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ERIC Number: EJ1120238
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Sep
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1449-6313
Redressing the Gender Gap in Science through Use of the Thinking Science Program
Kerr, Andrea
Teaching Science, v62 n3 p39-44 Sep 2016
Currently (and historically) there exists a significant gender gap within the STEM fields in our schools, tertiary institutions, and workforce. The disproportion of gender representation in the workforce filters down to the classroom level, where teachers see a lack of confidence and engagement in their female students resulting in poor results or a low take-up of STEM-related courses at university level. As teachers, we not only need to change the way in which girls view and understand science, but also have an awareness of the causes of the gender gap. Research conducted by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency and the Office of the Chief Scientist (Workplace Gender Equality Agency, 2015) suggests that there is a multitude of causes that arise from pre-constructed social identities and norms. Science and innovation boosts our standard of living and contributes substantially to economic growth; therefore, science is central to the progress of our nation. Consequently, governments are feeling the pressure to endorse Science as a Human Endeavour for all students, particularly girls, in order to redress this. Similarly, teachers are challenged to establish a learning culture that allows for girls to access and participate in science in a way that promotes its relevance, beauty and transferable skill set. This article suggests that the Thinking Science program can act as a tool for improving the engagement, confidence and ability levels of girls. In addition to improving cognitive results, the program has also been found to accelerate students' problem-solving skills, metacognitive approaches, and far-transfer capabilities.
Australian Science Teachers Association. P.O. Box 334, Deakin West, ACT 2600, Australia. Tel: +61-02-6282-9377; Fax: +61-02-6282-9477; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A