Gender Issues in Science Education Research: Remembering Where the Difference Lies
In the early twentieth century, Virginia Woolf (1938) noted that men had centuries of experience with and in public education. Access to public education had only recently become available to women, and she suggested that women saw the world “through different senses.” Woolf suggested that exploring those differences has provided an opportunity to improve education. For the past 40 years, gender research in science education has explored those differences. Often, curriculum choices, assessment techniques, and pedagogical practices that improve women and girls’ knowl-
edge, understanding, attitudes, and participation in science are also beneficial to the majority of their male peers. Since gaining access to science education, women and girls have overcome many obstacles, and although females perform well on various measures of science achievement, comprise at least 50% of the graduates from many undergraduate and graduate science programs, and have used their senses to conduct scientific research differently from their male colleagues, inequities in science education between females and male still exist at all levels and across different societies.