ERIC Number: EJ1021891
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
What Sort of Girl Wants to Study Physics after the Age of 16? Findings from a Large-Scale UK Survey
Mujtaba, Tamjid; Reiss, Michael J.
International Journal of Science Education, v35 n17 p2979-2998 2013
This paper investigates the characteristics of 15-year-old girls who express an intention to study physics post-16. This paper unpacks issues around within-girl group differences and similarities between boys and girls in survey responses about physics. The analysis is based on the year 10 (age 15 years) responses of 5,034 students from 137 UK schools as learners of physics during the academic year 2008--2009. A comparison between boys and girls indicates the pervasiveness of gender issues, with boys more likely to respond positively towards physics-specific constructs than girls. The analysis also indicates that girls and boys who expressed intentions to participate in physics post-16 gave similar responses towards their physics teachers and physics lessons and had comparable physics extrinsic motivation. Girls (regardless of their intention to participate in physics) were less likely than boys to be encouraged to study physics post-16 by teachers, family and friends. Despite this, there were a subset of girls still intending to study physics post-16. The crucial differences between the girls who intended to study physics post-16 and those who did not is that girls who intend to study physics post-16 had higher physics extrinsic motivation, more positive perceptions of physics teachers and lessons, greater competitiveness and a tendency to be less extrovert. This strongly suggests that higher extrinsic motivation in physics could be the crucial underlying key that encourages a subset of girls (as well as boys) in wanting to pursue physics post-16.
Descriptors: Gender Differences, Females, Physics, Academic Aspiration, Foreign Countries, Comparative Analysis, Secondary School Science, College Science, Science Education, Social Attitudes, Student Attitudes, Teacher Influence, Competition, Student Characteristics, Questionnaires, Mixed Methods Research, Longitudinal Studies, Statistical Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Postsecondary Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A