ERIC Number: EJ1165105
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Abstractor: As Provided
Greek Primary School Students' Images of Scientists and Their Work: Has Anything Changed?
Emvalotis, Anastassios; Koutsianou, Athina
Research in Science & Technological Education, v36 n1 p69-85 2018
Background: A growing interest in student's perceptions of scientists has been identified in the literature, relying on the argument that stereotypical perceptions of scientists may affect student attitudes towards science and their willingness to pursue a science-related career. Thus, over the past 30 years, many studies have investigated students' images of scientists through students' drawings. Purpose: The present study attempts to investigate Greek primary school students' images of scientists and their work, and further explore possible changes in the common stereotypical images prevailing in the literature. Sample: Two hundred and eleven Greek primary school students (110 boys and 101 girls) from the fourth (n = 78), fifth (n = 63) and sixth (n = 70) grade participated in the present study. Design and methods: Students were asked to draw a scientist at work and explain what they had drawn, based on Chambers' "Draw-A-Scientist Test" (DAST). An analysis framework was adopted to assess and code students' drawings, including the indicators of the "Draw-A-Scientist Test-Checklist" (DAST-C). Several descriptive and bivariate analyses were performed in order to answer the research questions. Results: Results reveal that Greek primary school students hold common stereotypical images relating to the scientist's activities rather than their appearance. Specifically, students more frequently drew scientists as males who work in a chemistry laboratory, wear lab coats and are surrounded by symbols of research and knowledge. Furthermore, boys tended to draw more stereotypical images than girls, while the majority of girls drew female scientists. However, there were no significant differences across grade levels. Conclusions: In general, the findings of this study are aligned with the international research, supporting the necessity to challenge stereotypes. Students should be encouraged by their teachers to acquire more realistic images of scientists and their activities through science education.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Elementary School Students, Student Attitudes, Scientists, Stereotypes, Career Choice, Sciences, Freehand Drawing, Grade 4, Grade 6, Check Lists, Age Differences, Gender Differences, Statistical Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Greece
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A