Although curiosity is considered an integral aspect of science learning, researchers have debated how to define, measure, and support its development in individuals. Prior measures of curiosity include questionnaire type scales (primarily for adults) and behavioral measures. To address the need to measure scientific curiosity, the Science Curiosity in Learning Environments (SCILE) scale was created and validated as a 12-item scale to measure scientific curiosity in youth. The scale was developed through (a) adapting the language of the Curiosity and Exploration Inventory-II [Kashdan, T. B., Gallagher, M. W., Silvia, P. J., Winterstein, B. P., Breen, W. E., Terhar, D., & Steger, M. F. (2009). The curiosity and exploration inventory-II: Development, factor structure, and psychometrics. Journal of Research in Personality, 43(6), 987–998] for youth and (b) crafting new items based on scientific practices drawn from U.S. science standards documents. We administered a preliminary set of 30 items to 663 youth ages 8–18 in the U.S.A. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis resulted in a three-factor model: stretching, embracing, and science practices. The findings indicate that the SCILE scale is a valid measure of youth’s scientific curiosity for boys and girls as well as elementary, middle school, and high school learners.
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