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How the perception of female students of people interested in mathematics influences their willingness to pursue mathematics in future study and career

Pasch, Eline (2021) How the perception of female students of people interested in mathematics influences their willingness to pursue mathematics in future study and career. Research Project in Science Communication, Science Education and Communication.

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Abstract

Studies and careers with a high level of mathematics are still dominated by males; the current male stereotype of mathematicians is often proposed as a cause of this. In order to better understand the current stereotype in terms of gender, we used the Traditional Masculinity-Femininity (TMF) Scale. 129 students of two high schools were asked to fill out how they would rate themselves and people interested in mathematics on a femininity-masculinity scale and what their future plans were with respect to mathematics. We found that males, who more inclined to identify with the stereotype they had, were more likely to pursue a career with a high level of mathematics, but for females this effect was not seen. The TMF questionnaire was followed up by semi-structured interviews with three female high school students to understand how aspects other than gender influenced their view on people interested in mathematics. The main finding was that, even though the stereotype they had was male, the general personality traits they linked to a person interested in mathematics were more of influence on their future decisions than the gender of the stereotype. They perceived people interested in mathematics as plain and boring and therefore did not want to join this group.

Item Type: Thesis (Research Project in Science Communication)
Supervisor name: Mali, A.
Degree programme: Science Education and Communication
Thesis type: Research Project in Science Communication
Language: English
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2021 09:24
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2021 09:24
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/25627

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