ERIC Number: EJ1147737
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Perceived Gender Differences in Performance in Science: The Case of Lesotho Secondary Schools
Khanyane, Marethabile; Mokuku, Tšepo; Nthathakane, Malefu C.
African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, v20 n3 p278-288 2016
The paper reports on a study aimed at investigating perceived gender differences in performance in science at secondary school level, as well as beliefs on possible underlying causes for these differences. The study is situated within the interpretivist paradigm and uses a typology of factors drawn from the Educational Effectiveness Research model as a conceptual framework. Six purposively selected secondary schools participated in the study. Focus group discussions were conducted with 48 learners and 22 teachers, and a questionnaire was administered to the six principals of the participating schools. The study indicates that learners and teachers have mixed views on which gender performs best in the sciences. All principals perceived boys as performing best. The perceived reasons for gender differences in performance are wide ranging and reflect broadly student and classroom factors. They include learners' self-efficacy including attitudes towards science; gendered thinking and aptitude; diligence and perseverance; home experiences and culture; language proficiency; socio-economic challenges and the use of discussion as a learning strategy. The reasons for gender difference in performance are perceived to impact the achievement of girls more negatively than boys.
Descriptors: Gender Differences, Science Instruction, Secondary School Science, Science Achievement, Focus Groups, Student Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes, Questionnaires, Principals, Administrator Attitudes, Self Efficacy, Gender Bias, Persistence, Family Influence, Cultural Influences, Language Proficiency, Socioeconomic Influences, Discussion (Teaching Technique), Foreign Countries, Qualitative Research
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Lesotho