The paper we’ll be discussing this week is:
Archer, Louise et al. 2010. “‘Doing’ science versus ‘being’ a scientist: Examining 10/11-year-old schoolchildren’s constructions of science through the lens of identity”, Science Education 94(4): 617-639. doi: 10.1002/sce.20399. Download PDF (146kB)
- Do the findings reported in the paper mirror your own experience – that gender differences account for the degree to which students engage with school science after primary school and that students can “enjoy” science without wanting to “become” scientists? Why?
- Can you think of ways in which we can challenge the prejudices some children may have about a “science identity” being “undesirable” or even “unthinkable”?
- The authors state that “in its present form, science appears to be constructed as ‘too feminized’ for (many) boys and ‘too masculine’ for (many) girls”. Would one way of dealing with this be to insist on teaching boy and girls separately?
- To what extent do you agree that “as Osborne and Dillon (2008) have argued, what is required is a new vision of science education, not only of what we know and how we know, but also what kinds of careers science affords – both in science and from science – and why these careers are personally fulfilling, worthwhile, and rewarding.”?
- What is responsible for the pupils’ (predominantly boys’) obsession with science as “dangerous”? Why is science “associated with explosions and bangs”? Does this – and should this – have any impact on your teaching?
- How might the findings of this research influence your teaching?