Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours


School of Education


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Supervisor

Dr Wall Moroz


This case study examined lower secondary student attitudes towards social studies and identified the factors that influenced attitudes in one Catholic secondary school located in the Perth metropolitan area. A total of 4 75 students were enrolled in Years 8 to 10 at the school in 1999. A modified version of Student Attitudes Towards Social Studies (Moroz 1996) questionnaire with 94 items, was utilised to gauge secondary student attitudes towards the learning area. A total of 421 lower secondary students participated in the survey. The data was analysed using the statistical software package SPSS 9. 0 for Windows, where descriptive statistics were the primary statistical analysis method used for the study. Numerical responses were summarised in the form of means, standard deviations and frequencies. Formal statistical tests (Independent T-tests and Analysis of variance, ANOVA) were used to explore the statistical significance of variable relationships in the data. The open-ended questions of the student questionnaire were analysed by identifying and coding common and frequent responses by students. The survey results showed that from 14 school subjects social studies was the eleventh most liked subject. It also showed that student attitudes towards social studies were positive, however, liking for the learning area declined significantly by 13.30% from Years 8 to 10. Female students were more positive towards the learning area compared to male students. The results of the study show that the reasons for the low status and the magnitude of deterioration in student attitudes towards social studies was because students disliked the delivery of the subject, its repetitive content and the learning activities undertaken in social studies lessons.