Date of Award

4-25-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.Ed.

Department

Education

First Advisor

Zhou, George

Keywords

Chinese high school education, female underrepresentation, gender equity, STEM

Rights

CC-BY-NC-ND

Abstract

In Chinese education, there is a conflict between girls’ socialized gender norms and the values and pedagogies that are incorporated in the science curriculum. These are influenced at both the micro- and macro-level of institutions and often discourage female students from choosing science courses, pushing them into social science instead. In order to ensure that female students have the same opportunities to reach their potential in science areas, it is important to understand the factors that influence their choices. This study investigates the potential reasons why female high school students in China are less likely to choose STEM subjects and direction. By conducting qualitative interviews with six female students, in two Chinese high schools, who have been enrolled in social sciences courses, the study discovers several factors, including the influence of current sciences curriculum, teachers, labor market, parents, and peers, behind their decision-making behaviors. The findings of this study enrich existing research on gender equity in science community by exploring the gender issue in Chinese high school education and provide a direction for future research on this topic while informing policies that can address gender disparities in science programs.

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