ROSE in brief

ROSE, The Relevance of Science Education, is an international comparative project meant to shed light on affective factors of importance to the learning of science and technology. Key international research institutions and individuals work jointly on the development of theoretical perspectives, research instruments, data collection and analysis.

The target population is students towards the end of secondary school (age 15). The research instrument is a questionnaire mostly consisting of closed questions with four-point Likert scales. The rationale behind the project, including the questionnaire development, theoretical background, procedures for data collection, etc. is described in a publication available in pdf or print format:

Sowing the seeds of ROSE. Background, Rationale, Questionnaire Development and Data Collection for ROSE (The Relevance of Science Education) – a comparative study of students’ views of science and science education (pdf)

The lack of relevance of the S&T curriculum is probably one of the greatest barriers for good learning as well as for interest in the subject. The outcome of the project will be empirical findings and theoretical perspectives that can provide a base for informed discussions on how to improve curricula and enhance the interest in S&T in a way that

· respects cultural diversity and gender equity
· promotes personal and social relevance
· empowers the learner for democratic participation and citizenship

The key feature of ROSE is to gather and analyse information from the learners about several factors that have a bearing on their attitudes to S&T and their motivation to learn S&T. Examples are: A variety of S&T-related out-of-school experiences, their interests in learning different S&T topics in different contexts, their prior experiences with and views on school science, their views and attitudes to science and scientists in society, their future hopes, priorities and aspirations, their feeling of empowerment with regards to environmental challenges, etc.

ROSE has, through international deliberations, workshops and piloting among many research partners, developed an instrument that aims to map out attitudinal or affective perspectives on S&T in education and in society as seen by 15 year old learners. The ROSE advisory group comprises key international science educators from all continents. The group had, in addition to the Norwegian team, the following members: Dir. Vivien M. Talisayon (The Philippines), Dr. Jane Mulemwa (Uganda), Dr. Debbie Corrigan (Australia), Dir. Jayshree Mehta (India), Professor Edgar Jenkins (England), Dir. Vasilis Koulaidis (Greece), Dr. Ved Goel (The Commonwealth, now India), professor Glen Aikenhead (Canada) and professor Masakata Ogawa (Japan).

The ROSE project is based on cooperation, and one project aim is to stimulate research cooperation and networking across cultural barriers so that participants can learn from each other. The participants have met at conferences like ESERA and IOSTE, and special ROSE workshops have been hosted in different countries. We also hope to shed light on how we can stimulate the students’ interest in choosing S&T-related studies and careers – and to stimulate their life-long interest in and respect for S&T as part of our common culture.

The empirical data will be available for participating researchers. In several countries the research groups involved in ROSE are also engaged in the large-scale comparative achievement studies like TIMSS and PISA. The purpose of ROSE is not testing of achievement,  but rather to address attitudinal and motivational aspects of S&T. Consequently, ROSE will complement the TIMSS an PISA studies by providing different information about the status of science education in the country.

There are now about 40 countries taking part in ROSE (see the participating countries), and more than 10 PhD students will base their thesis on ROSE data. Most countries have finished the data collection, some countries have still not completed the survey, and others are in an initial stage of organising it. Although the data collection for the initial reporting is finalised, new research partners may still use the ROSE instrument for their own research purposes after agreeing with the project organisers. The ROSE instrument is translated into many different languages. The questionnaire is copyrighted, but the project organisers may make them available for other partners.

ROSE is supported by The Research Council of Norway, The Ministry of Education in Norway, The University of Oslo and the Norwegian Centre for Science Education. Industrialized countries cover their own expenses, while some funding for data collection has been provided for developing countries and countries with less available resources. In amny countries, project participation has led to the release of local funding for the participants.