Date of Award

December 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Urban Education

First Advisor

Barbara Daley

Committee Members

Lilliana Mina, Leigh E Wallace, Simone C Conceicao


Adult Education, Adult Learning, Fear, Qualitative Research, Science anxiety


One of the most challenging things a professor of science in a college setting deals with is the apprehension of students toward the very idea of science and scientists. This feeling of science anxiety does not appear to be limited by nation or culture and is often spread across all ages of students. The concept of “science is hard” is widespread and constant for many students entering a science course. This is quickly becoming a critical issue in education during a time in our world when we need to increase the numbers of well-qualified scientists. In a world where technological and scientific advancement is critical for modern life, having students who fear the very basis of modern living undermines their ability to work in the world as a whole. In an effort to understand and circumvent science anxiety, this research utilized interviews and qualitative analysis in order to determine how students dealt with science anxiety, and how it affected their learning. As a qualitative study, this research focused more on the attitudes of the students toward science than the achievement in terms of grades. This research focused on science anxiety and how it affected adult learning at the college level.