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Girls' entry into higher secondary sciences

Hatchell, H. (1998) Girls' entry into higher secondary sciences. Gender and Education, 10 (4). pp. 375-386.

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Numerous reports since the 1970s showed that there was a great concern about the lack of femals, students entering the sciences in Australia. Despite these concerns, there still appears to be a reluctance on the part of females to enter the sciences. This article draws on research conducted with Year 10 students within the Perth metropolitan area and examines the effects of encouragement as perceived by these female students. A qualitative methodological approach was utilised, where, perceptions were compiled from individual in-depth interviews, open ended questionnaires, and through participatory observation in the classrooms, This study has been reported from a feminist position which locates gender as central and which posits that human subjects are positioned and position themselves in a multiplicity of ways through the discourses to which they have access. This study showed that encouragement played a major part in the. way female, students actively positioned themselves in the science classroom as high achievers, These students also spoke, out against fitting into the feminine, 'mould' of being quiet and hard working. The way they positioned themselves was influential in these female students' choice to continue with sciences into the higher secondary level and ultimately into further education and possibly a career.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Publisher: Carfax Publishing Ltd.
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