Gender preferences in learning science

Rae Stark, Donald S Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Scotland has been conducting national monitoring exercises in science performance at three-yearly intervals since 1987 through the Assessment of Achievement Programme (AAP). The fourth survey in 1996 included a questionnaire designed to elicit pupils’ preferences for some common science topics as well as their views on the kinds of learning experiences encountered in school. The responses of a nationally representative sample of pupils at three stages, two primary (P4 – 8/9 years and P7 – 11/12 years) and one secondary (S2 – 13/14 years), were analysed by (st)age and gender. While this element of
the survey was intended primarily as a feasibility study, some clear patterns of preference along age and gender lines were identified. Concerns over achievement and attitudes in science have been particularly sharp in the early secondary years, where pupils have not been meeting expectations. The findings from this national survey are intended to add to that debate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633–643
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1999


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