Attitudes Towards STEAM, Critical Thinking Disposition and Decision-Making Skills: Mediation and Gender Moderation

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Critical thinking dispositions, Decision-making skill, STEAM, Primary school, Gender


In this study, the relationship between highly desired 21st century skills including students’ attitudes towards STEAM, critical thinking dispositions and decision-making skills and the role of gender on these associations were investigated. The data was collected from 4th grade students in the 2022-2023 academic year using the typical case sampling method. “STEAM Attitude Scale”, “Critical Thinking Disposition Scale” and “Decision-Making Skill Scale” were utilized. Mediation model were estimated using the whole sample, followed by multigroup analyses that employed gender as the moderation variable. The results indicated that primary school students' attitudes towards STEAM, their critical thinking dispositions and decision-making skills were at a high level. The mediation analysis revealed that attitudes towards STEAM had direct effect on decision-making skills, and critical thinking disposition was found to be partially mediating this association. Multigroup analyses provided evidences for the significant moderation role of gender pertaining to the specified associations in the model. The findings provide insights into the importance of developing positive attitudes towards STEAM disciplines regarding its evidential effect on critical thinking disposition and informed decision-making skills in primary schools, and the necessity of attending to the role of gender in future educational interventions.

Author Biographies

Sümeyye Aydın Gürler, Gaziantep University

Sümeyye AYDIN GÜRLER graduated from Fırat University, Faculty of Education, Science Teaching Program in 2008, as the top student of the department, faculty and university (among four-year faculties). He completed her master's education at the Institute of Science from Fırat University between in 2011, and his doctoral education in the field of Science Education at the same institute between in 2016. Her postgraduate education was funded by TÜBİTAK domestic graduate scholarship. She worked as a science teacher at the Ministry of National Education between 2008-2018. Since 2019, she works as an assistant professor at Gaziantep University, Nizip Education Faculty, Department of Mathematics and Science Education. The author has published articles, papers and book chapters on subjects such as STEM education, 21st century skills, context-based learning, scale development, alternative assessment and evaluation in science education, and the historical development of science education.

Orhan Kaplan, Gaziantep University

Orhan KAPLAN completed PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Mathematics Education from the University of Florida. His research interests are mathematics achievement, social justice and critical pedagogy, mathematics curriculum, STEM education, and educational psychology. He currently works at Nizip Faculty of Education, Gaziantep University.


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How to Cite

Aydın Gürler, S., & Kaplan, O. (2023). Attitudes Towards STEAM, Critical Thinking Disposition and Decision-Making Skills: Mediation and Gender Moderation. International Journal of Contemporary Educational Research, 10(1), 210–223.