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|Title:||Girls and science education in Mauritius: A study of science class practices and their effects on girls|
|Publisher:||Taylor & Francis|
|Citation:||Research in Science & Technological Education, 31(3): pp. 252 - 268, ( 2013)|
|Abstract:||Background: The population of Mauritius consists of 52% females and scientific literacy is seen to be of vital importance for all young people if they are to be sufficiently equipped to meet the challenges of a fast changing world. Previous research shows, however, that science is not popular among girls. This paper explores one of many reasons why few girls opt for science subjects after compulsory schooling. Purpose: This study investigated the approaches to teaching in four science classrooms in Mauritius, with particular emphases on the preferences of girls as they learn science. Sample: A total of 20 student interviews and 16 teacher interviews were conducted in four schools in Mauritius. The four mixed-faith schools comprised two all-girl schools (one state, one fee-paying), and two mixed-sex schools (one state, one fee-paying), within urban, suburban and rural situations. Design and method: 80 non-participant lessons were observed, of which 60 were science lessons while the remaining 20 non-science lessons were in economics, accounts and commerce. Group interviews with five pupils in each of the four schools were conducted and 16 individual interviews with teachers in the four schools gave an insight into the pedagogic approaches used for the teaching and learning of science. Results: Transmissive approaches to teaching, giving little opportunity for collaborative or activity-based learning, were found to be the most important factors in alienating the girls from science. Conclusions: There need to be radical changes in approaches to teaching to retain young girls’ interest in the sciences.|
|Appears in Collections:||Dept of Education Research Papers|
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