Adapting the Survey of Attitudes towards Statistics (SATS-36) for Estonian Secondary School Students

Carita Hommik and Piret Luik

The purpose of this study is to adapt the Survey of Attitudes Towards Statistics
(SATS-36) for Estonian secondary school students in order to develop a valid
instrument to measure students’ attitudes within the Estonian educational context.
The SATS-36 was administered to Estonian-speaking secondary school students
before their compulsory statistics course. Because the fit indices for confirmatory
factor analysis did not indicate a good fit, an exploratory factor analysis was
conducted to find a new model. It validated a four-factor structure of the scale,
excluding nine items. Good indices for both reliability and validity were obtained.
Trends in secondary school students’ attitudes were also examined to investigate the
effects of gender and gender combined with the level of education. Results showed
that students tended to feel rather positively about statistics at the beginning of the
course. All four factors displayed differences between boys and girls. Comparison of
lower and upper secondary level students showed that students from the upper
secondary level value statistics more highly. The authors recommend SATS with some
small proposed changes to make it even more suitable for the secondary level.