ERIC Number: ED229226
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
A Synthesis of Findings on Sex Differences in Science Education Research. Final Report.
Maehr, Martin L.; Steinkamp, Marjorie
A meta-analysis of science education literature was undertaken to determine the magnitude and direction of sex differences in school age boys'/girls' motivational orientations and science achievement. A comprehensive review of journal articles/reports, large-scale national/international studies, and standardized testing procedures appearing in the literature since 1965 provided 207 comparisons for motivation and 406 comparisons for science achievement. Results indicate that sex differences in motivation and achievement are smaller than generally assumed, but they do occur, and, with few exceptions, tend to favor males. On the whole, sex differences were larger on achievement measures than on motivation measures. In addition, sex differences appear to be greater in the United States than in other countries and are greater for children in upper than in lower socio-economic status levels. While girls verbally supported the notion that science is "not just for boys," boys were more inclined to engage in science-related activities. Therewith, it appears that engaging in science-related activities and other extra-school experiences may play a critical role in creating sex differences. Nevertheless, school intervention should be fostered, such intervention focusing on science instruction during the pre-adolescent period, the state during which sex differences in orientation and science achievement seem to change. (Author/JN)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana.