Invisible women: Gender representation in high school science courses across Australia

Article


Ross, Kathryn, Galaudage, Shanika, Clark, Tegan, Lowson, Nataliea, Battisti, Andrew, Adam, Helen, Ross, Alexandra K. and Sweaney, Nici. 2023. "Invisible women: Gender representation in high school science courses across Australia." Australian Journal of Education. 67 (3), pp. 231-252. https://doi.org/10.1177/00049441231197245
Article Title

Invisible women: Gender representation in high school science courses across Australia

ERA Journal ID20013
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsRoss, Kathryn, Galaudage, Shanika, Clark, Tegan, Lowson, Nataliea, Battisti, Andrew, Adam, Helen, Ross, Alexandra K. and Sweaney, Nici
Journal TitleAustralian Journal of Education
Journal Citation67 (3), pp. 231-252
Number of Pages22
Year2023
PublisherSAGE Publications Ltd
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN0004-9441
2050-5884
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/00049441231197245
Web Address (URL)https:///journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/00049441231197245
AbstractThe visibility of female role models in science is vital for engaging and retaining women in scientific fields. In this study, we analyse four senior secondary science courses delivered across the states and territories in Australia: Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Physics. We compared male and female representation within the science courses by examining the mentions of male and female scientists along with the context of their inclusions in the syllabuses. We find a clear gender bias with only one unique mention of a female scientist. We also find a clear Eurocentric focus and narrow representation of scientists. This bias will contribute to the continuing low engagement of women in scientific fields. We outline possible solutions to address this issue, including the accreditation of scientific discoveries to include female scientists and explicit discussion of structural barriers preventing the participation and progression of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). © Australian Council for Educational Research 2023.
KeywordsGender bias; gender stereotypes; curriculum design; secondary science
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390113. Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy
390203. Sociology of education
440509. Women's studies (incl. girls' studies)
Byline AffiliationsCurtin University
No affiliation
Australian National University
University of Southern Queensland
Edith Cowan University
Australian Wildlife Conservancy, Australia
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