Using Identity Indicators to Describe Graduate Students’ Views of Statistics Courses in the Context of Major-Specific Courses
The purpose of this study was to explore the differences in descriptions of self for graduate students in a College of Education while taking courses in their major and while taking required statistics courses. Q methodology was used to highlight differences in these two descriptions for 26 participants sorting the same 36 statements related to identity twice, first as a student in a course related to their major and second as a student in a statistics course. These data were correlated and factor analyzed to reveal two distinct views. Interpretation resulted in characterizing the two views as Confident and In Control, and Anxious and Alienated. Graduate students generally feel in control in their major and more fearful studying statistics, but this was not true for all students. Results are discussed in terms of the implications for managing negative feelings toward statistics as a challenge to identity.