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Modified Fennema-Sherman Attitude Scales

by Diana Doepken, Ellen Lawsky, and Linda Padwa

In an effort to study students' attitudes towards math, Elizabeth Fennema and Julia A. Sherman constructed the following attitude scale in the early 1 !"'s. #he scale consists of four subscales$ a confidence scale, a usefulness scale, a scale that measures mathematics as a male domain and a teacher %erce%tion scale. Each of these scales consists of 1& items. Si' of them measure a %ositi(e attitude and si' measure a negati(e attitude. #his scale could gi(e a teacher and an indi(idual student useful information about that %articular student's attitude)s* towards math. +ecause this scale was originally written twenty years ago and the subtle meanings and connotations of words ha(e changed in that time %eriod, it is im%ortant that this scale not be used for research. ,e also ada%ted the scale to %ro(ide tools to e'amine a student's attitude towards science. Following the scales is the scoring -ey.
Introductory note (for use with these scales)

Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitude Scales .sing this scale will hel% you and I find out how you feel about yourself and mathematics. /n the following %ages is a series of sentences. 0ou are to mar- your answer sheets by telling how you feel about them. Su%%ose a statement says$ Example 1: I li e mathematics! As you read the sentence, you will -now whether you agree or disagree. If you strongly agree, circle A ne't to 1umber 1. If you agree, but not so strongly, or you only 2sort of2 agree, circle +. If you disagree with the sentence (ery much, circle E for strongly disagree. If you disagree, but not so strongly, circle 3. If you are not sure about a 4uestion or you can't answer it, circle 5. 1ow, maryour sheet, then go on and do E'am%le &. 3o not s%end much time with any statement, but be sure to answer every statement. ,or- fast, but carefully. #here are no 2right2 or 2wrong2 answers. #he only correct res%onses are those that are true for you. ,hene(er %ossible, let the things that ha(e ha%%ened to you hel% you ma-e a choice.

A Modified Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitude Scale


1 . & . 7 . 9 . : . ; . ! . = . . 1 " . 1 1 . 1 & . 1 7 . 1 9 . 1 : . 1 ; . 1 ! . 1 = . 1 I am sure that I can learn math. 6y teachers ha(e been interested in my %rogress in math. 8nowing mathematics will hel% me earn a li(ing. I don't thin- I could do ad(anced math. 6ath will not be im%ortant to me in my life's wor-. 6ales are not naturally better than females in math. <etting a teacher to ta-e me seriously in math is a %roblem. 6ath is hard for me. It's hard to belie(e a female could be a genius in mathematics. I'll need mathematics for my future wor-. ,hen a woman has to sol(e a math %roblem, she should as- a man for hel%. I am sure of myself when I do math. I don't e'%ect to use much math when I get out of school. I would tal- to my math teachers about a career that uses math. ,omen can do >ust as well as men in math. It's hard to get math teachers to res%ect me. 6ath is a worthwhile, necessary sub>ect. I would ha(e more faith in the answer for a math %roblem sol(ed by a man than a woman. A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E

I'm not the ty%e to do well in math. . & 6y teachers ha(e encouraged me to study more " math. .

& 1 . & & . & 7 . & 9 . & : . & ; . & ! . & = . & . 7 " . 7 1 . 7 & . 7 7 . 7 9 . 7 : . 7 ; . 7 ! . 7 =

#a-ing math is a waste of time. I ha(e a hard time getting teachers to tal- seriously with me about math. 6ath has been my worst sub>ect. ,omen who en>oy studying math are a little strange. I thin- I could handle more difficult math. 6y teachers thin- ad(anced math will be a waste of time for me. I will use mathematics in many ways as an adult. Females are as good as males in geometry. I see mathematics as something I won't use (ery often when I get out of high school. I feel that math teachers ignore me when I try to tal- about something serious. ,omen certainly are smart enough to do well in math. 6ost sub>ects I can handle /8, but I >ust can't do a good >ob with math. I can get good grades in math. I'll need a good understanding of math for my future wor-. 6y teachers want me to ta-e all the math I can. I would e'%ect a woman mathematician to be a forceful ty%e of %erson. I -now I can do well in math. Studying math is >ust as good for women as for men.

A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E

. 7 3oing well in math is not im%ortant for my future. . 9 " . 9 1 . 9 & . 9 7 . 9 9 . 9 : . 9 ; . 9 ! . 6y teachers would not ta-e me seriously if I told them I was interested in a career in science and mathematics. I am sure I could do ad(anced wor- in math. 6ath is not im%ortant for my life. I'm no good in math. I study math because I -now how useful it is. 6ath teachers ha(e made me feel I ha(e the ability to go on in mathematics. I would trust a female >ust as much as I would trust a male to sol(e im%ortant math %roblems. 6y teachers thin- I'm the -ind of %erson who could do well in math. A A A A A A A A A + + + + + + + + + 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 E E E E E E E E E

Science Attitude Scale as Modified from the Fennema-Sherman Attitude Scale


1. &. 7. 9. :. ;. !. =. . 1 ". 1 1. 1 I am sure that I can learn science. 6y teachers ha(e been interested in my %rogress in science. 8nowing science will hel% me earn a li(ing. I don't thin- I could do ad(anced science. Science will not be im%ortant to me in my life's wor-. 6ales are not naturally better than females in science. <etting a teacher to ta-e me seriously in science is a %roblem. Science is hard for me. It's hard to belie(e a female could be a genius in science. I'll need science for my future wor-. ,hen a woman has to sol(e a science %roblem, she should as- a man for hel%. I am sure of myself when I do science. A A A A A A A A A A A A + + + + + + + + + + + + 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 E E E E E E E E E E E E

&. 1 7. 1 9. 1 :. 1 ;. 1 !. 1 =. 1 . & ". & 1. & &. & 7. & 9. & :. & ;. & !. & =. & . 7 ". 7 1. 7 &. 7 7. 7 9. 7 :. 7 ;. 7 !. 7 =.

I don't e'%ect to use much science when I get out of school. I would tal- to my science teachers about a career which uses math. ,omen can do >ust as well as men in science. It's hard to get science teachers to res%ect me. Science is a worthwhile, necessary sub>ect. I would ha(e more faith in the answer for a science %roblem sol(ed by a man than a woman. I'm not the ty%e to do well in science. 6y teachers ha(e encouraged me to study more science. #a-ing science is a waste of time. I ha(e a hard time getting teachers to tal- seriously with me about science. Science has been my worst sub>ect. ,omen who en>oy studying science are a little strange. I thin- I could handle more difficult science. 6y teachers thin- ad(anced science will be a waste of time for me. I will use science in many ways as an adult. Females are as good as males in science. I see science as something I won't use (ery often when I get out of high school. I feel that science teachers ignore me when I try to tal- about something serious. ,omen certainly are smart enough to do well in science. 6ost sub>ects I can handle /8, but I >ust can't do a good >ob with science. I can get good grades in science. I'll need a good understanding of science for my future wor-. 6y teachers want me to ta-e all the science I can. I would e'%ect a woman scientist to be a forceful ty%e of %erson. I -now I can do well in science. Studying science is >ust as good for women as for men.

A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A A

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E

7 . 9 ". 9 1. 9 &. 9 7. 9 9. 9 :. 9 ;. 9 !.

3oing well in science is not im%ortant for my future. 6y teachers would not ta-e me seriously if I told them I was interested in a career in science and mathematics. I am sure I could do ad(anced wor- in science. Science is not im%ortant for my life. I'm no good in science. I study science because I -now how useful it is. Science teachers ha(e made me feel I ha(e the ability to go on in science. I would trust a female >ust as much as I would trust a male to sol(e im%ortant science %roblems. 6y teachers thin- I'm the -ind of %erson who could do well in science.

A A A A A A A A A

+ + + + + + + + +

5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

E E E E E E E E E

"ey to Modified Fennema-Sherman Scale for Math and Science


"ey: 5 ? @ersonal confidence about the sub>ect matter . ? .sefulness of the sub>ect's content 6 ? Sub>ect is %ercei(ed as a male domain # ? @erce%tion of teacher's attitudes # ? Auestion reflects %ositi(e attitude - ? Auestion reflects negati(e attitude &ate'ory $uestion Attitu of % de $uestion 1 5 # & # # 7 . # 9 5 : . ; 6 # ! # = 5 6 1" . # 11 6 -

1& 17 19 1: 1; 1! 1= 1 &" &1 && &7 &9 &: &; &! &= & 7" 71 7& 77 79 7: 7; 7! 7= 7 9" 91 9& 97 99 9: 9; 9!

5 . # 6 # . 6 5 # . # 5 6 5 # . 6 . # 6 5 5 . # 6 5 6 . # 5 . 5 . # 6 #

# # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #

Scorin' (irections: Each %ositi(e item recei(es the score based on %oints

A? +? 5?7 3?& E?1 : 9 #he scoring for each negati(e item should be re(ersed A?1 +?& 5?7 3?9 E?: Add the scores for each grou%, #, 5, ., 6, to get a total for that attitude. #he highest %ossible score for each grou% of statements is ;" %oints.

Woodrow Wilson Leadership Program in Mathematics lpt@www.woodrow.org The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation webmaster@woodrow.org N !"#$% Princeton N& '#!()*!"#$ ,-'./(!"*''-Tel+,-'./(!"*0''0 Fa1+