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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, T; Reiss, MJ; (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 (11) pp. 1824-1845. 10.1080/09500693.2012.762699. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper explores the factors that are associated in England with 15-year-old students' intentions to study physics after the age of 16, when it is no longer compulsory. Survey responses were collated from 5,034 year 10 students as learners of physics during the academic year 2008-2009 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 after the age of 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. © 2013 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Type: Article
Title: 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
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2012.762699
UCL classification: UCL > School of Education
UCL > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy & Assessment
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1529523
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