Science education : Adult biases because of the child's gender and gender stereotypicality

Journal article


Newall, Carol, Gonsalkorale, Karen, Walker, Ellen, Forbes, Anne, Highfield, Kate and Sweller, Naomi. (2018). Science education : Adult biases because of the child's gender and gender stereotypicality. Contemporary Educational Psychology. 55, pp. 30-41. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2018.08.003
AuthorsNewall, Carol, Gonsalkorale, Karen, Walker, Ellen, Forbes, Anne, Highfield, Kate and Sweller, Naomi
Abstract

A child’s gender, specifically being a girl, is often thought to play a causal role in diminishing educational opportunities in science. However, few studies have experimentally manipulated the child’s gender to examine this issue. To this end, the current study manipulated the child’s gender and gender stereotypicality to investigate their impact on adults’ perceptions of the child’s science ability and enjoyment, and the delivery of scientific content during a teaching module. Eighty-one university students (65 women, Mage = 23.60 years) were given a fictional profile of an 8-year-old child with the task of teaching that child over Skype. Each child’s fictional profile was experimentally manipulated for gender (boy or girl) and gender stereotypicality (either gender typical or gender ambiguous). Results revealed that participants rated girls as less academically capable than boys in physics, and delivered less scientific information during a teaching module when they believed they were teaching a girl. Gender stereotypic girls were perceived as being the least likely to enjoy science. These findings are unique because they demonstrate clear educational disadvantages for girls because of their gender or stereotypicality. The results are discussed in terms of implications for gender equity in science education.

Keywordsgender; science education; stereotypes; children; STEM
Year2018
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
Journal citation55, pp. 30-41
PublisherElsevier Inc.
ISSN0361-476X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2018.08.003
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85052638865
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range30-41
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online21 Aug 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited21 Feb 2022
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