, Jiří Dvořáček, František Liška, Karel Kolář, Jiří Škoda


Martin Rusek

Department of Chemistry and Chemistry Education

Charles University,

Faculty of Education,

M. Rettigové 4

116 39 Praha

Czech Republic

e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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