# 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 1970's. The scale consists of
four subscales: a confidence scale, a usefulness scale, a scale that measures mathematics
as a male domain and a teacher perception scale. Each of these scales consists of 12
items. Six of them measure a positive attitude and six measure a negative attitude.
This scale could give a teacher and an individual student useful information about that
particular student's attitude(s) towards math. Because this scale was originally written
twenty years ago and the subtle meanings and connotations of words have changed in that
time period, it is important that this scale not be used for research.
We also adapted the scale to provide tools to examine a student's attitude towards science.
Following the scales is the scoring key.

Introductory note (for use with these scales)
Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitude Scales
mathematics.
On the following pages is a series of sentences. You are to mark your answer sheets by
telling how you feel about them. Suppose a statement says:
Example 1: I like mathematics.
As you read the sentence, you will know whether you agree or disagree. If you strongly
agree, circle A next to Number 1. If you agree, but not so strongly, or you only "sort of"
agree, circle B. If you disagree with the sentence very much, circle E for strongly
disagree. If you disagree, but not so strongly, circle D. If you are not sure about a
question or you can't answer it, circle C. Now, mark your sheet, then go on and do
Example 2.
Do not spend much time with any statement, but be sure to answer every statement.

A B C D E 23. Women who enjoy studying math are a little strange. I'm not the type to do well in math. I would talk to my math teachers about a career that uses math. Males are not naturally better than females in math. ABCDE 15. ABCDE 2. ABCDE 14. I am sure that I can learn math. ABCDE 22. Women can do just as well as men in math. It's hard to believe a female could be a genius in mathematics. My teachers have been interested in my progress in math. necessary subject. I have a hard time getting teachers to talk seriously with me about math. I'll need mathematics for my future work. ABCDE 19. ABCDE . ABCDE 12. ABCDE 13. Math is hard for me. ABCDE 17. Math has been my worst subject. A Modified Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitude Scale A strongly agree E strongly disagree 1. ABCDE 6. let the things that have happened to you help you make a choice. ABCDE 4. ABCDE 7. My teachers have encouraged me to study more math. Math is a worthwhile. ABCDE 9. ABCDE 21. ABCDE 8. Knowing mathematics will help me earn a living. ABCDE 18. ABCDE 11. but carefully. I would have more faith in the answer for a math problem solved by a man than a woman. The only correct responses are those that are true for you. ABCDE 5. ABCDE 24. Math will not be important to me in my life's work. Whenever possible. There are no "right" or "wrong" answers. ABCDE 20. she should ask a man for help. I don't expect to use much math when I get out of school. It's hard to get math teachers to respect me. ABCDE 16. ABCDE 3. I don't think I could do advanced math. ABCDE 10. I am sure of myself when I do math.Work fast. Getting a teacher to take me seriously in math is a problem. Taking math is a waste of time. When a woman has to solve a math problem.

I will use mathematics in many ways as an adult. ABCDE 32. Most subjects I can handle OK. I would trust a female just as much as I would trust a male to solve important math problems.25. ABCDE 35. Doing well in math is not important for my future. I'll need a good understanding of math for my future work. ABCDE 36. Studying math is just as good for women as for men. ABCDE 42. ABCDE 29. 30. I know I can do well in math. ABCDE 45. ABCDE 28. ABCDE 34. A B C D E 37. I see mathematics as something I won't use very often when I get out of A B C D E high school. ABCDE 43. ABCDE 46. ABCDE 26. ABCDE 40. ABCDE 27. ABCDE 47. I am sure I could do advanced work in math. My teachers think I'm the kind of person who could do well in math. ABCDE 41. A B C D E 33. Females are as good as males in geometry. Women certainly are smart enough to do well in math. ABCDE 38. I'm no good in math. I feel that math teachers ignore me when I try to talk about something serious. ABCDE 44. I would expect a woman mathematician to be a forceful type of person. Math teachers have made me feel I have the ability to go on in mathematics. but I just can't do a good job with math. My teachers want me to take all the math I can. ABCDE 31. Math is not important for my life. ABCDE 39. My teachers think advanced math will be a waste of time for me. I think I could handle more difficult math. I study math because I know how useful it is. My teachers would not take me seriously if I told them I was interested in a career in science and mathematics. I can get good grades in math. ABCDE .

Women who enjoy studying science are a little strange. Males are not naturally better than females in science. ABCDE 24. ABCDE 29. ABCDE 15. ABCDE 14. My teachers have encouraged me to study more science. My teachers think advanced science will be a waste of time for me. ABCDE 4. Taking science is a waste of time. necessary subject. ABCDE 12. ABCDE 3. ABCDE 27. Women can do just as well as men in science. I am sure that I can learn science. ABCDE 16. ABCDE 26. ABCDE 21. I see science as something I won't use very often when I get out of high A B C D E . It's hard to get science teachers to respect me. Getting a teacher to take me seriously in science is a problem. I have a hard time getting teachers to talk seriously with me about science. When a woman has to solve a science problem. ABCDE 17. I'm not the type to do well in science. I think I could handle more difficult science. I will use science in many ways as an adult. I'll need science for my future work. Science is hard for me. ABCDE 22. ABCDE 23. Science has been my worst subject. 19. Science will not be important to me in my life's work. ABCDE 18. ABCDE 13. I would talk to my science teachers about a career which uses math.Science Attitude Scale as Modified from the Fennema-Sherman Attitude Scale 1. ABCDE 2. I am sure of myself when I do science. It's hard to believe a female could be a genius in science. ABCDE 25. ABCDE 20. Females are as good as males in science. I don't think I could do advanced science. My teachers have been interested in my progress in science. I would have more faith in the answer for a science problem solved by a A B C D E man than a woman. ABCDE 11. she should ask a man for help. ABCDE 6. ABCDE 7. I don't expect to use much science when I get out of school. Science is a worthwhile. ABCDE 28. ABCDE 8. ABCDE 10. ABCDE 9. ABCDE 5. Knowing science will help me earn a living.

31. Most subjects I can handle OK. ABCDE 44. I'll need a good understanding of science for my future work. ABCDE 39. ABCDE 38. ABCDE 46. ABCDE 37. ABCDE 41. ABCDE 33. but I just can't do a good job with science. ABCDE 36. My teachers think I'm the kind of person who could do well in science. I study science because I know how useful it is. ABCDE 32. ABCDE 45. Science is not important for my life. I would expect a woman scientist to be a forceful type of person. Science teachers have made me feel I have the ability to go on in science. 30. Studying science is just as good for women as for men. I can get good grades in science. I'm no good in science. ABCDE 42. ABCDE 47. Women certainly are smart enough to do well in science.school. I would trust a female just as much as I would trust a male to solve important science problems.= Question reflects negative attitude Question #Category ofAttitude . My teachers would not take me seriously if I told them I was interested in a career in science and mathematics. Doing well in science is not important for my future. ABCDE 40. ABCDE 43. ABCDE 34. ABCDE 35. My teachers want me to take all the science I can. I feel that science teachers ignore me when I try to talk about something A B C D E serious. I am sure I could do advanced work in science. ABCDE Key to Modified Fennema-Sherman Scale for Math and Science Key: C = Personal confidence about the subject matter U = Usefulness of the subject's content M = Subject is perceived as a male domain T = Perception of teacher's attitudes + = Question reflects positive attitude . I know I can do well in science.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 Question C T U C U M T C M U M C U T M T U M C T U T C M C T U M U T M C C U T M C M U T + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + - .

C. Woodrow Wilson Leadership Program in Mathematics lpt@www. Princeton NJ 08543-5281 Tel:(609)452-7007 Fax:(609)452-0066 .org The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation webmaster@woodrow. T.41 42 43 44 45 46 47 C U C U T M T + + + + + Scoring Directions: Each positive item receives the score based on points A=5 B=4 C=3 D=2 E=1 The scoring for each negative item should be reversed A=1 B=2 C=3 D=4 E=5 Add the scores for each group. The highest possible score for each group of statements is 60 points. U. M. to get a total for that attitude.org CN 5281.woodrow.