Issues In Educational Research, Vol 11, 2001   [Contents Vol 11] [IIER Home]

Learning environments and student attitudes to science at the senior secondary and tertiary levels

Chenicheri Sid. Nair
Monash University

Darrell L. Fisher
Curtin University of Technology


Despite the fact that the educational environment is a somewhat subtle concept, remarkable progress has been made in conceptualising, assessing and researching its determinants and effects. Considerable work has been done on the assessment and investigation of classroom environments in primary and secondary schools with a variety of instruments (Fraser, 1994, 1998). Research over the last four decades has recognised that students' and teachers' perceptions are important parameters of the social and psychological aspects of the learning environments of school classrooms (Fraser, 1991, 1994, 1998). Fraser (1994) affirms the importance of this form of research as follows.
Classroom or school environments in terms of the shared perceptions of the students and teachers in that environment, has the dual advantage of characterising the setting through the eyes of the actual participants and capturing data that the observer could miss or consider unimportant. Students have a good vantage point to make judgements about classrooms because they have encountered many different learning environments and have enough time in a class to form accurate impressions. (p.494)
Similarly, Walberg in his theory on educational productivity includes classroom environment as one of nine factors that contribute to the variance in students' cognitive and affective outcomes. The other eight factors are ability, maturity, motivation, the quality of instruction, the quantity of instruction, the psychological environment at home, the peer group outside the classroom, and the time involved with video/television media (Walberg, 1981, 1984). The model was successfully tested as part of a national study showing that student achievement and attitudes were influenced jointly by these factors (Walberg, Fraser, & Welch, 1986). A relevant outcome was the finding that classroom and school environments were important influences on student outcomes.

However, despite the existence of strong traditional classroom environment research at the primary and secondary level, Fraser, Treagust, Williamson, and Tobin, (1987) reported that surprisingly little work had been done at the higher education levels because of the shortage of suitable instruments (Dorman, 2000a, 2000b; Margianti & Fraser, 2001; Nair & Fisher, 1999). The College and University Classroom Environment Inventory (CUCEI) was developed in 1986 to fill this void (Fraser, Treagust, & Dennis, 1986). The CUCEI was specifically designed for small class sizes of about 30 students for upper secondary and tertiary levels utilising either seminar or tutorials as the mode of delivery. The seven-scale, 49 item instrument was designed with both a student and instructor version for the actual and preferred classroom environment. The seven scales in the original CUCEI were Personalisation, Involvement, Student Cohesiveness, Satisfaction, Task Orientation, Innovation and Individualism. It was decided in this study to consider the use of some new scales at the tertiary and senior secondary levels.

In the very early days of the study of human environments, Murray (1938) introduced the term alpha press to describe the environment as assessed by a detached observer and beta press to describe the environment as observed by those within that environment. These ideas were extended further by Stern, Stein and Bloom (1956) to include perceptions of the environment unique to the individual (called private beta press) and perceptions of the environment shared among the group (called consensual beta press). Hence, it was recognised that the perceptions of persons from different perspectives could lead to different interpretations of that environment.

The assumption of a common learning environment experienced by all students within a classroom was challenged again in the latter half of the 1980s. For example, in interpretive studies employing classroom learning environment instruments, classroom observations and interviews involving teachers and students suggested that there were students (termed "target" students) who were found to have more favourable perceptions of the learning environment than those students less involved, suggesting that there could be discrete and differently-perceived learning environments within the one classroom (Tobin & Gallagher, 1987). Other studies (Tobin & Fraser, 1987; Tobin, Kahle, & Fraser, 1990) also suggested the desirability of having a new form of an instrument available which is better suited than is the conventional class form for assessing differences in perceptions that might be held by different students within the same class.

These studies and influences led Fraser, Giddings, and McRobbie (1995) and Fraser, Fisher, and McRobbie (1996) to propose a different form of learning environment instruments which asks students for their personal perception of their role in the environment of the classroom rather than their perception of the learning environment in the class as a whole. This form was termed a personal form. Therefore, it was decided to modify the CUCEI into a personal form.


This study primarily focused on the development and validation of a modified form of the CUCEI and investigated students' and instructors' perceptions of the classroom environment at the tertiary and upper secondary levels. In addition, the study considered student attitudes towards their courses at these levels. Specifically, the objectives of this study were to Student attitudes were measured using three specific scales, namely, Difficulty, Speed, and Satisfaction. Each scale has seven items and each item is responded to using the four alternatives of Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, and Strongly Disagree. Apart from the researchers' observations and feedback from fellow instructors at the tertiary level, studies have shown that students generally face difficulty when they transit from one level to another and this is consistent at all levels of education (e.g., Jarman, 1990; Booth, 1997). Speed of courses has been a constant complaint by students as they move to higher class levels. Killen's (1994) work suggests that the instructors are out of touch with student needs in terms of the heavy workloads, the extensive demands on students' time, and the unrealistically high expectations placed on students by their instructors. Similar findings have also been reported by Vahala and Winston (1994) and Ramsden (1991). Previous studies also have shown that in general students are concerned about these aspects of their courses and that satisfaction is perceived to be lower when students moved to a higher level of study (Ferguson & Fraser, 1996; Fraser, Treagust, Williamson, & Tobin, 1987; Midgley, Eccles, & Feldlaufer, 1991; Moos, 1979). A description of each scale and an example item is included in Table 1.

Table 1: Descriptive information of scales used to measure attitude

Scale NameDescriptionExample Items

SatisfactionExtent of enjoyment of classes.I look forward to coming to this class.
DifficultyExtent to which students find difficulty with the work in the class.I find the work in this class difficult.
SpeedExtent to which class work is covered quickly.The pace in this class is rushed.

A total of 504 students and their 24 instructors participated in the study which covered a variety of science subjects; Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Computer Science and Geography. 205 participants were from Canadian institutions and 299 students were from Australian institutions. Both students and instructors completed both forms of the instrument, the preferred and actual. The students also completed the attitudinal questionnaire. One hundred and thirty Canadian students were followed from senior secondary to tertiary studies where they completed the questionnaires for a second time. Data were analysed using the individual and class as the basis to investigate the reliabilities of the seven modified scales. For the sub-sample of 130, differences in perceptions were explored using a paired t-test analysis for each scale of the CUCEI and the attitude scales. Correlation and regression analyses on all data on a student-by student basis were performed to investigate various associations with student attitudes.

In order to obtain some qualitative data to enhance the quantitative results, volunteers were sought to take part in an interview regarding their perceptions of the classroom environment. Three students at the tertiary level were picked from the volunteers and interviewed. Three instructors at the tertiary level from the different science disciplines were also interviewed. These interviews were taped and later transcribed. In addition to the interviews, the collection of quantitative data via the questionnaires, the researcher (one of the authors) was involved in classroom observations at the tertiary level.

Modifying the CUCEI

The CUCEI that was used in this study was modified in three ways. First, the items of the questionnaire were personalised by changing the wording. Table 2 provides examples indicating how this was done.

Table 2: Examples of changes in the wording of items in personal form of the CUCEI

ScaleOriginal CUCEIModified and Personalised CUCEI

Task OrientationClass assignments are clear so everyone knows what to do.Class assignments are clear and I know what to do.
PersonalisationThe instructor goes out of his/her way to help students.The instructor goes out of his/her way to help me.
InnovationStudents seem to do the same type of activities in every class.I seem to do the same type of activities in every class.

Secondly, only five of the seven original scales were used and two new scales included; the Cooperation and Equity scales (Fraser, Fisher & McRobbie, 1996). This scale measured the extent to which students are treated equally by their instructors. In particular, this scale was included in order to allow investigations of students' perceptions of the environment with respect to gender (see Nair & Fisher, 1999). This scale was considered an important addition as considerable work that has been carried out with respect to gender and science education shows that male and female students perceive their environment differently (e.g., Ferguson & Fraser, 1996; Rickards, Fisher & Fraser, 1997; Suarez, Pias, Membiela, & Dupia, 1998). The Cooperation scale, was included as one of the seven scales because the levels of cooperation seem to change as students proceed to higher levels of education. For example, Midgley, Eccles, & Feldlaufer (1991) and fellow researchers showed that there was a decrease in opportunities for cooperation and interaction among students after transition. Furthermore, the researchers viewed this scale as being particularly relevant to higher level studies as it measures the extent to which students cooperate rather than compete with one another on learning tasks. The structure of the modified CUCEI was designed to maintained the same number of scales, seven, with each scale having seven items.

Finally, the existing four response alternatives were replaced with a five-point Likert Scale. In keeping with recent developments in the design of learning environment questionnaires, the modified form of the instrument used in this study employed a five-point Likert response scale where each item is responded to with the alternatives of Almost Never, Seldom, Sometimes, Often and Almost Always instead of the four-point Likert response system utilised in the original CUCEI. The use of the five-point Likert scale was thought to give participants a greater choice in their responses. In addition, the five-point response is also considered to better represent the personalised nature of the questionnaire (Fraser, Fisher, & McRobbie, 1996). Table 3 provides the seven scales in the final version of the modified CUCEI along with sample items.

Table 3: Descriptive information for the modified CUCEI

Scale NameDescriptionSample Items

PersonalisationExtent of opportunities for individual students to interact with the instructor and on concern for students' personal welfare.The instructor goes out of his/her way to help me.
InnovationExtent to which the instructor plans new, unusual activities, teaching techniques and assignments.The instructor often thinks of unusual activities.
Student CohesivenessExtent to which students know, help and are friendly towards each other.I make friends easily in this class.
Task OrientationExtent to which class activities are clear and well organised.Class assignments are clear and I know what I am doing.
IndividualisationExtent to which students are allowed to make decisions and are treated differently according to ability, interests and rate of working.I am allowed to choose activities and how I will work.
CooperationExtent to which students cooperate rather than compete with one another on learning tasks.I work with other students in this class.
EquityExtent to which students are treated equally by the teacher.I am treated the same as other students in this class.

Learning environment instruments are typically produced in two forms: actual and preferred. Whereas the actual form asks students to describe their actual classroom learning environment, in the preferred form students are asked to describe their preferred or ideal learning environment. Previous studies at the secondary or elementary school levels have found that there are often differences between students' perceptions of their preferred and actual learning environments. Differences have also been observed between students' and teachers' perceptions of the same learning environment (Fraser, 1994, 1998). The wealth of information obtained from secondary school studies suggests that it could be of value for tertiary educators to gain a fuller understanding of students' perceptions of their learning environments. If tertiary educators have a clear understanding of students' preferred learning environments, they can implement changes to achieve more positive environments and thus foster better learning. Thus, it was decided to use both the actual and preferred versions of the questionnaires in this study.

Reliability and validity of the personalised and modified CUCEI

The Cronbach alpha reliability using two units of analyses for each of the seven scales in the CUCEI, for the actual and preferred versions are presented in Table 4. The Cronbach alpha reliability figures using the individual student as the unit of analysis ranged from 0.73 to 0.93 and 0.76 to 0.94 respectively, for the actual and preferred versions. With class means as the unit of analysis, all alpha reliability values were higher, ranging from 0.84 to 0.97 for the actual version and 0.87 to 0.98 for the preferred. High alpha reliability figures were also apparent for the instructor versions, ranging from 0.72 to 0.90 for the actual version and from 0.72 to 0.93 for the preferred version.

Table 4: Internal consistency reliability (Cronbach alpha coefficient)
for two units of analysis for the CUCEI

CUCEI ScalesUnit of AnalysisReliability

Student CohesivenessIndividual
Task OrientationIndividual

The sample consisted of 504 students in 26 classes and 24 instructors

The discriminant validity is described as the extent to which a scale measures a unique dimension not covered by the other scales in the instrument. Table 5 indicates that the mean correlations of the scales using the individual student as the unit of analysis in the CUCEI ranged from 0.15 to 0.34 for the actual version and from 0.25 to 0.47 for the preferred form.

Table 5: Discriminant validity (mean correlation with other scales) for two units of analysis and the ability to differentiate between classrooms (ANOVA) for the modified and personalised CUCEI

CUCEI ScalesUnit of
Mean Correlation with other scalesANOVA

Student CohesivenessIndividual
Task OrientationIndividual

** p< 0.001 *p< 0.01
The sample consisted of 504 students in 26 classes and 24 instructors.

From the values, the CUCEI appears to measure distinct although somewhat overlapping aspects of classroom environment, but maintaining distinctions between each scale in each of the seven dimensions in the instrument. In keeping with past learning environment research, the ability of the scales to differentiate between the perceptions of students in different classrooms was investigated using a one-way ANOVA with class membership as the main effect. The eta2 statistic, representing the proportion of variance in scale scores accounted for by class membership, ranged from 0.09 to 0.28, indicating that each scale of the CUCEI is capable of differentiating significantly between classes (p<0.01) (Table 5).

Table 6 shows the factor loadings obtained when the individual was used as the unit of analysis for the actual version with the total sample from the senior secondary schools and the post secondary institute. A principal components factor analysis, followed by varimax rotation, shows an instrument in which 44 of the 49 items had a factor loading greater than .30. The conventional cut-off value of .30 was chosen for the factor loadings (Stevens, 1992). This pattern was also found to be very similar for the preferred version. On completion of the factor analysis with the 49 item seven scale instrument 5 items which had a factor loading of less than .30 were deleted. The factor loading values of the remaining 44 items in the instrument confirm the seven factor structure of the CUCEI. For subsequent analysis the 5 unsatisfactory items were deleted.

Table 6: Factor loadings for items in the 49-item actual personalised and modified form of the CUCEI

ScaleItemFactor Loadings
F1F2F3 F4F5F6F7

Personalisation 1
Task Orientation 15

Cooperation 22
Individualisation 29
Equity 36
Innovation 43

Note: Factor loadings less than .30 not shown

Differences between students' perceptions at the tertiary and senior secondary levels

For the sub-sample of 130 students who completed the questionnaire at both levels, differences in perceptions were explored using a paired sample t-test analysis for each scale of the CUCEI. Table 7 provides scale means for all seven scales of the CUCEI for both levels, and indicates the magnitude of the difference between scale means. As shown in Table 7 and Figure 1, the students generally had a less favourable perception of their classroom at the tertiary level compared with their perceptions at the senior secondary level.

Table 7: Means and differences for the preferred and actual forms of the CUCEI
for students in their senior secondary and tertiary levels of study

ScalesPreferredMean Difference
ActualMean Difference
Tertiary (T)Senior (S)Tertiary (T)Senior (S)

Personalisation4.194.20 -0.013.563.98-0.42**
Student Cohesiveness3.823.92-0.10 3.373.98-0.61
Task Orientation4.293.79+0.50** 3.953.77+0.12
Cooperation3.933.72 +0.213.403.81-0.41**
Individualisation3.033.42 +0.39**2.112.50+0.39**
Equity4.614.03 +0.58**4.414.31+0.10

**p<0.05   n = 130

Figure 1

Figure 1: Comparison of actual classroom environment scales for
students at the tertiary and senior secondary level of studies

Like previous work carried out by Midgley, Eccles, and Feldlaufer (1991), Power and Cotterell, (1981), and Trebilco, Atkinson, and Atkinson (1977), students experienced less favourable interpersonal relationships with the instructors after transition. This is seen in the lower mean values in the Personalisation scale at the higher level of study, 3.56 compared with 3.98. Further supporting this less favourable interpersonal experience is the comment from a tertiary student.

I found the caring aspect in high school where the teachers' job was to make you learn (was missing) as opposed to just delivery of the lesson at the college. I find it different.
Both levels reported unfavourably on items within the Individualisation scale, with students at the tertiary level perceiving this scale less favourably. This suggests that students perceive that there is less choice at the higher level of studies. Similar findings were also reported by researchers in their study of transition environments from the elementary to junior high school (Midgley, Eccles, & Feldlaufer, 1991). This dissatisfaction was expressed as follows.
To be frank it is overwhelming (workloads). I was swamped when I first got here. I did not believe how much work they (instructors) expected. In high school they don't have this stuff. I spend 18 hours on a report. It is unreal.
Further, this less favourable perception could be possibly due to students relying on their instructors for what they should know before they move on to their next year of university work, and as such do not want too much decision making authority at this level. This reasoning seems to be supported by comments of the Biology and Physics instructors.
We have no control. We have to cover X amount of material before they move on to their second year.

If they work on their own pace they would have nothing done. It is a university lecture and there is a certain amount of material to cover and you cover it.

Students at the tertiary level also perceived less Student Cohesiveness. Although, this finding is similar to previous research (e.g., Brendt & Hawkins, 1985), this is at odds to what was expected as enunciated by classroom instructors:
Student Cohesiveness in the class is high because most students know each other before commencing at the college because they come from the region, the local high schools. They know each other. Most come from the same high school. Everyone is friendly in class. I can't take credit for this.
Although students at the senior secondary level generally perceived their environment more favourably before transition to the higher level of studies, students at the tertiary level gauged their classroom more favourably in the innovative teaching methods employed by their instructors in their classes. This seems to be supported by the comments of the instructors. For example, the Biology instructor stated
I have never used a formal lecture system. I use a fair amount of handouts, so if you take the standard set of materials, I will give them a handout with the bottom line in terms of vocabulary and concept that they have to know. Depending on the course level, I will also put my lecture notes on reserve. They have this as a fall back. I find straight lecturing - the retention rates with students is not great, they have to get involved with the material, whether you have to make it outrageous at times or whether to peak their interest. I try to teach them more about concepts and get them thinking, not to memorise but understand it. I will actually adjust the sequence of what I am doing and how I am doing it based on the profile of the class. I have certain standards I have to work to and I will achieve this either in a couple of months or in two semesters. I will get to that either sooner or later depending on the class. The results (from the use of this technique) not only come out in the examinations and tests but I have students coming back from subsequent years attending other institutions and they have done quite well.
When the preferred environments were compared only three scales were statistically significant; Task Orientation, Individualisation and Equity. Tertiary students would prefer greater equity, and task orientation whereas senior secondary students would prefer more individualisation. The result seems to complement the actual data as tertiary students generally perceive their classroom environment less favourably and prefer a more positive environment.

Differences between instructors' perceptions at the tertiary and senior secondary levels

Instructors at the senior secondary level generally perceived their actual environment more favourably than the instructors at the higher level, (see Table 8 and Figure 2). However, only in the Task Orientation scale did the post secondary instructors perceive their environment more favourably in comparison to the senior secondary level instructors. One of the highest statistical differences was observed in the Personalisation scale. This supports the perceptions of students that student-instructor interaction is less favourable after transition. This finding replicates earlier studies where students transiting to higher levels found their instructors less concerned about their welfare and that they had lesser opportunity for student instructor interaction (Brendt & Hawkins, 1985; Power & Cotterell, 1981; Hirsh & Rapkin, 1987).

Table 8: Means and differences for the preferred and actual forms of the CUCEI
for instructors at the senior secondary and tertiary levels of study

ScalesActualMean Difference
PreferredMean Difference
Tertiary (T)Senior (S)Tertiary (T)Senior (S)

Student Cohesiveness3.954.68-0.73**3.913.81-0.10
Task Orientation4.223.83+0.39*4.094.61-0.52
Innovation 2.322.69-0.373.622.93+0.69*

**p<0.05  *p<0.1  n=24

Figure 2

Figure 2: Comparison of instructors' actual classroom environment
scales for the two levels of studies, tertiary and senior secondary

Only three scales were found to be statistically significant in the preferred version with the greatest statistical difference in the Individualisation scale. Tertiary instructors prefer greater decision making by their students in their classes. This is opposite to what students would prefer in their classrooms at the tertiary level. A possible reason for this difference could be that students have recognised that there is a huge amount of work to be covered at the tertiary level and that the instructors are in the best position to make the decisions on this. For example, supporting this possible explanation are the comments from instructors.

We have no control. We have to cover X amount of material before they move on to their second year.

It is university lecture and there is a certain amount of material to cover and you cover it.

Instructors at both levels of education were more in agreement of their preferred environment, however, in the Innovation scale the tertiary instructors seem to want greater innovation in their teaching suggesting that instructors at this level are trying to accommodate changes as students move from one level to the next.

Attitudinal outcomes

The Cronbach alpha reliabilities for the three attitudinal scales ranged from 0.62 to 0.77. There were significant differences in students' perceptions at the tertiary and high school levels on two of these scales, Satisfaction and Difficulty. The greatest differences was in the student satisfaction. Table 9 shows that tertiary students perceived their classes as more difficult and overall less satisfying than they had at the senior secondary level. This perception regarding the level of difficulty of courses was expressed as follows.

A little more increased [difficulty] since there is more thought to the questions [tests, assignments, etc].

Table 9: Comparison of means for the attitudinal measures

ScalesTertiary (T)Senior Secondary (S)Mean Difference (T-S)

Satisfaction 3.563.930.37**
Difficulty 3.282.990.29**

** p<0.05  n=130

However, students attitudes about the speed of the courses did not change. This sentiment was enunciated by students in the interviews:

It is pretty fast. It is not a bad thing, it is just fast. I don't have a problem with it.

I find the courses are covered quickly, but I find it okay.

There is a lot more work, but it how you spread it out.

Associations between students' perceptions of their learning environment and attitudinal outcomes

Associations between students' perceptions of the learning environment and students' attitudinal outcomes were analysed using both simple correlation (r), which describes the bivariate associations between an attitudinal measure and each CUCEI scale, and the standardised regression weight (beta), which characterises the associations between a measure and a particular environment scale when all other CUCEI scales are controlled.

Table 10: Associations between CUCEI scales and the attitudinal measures in
terms of simple correlation (r) and standardised regression coefficients (beta)

CUCEI ScalesSpeedDifficultySatisfaction
rbetar betarbeta

Personalisation -0.17**-0.03-**0.18**
Student Cohesiveness -0.220.02-0.03-0.010.18**0.05
Task Orientation -0.07-0.03-0.00-0.030.36**0.23**
Cooperation 0.00-**0.02
Individualisation -0.27**-0.24**-0.22**-0.23**0.21**0.15**
Equity -0.66-**-0.02
Innovation -0.20**0.10*0.080.07-0.25**-0.05

Multiple R Correlation

*p<0.05  **p<0.001  n = 504

The simple correlation (r) reported in Table 10 indicates that Personalisation, Individualisation and Innovation were significantly related to the attitudinal measure of Speed, only the Individualisation scale with Difficulty and that all seven scales were significantly related to the student Satisfaction outcome (p<0.001). The beta (beta) weights show that all three attitude scales retained their significance with the Individualisation scale in a more conservative multivariate test. The multiple regression R correlation indicates a significant association between the classroom environment, as measured by all the CUCEI scales and the three attitudinal outcomes; the speed at which the courses are taught, the degree of difficulty of the courses taken and, students satisfaction with the course they are taking.


The primary purpose of this study was to modify and validate a new form of the College and University Classroom Environment Inventory (CUCEI), and to then use it to compare students' actual and preferred perceptions of their classroom learning environments at the senior secondary and tertiary levels of education. This study supports the reliability and validity of the modified personal form of the CUCEI. This study is distinct in that it is the first study utilising the modified CUCEI simultaneously at the tertiary and secondary levels. Instructors could find this new version of the CUCEI to be a valuable source of information, particularly for comparisons between their own and their students' perceptions. The study also demonstrates that instructors at different levels could gain an insight into the perceptions of their colleagues and possibly use the information to aid teaching and learning in their classrooms. Further, this study also provides university level instructors information on how they can create a learning environment that might enhance student satisfaction. Other studies have indicated that student and instructor perceptions of their own classroom to be reliable indicators that can be utilised for improving teaching and learning (e.g. Fraser, 1991, 1994, 1998; Fraser & Fisher, 1994).

Generally, students perceived their classroom more negatively when they moved from the lower level of studies to a higher level. As well, tertiary students were more dissatisfied in their attitude towards their science courses. An interesting result was that there was no significant difference in students' perceptions of the speed of the courses, although students often found the workload overwhelming they generally satisfied with the rate at which the work was delivered.

Finally, there are many desirable ongoing and new directions for classroom environment research at the tertiary and senior secondary levels that could prove worthwhile for science educators to pursue. For example: person-environment fit research to investigate whether students achieve better, cognitively and affectively, when there is a better match between their actual and preferred classroom environment. An example of such a study was reported by Fraser and Fisher (1983); cross validating the modified instrument in various countries to reinforce the validity of the questionnaire; incorporating classroom environment study in instructor professional development programs both at the senior secondary and tertiary levels; and examining the relationship between instructors' and students' perceived classroom environment both actual and preferred, and their interpersonal behaviour.


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Note: The final version of the questionnaire can be obtained from Dr Sid Nair,
Authors: Dr Sid Nair is Quality Adviser with the Centre of Higher Education Quality at Monash University, Australia. He has extensive experience lecturing and teaching in the applied sciences in Canada, Singapore and Australia. His research work lies in the area of classroom and school environments and is presently in the area of quality in the Australian Higher Education system. Email:

Darrell Fisher is an Associate Professor in the National Key Centre for School Science and Mathematics at Curtin University of Technology. He is the author or co-author of over 200 articles in state, national and international journals and other publications. His research interests involve studies of classroom and school environments, teacher-student interpersonal behaviour and curriculum evaluation. Email:

Please cite as: Nair, C. S. and Fisher, D. L. (2001). Learning environments and student attitudes to science at the senior secondary and tertiary levels. Issues In Educational Research, 11(2), 12-31.

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