Declining interest in science in lower secondary school classes: Quasi‐experimental and longitudinal evidence on the role of teaching and teaching quality

Although promoting student interest is a pivotal educational goal, student interest in science, and particularly in physics, declines substantially during secondary school. This study focused on the long-term development of interest in physics at the lower secondary level (grades 5 – 7) and examined the role of teaching and teaching quality on the development. In particular, the study investigated the role of whether or not physics was taught in class and the role of perceived teaching quality for classes' interest trajectories. The results provide evidence of declining interest in physics from Grade 5 to 7, with stronger declines from Grade 5 to 6. Whether classes participated in physics
teaching or not neither notably reduced nor increased interest in physics. However, several dimensions of perceived teaching quality (in particular, cognitive activation and cognitive support) mitigated the decline in interest.


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