For more than 40 years, researchers have been studying the persistent underrepresentation of women in science. Today, the gender gap has narrowed in some, but not all, disciplines of science. To better understand the impetus of this continuing problem, the attitudes of middle school students toward science were examined using a causal-comparative design based on biological sex across four attitude constructs: attitudes toward school science, desire to become a scientist, value of science to society, and perceptions of scientists. A sample of 450 sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade science students located in suburban, central New Jersey responded to Likert-type items on the My Attitudes Toward Science (MATS) survey during their regularly scheduled science class periods. Data analysis was performed through a multivariate analysis of variance. The findings indicated no statistically significant differences in middle school students’ attitudes toward school science, desire to become a scientist, value of science to society, and perceptions of scientists based on biological sex of the students. Implications for the findings are discussed.
Schpakow, Michelle L.; Wendt, Jillian L.; and Paynter, Kelly (2021) "An Examination of Middle School Students’ Attitudes Toward Science," Journal of Mathematics and Science: Collaborative Explorations: Vol. 17 : No. 1 , Article 18.
Available at: https://scholarscompass.vcu.edu/jmsce_vamsc/vol17/iss1/18