Pupil interest in physics: A survey in Finland

  • Jari Lavonen University of Helsinki
  • Reijo Byman
  • Kalle Juuti
  • Veijo Meisalo
  • Anna Uitto


Factors interrelating with interest in physics learning are gender, perceived relevance, contents and contexts of physics, and teaching methods. Finnish ninth grade secondary school pupil interest in physics in different contexts was investigated with a survey conducted in connection with the international ROSE project. The sample consisted of 3626 pupils (median age 15) in 61 schools. Means of all items that belong to school physics context for both girls and boys were under the middle of the scale. The most interesting things (especially for girls) were connected with human being and the less interesting (especially for girls) were connected in artefacts and technological processes. Astronomical context was rather interesting for both genders. The main message of the study is that interesting new curricular approaches and textbooks can be developed by combining technological and human or astronomical contexts.