A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Singaporean and Taiwanese Eighth Graders' Science Learning Self-Efficacy from a Multi-Dimensional Perspective

Tzung Jin Lin, Aik Ling Tan, Chin Chung Tsai

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Due to the scarcity of cross-cultural comparative studies in exploring students' self-efficacy in science learning, this study attempted to develop a multi-dimensional science learning self-efficacy (SLSE) instrument to measure 316 Singaporean and 303 Taiwanese eighth graders' SLSE and further to examine the differences between the two student groups. Moreover, within-culture comparisons were made in terms of gender. The results showed that, first, the SLSE instrument was valid and reliable for measuring the Singaporean and Taiwanese students' SLSE. Second, through a two-way multivariate analysis of variance analysis (nationality by gender), the main result indicated that the SLSE held by the Singaporean eighth graders was significantly higher than that of their Taiwanese counterparts in all dimensions, including 'conceptual understanding and higher-order cognitive skills', 'practical work (PW)', 'everyday application', and 'science communication'. In addition, the within-culture gender comparisons indicated that the male Singaporean students tended to possess higher SLSE than the female students did in all SLSE dimensions except for the 'PW' dimension. However, no gender differences were found in the Taiwanese sample. The findings unraveled in this study were interpreted from a socio-cultural perspective in terms of the curriculum differences, societal expectations of science education, and educational policies in Singapore and Taiwan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1083-1109
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2013 May 1



  • Comparative study
  • Secondary school
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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