Gender differences when choosing school subjects: Parental push and career pull. Some tentative hypotheses
- 217 Downloads
The literature has made us all aware of large gender differences in students' atttudes to science, in enrolment statistics in upper high school and tertiary level science courses, and in different spheres of employment. What have not been looked at in detail are the factors which are influential when students begin to make choices in early high school, choices which may well set them on a particular pathway from which it is difficult to turn.
This preliminary study identifies factors which students in a Year 9 class believed were influential on the limited subject choices they had been able to make in Years 8 and 9, and the factors they believed would be most influential on choices to be made later in the school. In addition the students' views of science, of the separate sciences, and of their anticipated career patterns were sought.
Several interesting findings were made which, if validated in further work, could lead to strategies which would support other approaches designed to reduce gender imbalances related to science.
KeywordsHigh School Gender Difference Tertiary Level School Subject Enrolment Statistic
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Birke, L., Faulkner, W., Best, S., Janson-Smith, D., & Overfield, K. (Eds) (1980).Alice through the microscope: the power of science over women's lives. London: Virago.Google Scholar
- Burns, R. B. (1990).Introduction to research methods in education. Melbourne: Longman Cheshire.Google Scholar
- Chi, M., Glaser, R., & Farr, M. (1988).The nature of expertise. Hillsdale, N.J: Erlbaum Assoc.Google Scholar
- de Laeter, J. R., Malone, J. & Dekkers, J. (1989). Female science enrolments trends in Australian senior secondary schools.Australian Science Teachers Journal, 35, 23–33.Google Scholar
- Dillon, S. (1986). Jobs for girls: why not technical?Knowledge systems research. Melbourne: Photographic Book Society.Google Scholar
- Douglass, C. B. (1985). Discrepancies between men and women in science: results of a national survey of science educators. In J. B. Kahle (Ed),Women in science. Lewes: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
- Harvey, T. J. & Stables, A. (1986). Gender differences in attitudes to science for third year pupils: an argument for single-sex teaching groups in mixed schools.Research in Science and Technological Education, 4, 163–170.Google Scholar
- Kahle, J. B. (1985). Retention of girls in science: case studies of secondary teachers. In Kahle, J. B. (Ed.),Women in science. Lewes: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
- Pitt, A. W. H. (1973). A review of the reasons for making a choice of subjects at the secondary school level.Educational Review, 24, 3–15.Google Scholar
- Remick, H. & Miller, K. (1978). Participation rates in high school mathematics and science courses.The Physics Teacher, 280–282.Google Scholar
- Schibeci, R. (1986). Images of science and science education.Science Education, 70, 139–149.Google Scholar
- Sleet, R. & Stern, W. (1980). Student selection of science subjects and careers.The Australian Science Teachers Journal, 26, 25–30.Google Scholar
- Stage, E. K. Kreinberg, N., Eccles (Parsons), J. & Becker, J. R. (1987). Increasing the participation and achievement of girls and women in mathematics, science and engineering. In Kelly, A. (Ed.),Science for girls. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.Google Scholar
- Woods, P. (1979).The Divided School. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
- Yager, R. E. & Penick, J. E. Perceptions of four age groups toward science classes, teachers, and the value of science.Science Education,70, 355–363.Google Scholar