Multivariate Analysis of Beliefs in Pseudoscience and Superstitions Among Pre‑service Teachers in Spain
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Fernández-Carro, R... [et al.]. Multivariate Analysis of Beliefs in Pseudoscience and Superstitions Among Pre-service Teachers in Spain. Sci & Educ (2022). [https://doi.org/10.1007/s11191-022-00354-y]
SponsorshipCRUE-CSIC agreement; Springer Nature; Spanish Government RTI2018-094303-A-I00; State R&D&I Program Oriented; State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation
Do pre-service teachers have the same beliefs in superstitions and pseudoscience as the members of their generation? We expect so, because they are slightly different in at least two of the variables that explain differences, namely family income and level of studies, and also, normatively, because beliefs among teaching staff appear to be a key matter in the scientific literacy of citizens. Research reported in this paper compared data from the general public of the same age to our sample of 578 pre-service teachers from five Spanish universities, using the same questionnaire. Multivariate regression analysis is then used to study the factors that affect defence of such beliefs and the differences between pre-service teachers and their age group. We have found that, on the contrary to what was expected, beliefs among pre-service teachers are not far from those of their age group in the population at large. Within that relatively homogenous group, a favourable attitude toward pseudoscience and superstition mainly depends on their educational level and basic knowledge of science, but that knowledge probably depends on their spontaneous interest in scientific matters and a prior favourable attitude. These results have implications in training scientific teachers and in the scientific literacy of the population. Thus, we must consider such nonscientific beliefs when designing classroom proposals and when communicating scientific content in social contexts.