Gender and Doctoral Physics Education: Are We Asking the Right Questions?

  • Allison J. Gonsalves


Researchers have been exploring the issue of women’s attrition from science doctoral programs for over two decades, but understanding the problem of the under-representation of women in science has remained limited. Thus, the study on which this chapter is based was conceived to examine possible reasons for the under-representation of women in physics, and to understand reasons why women stay in physics. What emerged from this study, however, was the realization that specific questions around why women leave or stay in physics are not sufficient to understand the problem of how to develop gender-inclusive educational practices in doctoral physics. A redefinition of the so-called problem of women in science is necessary: one that de-centres the category woman, and rather focuses on the ways that gender is produced in doctoral physics programs to reify and sustain the current gender order.


Science Education Scanning Tunnelling Microscope Doctoral Student Subject Position Doctoral Candidate 
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Copyright information

© Springer Netherlands 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université de MontréalMontréalCanada
  2. 2.University of MontrealMontrealCanada

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