ERIC Number: ED455121
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Increasing Participation of Female Students in Physical Science Class.
This study describes a program designed to increase participation and involvement of female students in physical science classrooms and laboratories. The setting for the study is a high school in a suburban middle class community adjacent to a metropolitan area in the Midwest. Evidence for the existence of the problem includes student involvement checklists, teacher log to focus on general observations of student involvement throughout the quarter, and student survey to identify the perceptions of the students as to their level of involvement in the classroom and laboratory. Analysis of probable cause data revealed that female under involvement in science has many possible causes. Teachers interact more often and in more detail with male students who tend to be more aggressive. Female students have a more difficult transition through adolescence than male students. Science as a discipline discourages females. Society undervalues the role of women and sends mixed messages to females. To further add to the problem, there is an overall denial of gender biases. A review of solution strategies resulted in three categories for intervention: teacher instruction to increase awareness of gender bias, modification of teacher behavior to eliminate gender inequities, and instructional strategies using cooperative learning to improve participation and reduce competitive behavior. Post intervention data indicated an increase in classroom participation by the targeted female students in physical science. (Contains 25 references.) (Author/ASK)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Master of Arts Action Research Project, St. Xavier University and IRI Skylight Field-Based Masters Program.