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)


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.


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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

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