ERIC Number: ED393705
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
"I'm Just Not Interested": Gender-Related Responses in a High School Chemistry Curriculum.
Larson, Jane O.
This study deals with gender-related issues that became apparent within the context of a high school chemistry curriculum implementation. It documents observed differences in male and female responses to shared experiences in the course, and analyzes these reactions in light of research on gender in science education. Major areas of distinction in student reactions were noted in: work habits, classroom demeanor, response to chemistry activities such as labs and tests, attributions for success, attitudes toward chemistry, attitudes toward science, and decisions to remain in the science "pipeline." Female students' loss of confidence and interest led to negative attitudes manifested in decisions to exit the science track. Although the chemistry teacher attempted to maintain a positive learning environment, he apparently failed to meet the needs of his female students through gender-blind practices. Research literature that addresses these phenomena attempts to root them in cultural expectations and attitudes perpetuated in curricular materials, classroom interactions, and instruction. The complex network of determining factors in the chemistry class is investigated and suggestions for alleviating the loss of females from science education are discussed. (Author/JRH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (69th, St. Louis, MO, April 1, 1996).