An investigation into gender differences in attitudes to sciences and how they affect science achievement levels among pupils in selected secondary schools in the Copperbelt Province
Mbulwe, Annette Chomba
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Science and Technology have been identified as being critically important for national and personal development and advancement in the modern world. Therefore it is important that human resource development involves both males and females. However there are remarkable disparities in both participation and achievement in science between males and females with males over-represented and females underrepresented. These disparities have been attested in Zambia as well as in other countries. To examine certain aspects of this problem investigations of females* poor participation and achievement in science were conducted. The present study looked at attitudes as one of the prime factors related to academic achievement which lead to differential participation of males and females in science. It sought to investigate; a.) the relationship between gender of Grade Twelve pupils and their attitudes towards the study of science. b) the relationship between career preference, parents', peers* and teachers* attitudes and attitudes of Grade Twelve boys and girls towards the study of science. c) the relationship between Grade Twelve boys' and girls' attitudes and their level of achievement in science examinations. The findings were that boys have significantly more favourable attitudes to the study of science than girls. The results also showed that parents, teachers and peers all have significantly more favourable attitudes to the study of science by boys than to its study by girls. This implies that parents, teachers and peers as agents of socialisation would rather see more males than females in science and technological fields. Such negative attitudes to the study of science by girls contribute to the less favourable attitudes girls themselves have towards the study of science.