ERIC Number: EJ1039207
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 46
The Single Sex Debate for Girls in Science: A Comparison between Two Informal Science Programs on Middle School Students' STEM Identity Formation
Hughes, Roxanne M.; Nzekwe, Brandon; Molyneaux, Kristen J.
Research in Science Education, v43 n5 p1979-2007 Oct 2013
Currently, there are policy debates regarding the efficacy and legality of single sex formal and informal education programs. This issue is particularly poignant in science education due to the historical marginalization of women in these fields. This marginalization has resulted in women being positioned as a stigmatized group within many science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related fields. Research points to adolescence as the age where this sense of marginalization begins to develop. As a result, policy responses have utilized various frameworks such as: increased access for women, changing pedagogy to address women's learning styles, changing the language and culture of science to prevent marginalization of stigmatized groups, and finally exploring the role that individual identity plays in the marginalization of women. This study adds to the policy debate as it applies to single sex education by comparing middle school participants' STEM identity formation during two informal science learning environments (an all girls' STEM camp and a co-educational STEM camp). Additionally, this study focuses on the influence of camp activities within two informal science education programs: particularly the provision of role models and authentic STEM research activities, as means to improve STEM identity and make these fields relevant to the lives of middle school students. The results indicate that both camps improved girls' STEM identities. These findings suggest that the single sex environment is not as important to STEM identity as the pedagogy used within the program.
Descriptors: Program Effectiveness, Single Sex Classes, Science Education, Womens Education, STEM Education, Adolescents, Gender Differences, Access to Education, Gender Bias, Teaching Methods, Cognitive Style, Language Usage, Social Bias, Identification (Psychology), Middle School Students, Day Camp Programs, Role Models, Learning Activities, Comparative Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A