The influence of school science teachers : the differential importance attributed by males and females to encouragement from science teachers

Wilson, Sue A., Lyons, Terry, & Quinn, Frances (2013) The influence of school science teachers : the differential importance attributed by males and females to encouragement from science teachers. In World Conference on Science and Technology Education (WorldSTE Borneo), 29 September - 3 October 2013, Sarawak, Malaysia.

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Research on the achievement and retention of female students in science and mathematics is located within a context of falling levels of participation in physical science and mathematics courses in Australian schools, and underrepresentation of females in some science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses. The Interests and Recruitment in Science (IRIS) project is an international project that aims to contribute to understanding and improving recruitment, retention and gender equity in STEM higher education.

Nearly 3500 first year students in 30 Australian universities responded to the IRIS survey of 5-point Likert items and open responses. This paper explores gender differences in first year university students’ responses to three questions about important influences on their course choice.

The IRIS study found good teachers were rated highly by both males and females as influential in choosing STEM courses, and significantly higher numbers of females rated personal encouragement from senior high school science teacher as very important. In suggestions for addressing sex disparities in male-dominated STEM courses, more females indicated the importance of good teaching/encouragement and more females said (unspecified) encouragement. This study relates to the influence of school science teachers and results are discussed in relation to implications for science education.

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ID Code: 68275
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Pre-QUT publication
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Science education, Science teachers, Teacher participation
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Science Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy (130212)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators (130313)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Teacher Education & Leadership
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 12 Mar 2014 01:31
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2014 06:23

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