Motivational differences in science course enrolment shown by males and females in grades 9 through OAC
Leone, Domenica M.
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A sample of 1,345 students enrolled in advanced-level science courses from Grades 9 through OAe was surveyed in order to gain perspective into the existence of motivational differences attributing to science course enrolment by gender. Records of enrolment were examined in order to detect patterns and trends. A questionnaire was devised and piloted. It measured five motivational variables - demographics, science and science-related experiences, science ability and attitudes, impressions about women in science, and importance of science and science-related skills. The students also provided some impressions about the image of scientists. Results of the questionnaire were analyzed for frequency of responses and for significant gender differences using the chi-square. Differences were found to exist in the areas of science anxiety as it relates to testing and oral participation; in motivation generated by the performance of extra-curricular science and science-related activities, and by the classroom environment; in impressions of women in science; in the importance of science skills, and in the area of teacher influence. The study also showed a differential enrolment of females, with an emphasis on biology and chemistry. The males were enrolled in courses of physics and chemistry. The findings lead to numerous suggested strategies and programs for encouraging the participation of females in science education and careers.