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Visual representations of women in a Jamaican school science textbook

Lodge, W; Reiss, M; (2021) Visual representations of women in a Jamaican school science textbook. International Journals of Science Education 10.1080/09500693.2021.1957514. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The gender gap in post-compulsory science education remains a key concern for educators in many countries. Over the last two decades significant effort has been placed in a number of initiatives aimed not only at raising the profile of science in schools, but also at widening female participation. Despite these initiatives, the rate of female participation in science has typically remained below that of males. Although many reasons have been advanced to explain this, visual representations in school science textbooks remain under-researched. Against a background of gender disparity in the Jamaican education system, this article examines the extent to which visual representations in a widely used school science textbook reinforce or ameliorate gender stereotypes. The results indicate that the textbook presents implicit support for gender-biased messages, though in ways that are more subtle than might be supposed. There were a number of ways in which the images did not favour males over females but there were also other ways in which males were more likely to be portrayed as powerful and in high-status ‘positions’, while females were more likely to be depicted in inferior situations. Such gender representations may affect how students see themselves in relation to science.

Type: Article
Title: Visual representations of women in a Jamaican school science textbook
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2021.1957514
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/09500693.2021.1957514
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Keywords: Sexist ideology, gender biased, visual representation, science textbook
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10133831
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