Science content knowledge is a concern for educators in the United States because performance has stagnated for the past decade. Investigators designed this study to determine the current levels of scientific literacy among undergraduate students in a freshman-level biology course (a core requirement for majors and nonmajors), identify factors influencing levels of scientific literacy, and make recommendations for improving scientific literacy. Participants (n = 255) answered a one-time, 18-item life science questionnaire. A significant difference in content knowledge was found between participants who engaged in informal science learning weekly and participants who did not engage in informal science learning (i.e., learning outside the classroom).
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Vol. 76 • No. 1