ERIC Number: EJ1120959
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Scientist Role Models in the Classroom: How Important Is Gender Matching?
Conner, Laura D. Carsten; Danielson, Jennifer
International Journal of Science Education, v38 n15 p2414-2430 2016
Gender-matched role models are often proposed as a mechanism to increase identification with science among girls, with the ultimate aim of broadening participation in science. While there is a great deal of evidence suggesting that role models can be effective, there is mixed support in the literature for the importance of gender matching. We used the Eccles Expectancy Value model as a framework to explore how female science role models impact a suite of factors that might predict future career choice among elementary students. We predicted that impacts of female scientist role models would be more pronounced among girls than among boys, as such role models have the potential to normalise what is often perceived as a gender-deviant role. Using a mixed-methods approach, we found that ideas about scientists, self-concept towards science, and level of science participation changed equally across both genders, contrary to our prediction. Our results suggest that engaging in authentic science and viewing the female scientist as personable were keys to changes among students, rather than gender matching between the role model and student. These results imply that scientists in the schools programmes should focus on preparing the visiting scientists in these areas.
Descriptors: Science Education, Scientists, Role Models, Females, Gender Differences, Models, Predictor Variables, Career Choice, Science Careers, Elementary School Students, Disproportionate Representation, Mixed Methods Research, Student Attitudes, Scientific Attitudes, Self Concept, Attitude Change, Partnerships in Education, Data Collection, Data Analysis, Pretests Posttests, Scores, Science Interests, Statistical Significance, Likert Scales, Semi Structured Interviews, Content Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alaska
Grant or Contract Numbers: DGE0948029