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Inequality in experiences of physics education: secondary school girls’ and boys’ perceptions of their physics education and intentions to continue with physics after the age of 16

Mujtaba, Tamjid and Reiss, Michael (2013) Inequality in experiences of physics education: secondary school girls’ and boys’ perceptions of their physics education and intentions to continue with physics after the age of 16. International Journal of Science Education, 35. pp. 1824-1845. ISSN 0950-0693. DOI UNSPECIFIED

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Abstract

This paper explores the factors that are associated in England with 15 year-old students’ intentions to study physics post-16, when it is no longer compulsory. Survey responses were collated from 5034 year 10 students as learners of physics during the academic year 2008-09 from 137 England secondary schools. Our analysis uses individual items from the survey rather than constructs (aggregates of items) to explore what it is about physics teachers, physics lessons and physics itself that is most correlated with intended participation in physics post-16. Our findings indicate that extrinsic material gain motivation in physics was the most important factor associated with intended participation. In addition, an item-level analysis helped to uncover issues around gender inequality in physics educational experiences which were masked by the use of construct-based analyses. Girls’ perceptions of their physics teachers were similar to those of boys on many fronts. However, despite the encouragement individual students receive from their teachers being a key factor associated with aspirations to continue with physics, girls were statistically significantly less likely to receive such encouragement. We also found that girls had less positive experiences of their physics lessons and physics education than did boys.

Item Type: Article
Controlled Keywords: Physics, Inequality, Science, Gender, Science education
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2014 11:58
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 09:07
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