The construct of "situational interest" involves the identification of classroom factors that arouse student interest, but previous research has focussed on non-science domains such as reading or mathematics. The first aim of this study was to identify the sources of situational interest in a science content/methods course for primary teacher education students. The second aim was to investigate whether sustained situational interest could positively influence students' attitudes towards science. Data were obtained by formal surveys, informal surveys and individual interviews. The results indicated that situational interest was generated by factors such as novelty, meaningfulness and involvement, and positive attitude change did occur.
International Journal of Science Education Vol. 26, Issue 7, p. 895-908