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ERIC Number: EJ840887
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-1931-7913
Teaching Cell and Molecular Biology for Gender Equity
Sible, Jill C.; Wilhelm, Dayna E.; Lederman, Muriel
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v5 n3 p227-238 Fall 2006
Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, including cell biology, are characterized by the "leaky pipeline" syndrome in which, over time, women leave the discipline. The pipeline itself and the pond into which it empties may not be neutral. Explicating invisible norms, attitudes, and practices by integrating social studies of science into science education may be the necessary first step in helping female students persist in STEM disciplines. In 2003 and 2004, a sophomore Cell and Molecular Biology course at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA) was taught integrating social studies of science with standard material. The course was successfully implemented, teaching students factual content while increasing awareness of the cultures of science and their self-confidence in engaging with the subject. Course evaluation data indicated that females in particular perceived greater gains in logical thinking and problem-solving abilities than females in a traditional cell biology course. Consistent with K-12 studies, males in this class were likely to view scientists as male only, whereas females viewed scientists as male and female. This pilot project demonstrates that social studies can be integrated successfully in a cell biology course. Longitudinal studies of this cohort of students will indicate whether this approach contributes to the retention of women in the field. (Contains 5 tables and 3 figures.)
American Society for Cell Biology. 8120 Woodmont Avenue Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814-2762. Tel: 301-347-9300; Fax: 301-347-9310; E-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia