School of Education
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Kurt Y Michael
attitudes, gender gap, middle school, science
Science and Mathematics Education
Schpakow, Michelle, "Male and Female Middle School Students' Attitudes toward Science" (2018). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 1673.
Women continue to be underrepresented in certain disciplines of science. Differences in male and female students’ attitudes toward science have been observed down to the middle school level. Attitudes, however, may be formed through the integration of multiple constructs: attitudes toward school science, desire to become a scientist, value of science to society, and perceptions of scientists. To fully understand the problem of the underrepresentation of females in science, differences in male and female middle school students’ attitudes toward science were analyzed across these constructs. A causal-comparative design was used to compare students’ attitudes toward science based on biological sex. The students responded to Likert-type items on the My Attitudes Toward Science survey during their regularly scheduled science class periods. The sample included sixth, seventh, and eighth grade science students in middle schools located in suburban central New Jersey. Data analysis was performed through a multivariate analysis of variance. The findings indicated no significant difference exists 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.