Teaching sciences and mathematics – A challenge for higher education institutions: A systematic review

Fernand Vedrenne-Gutiérrez, Myriam M. Altamirano-Bustamante, Daniela Monroy-Fraustro, Adalberto de Hoyos Bermea, Carolina Lopez-Suero

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The current job market requires scientifically literate human resources. At a time in which scientific reasoning should be part of the higher education curriculum, the general population is pulling away from it. This review aims to identify how students’ and teachers’ attitudes and values influence academic performance in science courses. PICO and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) approaches were used to explore four databases and 6488 articles were retrieved. Articles had to be relevant to the research question and published within the last 10 years. Articles without an identifiable author or articles unrelated to the research question were excluded. Following three rounds of quality screening, 10 articles were finally selected for analysis. Study designs and quality varied across the selected articles. Self-efficacy, having mastery goals, perceiving the course as valuable, and having a student identity were consistently associated with good learning outcomes. Cooperation was found to increase task value and autonomy when taking science courses; conversely, a performance approach and a consumer identity were negatively correlated with good learning outcomes. In the past 10 years, there was paucity in research studying the role of teacher attitudes towards science courses on learning outcomes. This article proposes a hypothetical model that describes how attitudes and values may lead to mastery and a good academic performance in undergraduate science courses. With this model, we seek to enhance and strengthen the nature and scope of science education in universities.

Original languageEnglish
JournalReview of Education
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • attitudes
  • science education
  • self-efficacy
  • values


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