Secondary Student Perceptions of Factors Effecting Failure in Science in Portugal
Jesuína M. B. Fonseca 1 2 * , Joseph E. Conboy 3 4
More Detail
1 University of the Algarve2 Centre for Educational Research, Faculty of Science, University of Lisbon, Portugal3 Instituto Superior Dom Afonso III, Loulé, Portugal4 Center for Education-Society Studies, Loulé, Portugal* Corresponding Author


High rates of failure in secondary level science classes are a problem worldwide. Effective teaching and efficient management of schools requires information as to the causes of failure. One approach to acquiring this information is to improve our understanding of what the students themselves perceive as the causes and antecedents of school failure. In this article, we analyze the perceptions of the factors of academic failure among grade-ten, science-tracked students. Students from eight schools in southern Portugal (N=346) participated in the study. The major factors of failure in 10th grade science courses, according to students, are quality of teaching and previous student preparation. One third of the students did not think that secondary science education prepared them for life in a scientific-technological society. A culture of high expectancy on the part of teachers, parents and administrators may be key to influencing rates of success.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

EURASIA J Math Sci Tech Ed, 2006, Volume 2, Issue 2, 82-95

Publication date: 23 Jun 2006

Article Views: 4104

Article Downloads: 3980

Open Access References How to cite this article