Advertisement

Ignoring Half the Sky: A Feminist Critique of Science Education’s Knowledge Society

  • Anita Hussénius
  • Kristina Andersson
  • Annica Gullberg
  • Kathryn ScantleburyEmail author
Part of the Cultural Studies of Science Education book series (CSSE, volume 8)

Abstract

A Chinese proverb observes that women ‘hold up half the sky’, yet often in science education we have ignored the knowledge generated by feminist researchers about how females engage and participate in science. Further, science education has often failed to consider the implications from feminist critiques of science on science education. This chapter will provide a feminist perspective on who generates knowledge in science education and what knowledge is acceptable as ‘scientific’ by the field. Second, we will discuss the culture of science education and discuss whether science educators value the knowledge produced by gender and feminist researchers. In particular, we will examine the integration (or lack thereof) of gender issues into the dominant areas in science education research, such as teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge, the development of students’ science knowledge through inquiry, the role of conceptual change, and teachers’ preparation and professional development programmes. Third, we will provide examples of how gender theory and feminist perspectives in science education could generate new knowledge about gender and science education.

References

  1. Abell, S. K. (2007). Research on science teacher knowledge. In S. K. Abell, & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Handbook of research in science education (pp. 1105–1149). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  2. Andersson, K. (2010). “It’s funny that we don’t see the similarities when that’s what we’re aiming for” – Visualizing and challenging teachers’ stereotypes of gender and science. Research in Science Education. doi: 10.1007/s11165-010-9200-7.Google Scholar
  3. Andersson, K., Hussénius, A., & Gustafsson, C. (2009). Gender theory as a tool for analysing science teaching. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25, 336–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Andersson, K., & Gullberg, A. (2011). What is science in preschool and what do teachers have to know to empower the children? Culture Studies of Science Education. Google Scholar
  5. Andersson, K., & Gullberg, A. (2012). What is science in preschool and what do teachers have to know to empower the children? Culture Studies of Science Education. doi: 10.1007/s11422-012-9439-6.Google Scholar
  6. Andrée, M. (2007). Den levda läroplanen. En studie av naturorienterade undervisningspraktiker i grundskolan [The lived curriculum. A study of science classroom practices in lower secondary school]. Stockholms universitet, Studies in Educational Sciences, 97. Stockholm: HLS förlag.Google Scholar
  7. Barton, A. C. (1997). Liberatory science education: Weaving connections between feminist theory and science education. Curriculum Inquiry, 27(2), 141–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brickhouse, N. W. (2001). Embodying science: A feminist perspective on learning. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 38(3), 282–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brotman, J. S., & Moore, F. M. (2008). Girls and science: A review of four themes in the science education literature. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 45(9), 971–1002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bunce, D., & Gabel, D. (2002). Differential effects on the achievement of males and females of teaching the particulate nature of chemistry. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39(10), 911–927.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Carrington, B. (2002). A quintessentially feminine domain? Student teachers’ constructions of primary teaching as a career. Educational Studies, 28(3), 287–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chang, D., Chang, D., & Tseng, K. (2010). Trends of science education research: An automatic content analysis. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 19, 315–331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. DeBoer, G. (1991). A history of ideas in science education: Implications for practice. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  14. Ford, D. J., Fifield, S., Qian, X., Allen, D., Donham, R., & Gwekwerere, Y. (2008). Preservice K-8 teachers’ developing pedagogical context knowledge within an integrated science and education continuum. Paper presented at the National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST), Baltimore, MD.Google Scholar
  15. Fox Keller, E. (1992). Secrets of life. Secrets of death. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Fox Keller, E., & Longino, H. E. (1996). Feminism and science. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Gannerud, E., & Rönnerman, K. (2003). Lärande och omsorg i förskola och skola: IPD-rapporter, nr 2003:03 [Learning and care in preschool and school]. Institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik, Göteborgs universitet.Google Scholar
  18. Hammarström. (2005). Genusperspektiv på medicinen – två decenniers utveckling av medvetenheten om kön och genus inom medicinsk forskning och praktik [Gender perspective in medicine – Two decades of gender awareness development in medical research and practice]. Swedish National Agency for Higher Education.Google Scholar
  19. Harding, S. (1986). The science question in feminism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Hirdman, Y. (1990). Genussystemet. In SOU 1990:44, Demokrati och makt i Sverige [Swedish Government Official Report, SOU 1990:44 Democracy and Power in Sweden]. Stockholm.Google Scholar
  21. Hyde, J. S., & Mertz, J. E. (2009). Gender, culture, and mathematics performance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U S A, 106(22), 8801–8807.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jelly, S. (2001). To teach the children to ask questions – And to answer them. In W. Harlen (Ed.), Primary science: Taking the plunge (pp. 64–76). Portsmouth: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  23. Johannisson, K. (1994). Den mörka kontinenten: kvinnan, medicinen och fin-de-siecle [The dark continent: The woman, the medicine and the fin-de-siecle]. Stockholm: Norstedt.Google Scholar
  24. Lemke, J. L. (1990). Talking science: Language, learning and values. Norwood: Ablex Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  25. Martin, S., Milne, C. E., & Scantlebury, K. (2006). Eyerollers, jokers, risk-takers and turn sharks: Target students in a professional science education program. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 43(8), 819–851.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Nyström, E. (2007). Talking and taking positions. An encounter between action research and the gendered and racialised discourses of school science. Doktorsavhandlingar i pedagogiskt arbete, nr 16. Umeå universitet.Google Scholar
  27. Roth, W. M. (Ed.). (2010). Re/structuring science education: Reuniting sociological and psychological perspectives. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  28. Rubin, G. (1975). The traffic in women: Notes on a ‘political economy’ of sex. In R. Reiter (Ed.), Towards an anthropology of women (pp. 157–210). London: Monthly Review Press.Google Scholar
  29. Roberts, D. A., & Östman, L. (1998). Problems of meaning in science curriculum. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  30. Scantlebury, K. (2010). Still part of the conversation: Gender issues in science education. In B. Fraser, C. McRobbie, & K. Tobin (Eds.), Second international handbook of science education. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  31. Scantlebury, K., & Martin, S. (2010). How does she know? Re-visioning conceptual change from feminist perspectives. In W. M. Roth (Ed.), Re/structuring science education: Reuniting sociological and psychological perspectives (pp. 173–186). Rotterdam: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Shulman, L. S. (1986). Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15(2), 4–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Schmader, T., & Johns, M. (2003). Converging evidence that stereotype threat reduces working memory capacity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85(3), 440–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Summers, L. (2005). Remarks at NBER conference on diversifying the science & engineering workforce. Retrieved August 18, 2011, from http://www.harvard.edu/president/speeches/summers_2005/nber.php
  35. Swahn, E. (2008). Genusperspektiv vid kranskärlssjukdom: praktisk handledning för öppenvården [Gender perspectives in coronary heart disease: Practical guide for non-institutional care]. Södertälje: AstraZeneca.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anita Hussénius
    • 1
  • Kristina Andersson
    • 1
  • Annica Gullberg
    • 2
  • Kathryn Scantlebury
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre for Gender ResearchUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.University of GävleGävleSweden
  3. 3.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  4. 4.Center for Secondary Teacher Education, College of Arts and SciencesUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA

Personalised recommendations