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  • 1.
    Eliasson, Nina
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Science Education and Mathematics.
    Karlsson, Karl Göran
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Science Education and Mathematics.
    Sørensen, Helene
    Aarhus University, København NV, Denmark.
    The role of questions in the science classroom: how girls and boys respond to teachers' questions2017In: International Journal of Science Education, ISSN 0950-0693, E-ISSN 1464-5289, Vol. 39, no 4, p. 433-452Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this study was to explore (a) to what extent male and female science teachers pose different types of questions and (b) if the type of science question posed influences the extent to which boys or girls respond to them. Transcripts of the teacher–student interaction in a whole-class situation were analysed, with attention paid to interactions that involved science questions. Closed and open questions were used. Results revealed that the percentage of closed questions posed corresponded to 87%. Results show that teachers mainly use closed questions, and responses from boys to closed questions are in the majority regardless of if the question is posed by a female teacher (56%) or a male teacher (64%). Both categories of closed questions are mainly considered lower order questions that do not facilitate higher cognitive levels in students. Thus, a direct consequence of an excessive use of this type of questions may be that both boys and girls will be given less opportunities to practise their ability to talk about science. Less access to general classroom interaction may also affect girls’ attitudes to science in a negative way which could ultimately hamper the recruitment of girls to higher scientific studies.

  • 2.
    Eliasson, Nina
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Science Education and Mathematics.
    Sørensen, Helene
    DPU, Aarhus University, Tuborgvej, København, Denmark .
    Karlsson, Karl Göran
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Science Education and Mathematics.
    Teacher-Student Interaction in Contemporary Science Classrooms: Is Participation Still a Question of Gender?2016In: International Journal of Science Education, ISSN 0950-0693, E-ISSN 1464-5289, Vol. 38, no 10, p. 1655-1672Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We show that boys still have a greater access to the space for interaction in science classrooms, which is unexpected since in Sweden today girls perform better in these subjects than boys. Results from video-recorded verbal communication, referred to here as interaction, show that the distribution of teacher–student interaction in the final year of lower secondary school follows the same patterns as in the 1980s. The interaction space for all kinds of talk continues to be distributed according to the two-thirds rule for communication in science classrooms as described by previous research. We also show that the overall interaction space in science classrooms has increased for both boys and girls when talk about science alone is considered. Another finding which follows old patterns is that male teachers still address boys more often than girls. This holds true both for general talk and for talk about science. If a more even distribution of teacher–student interaction is desirable, these results once again need to be considered. More research needs to be undertaken before the association between girls’ attitudes and interest in science in terms of future career choice and the opportunity to participate in teacher–student interaction is more clearly understood.

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