DIVERSITY

The physics of a gender gap

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Science  19 Aug 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6301, pp. 787-788
DOI: 10.1126/science.353.6301.787-g

Women are underrepresented at all levels of physics, even though the number of girls taking physics classes in U.S. high schools is increasing. Lock and Hazari examined the relationship between gender narratives and who students believe can be a physicist. They analyzed documentation of the classes of one high school teacher who engaged students in discussions on the underrepresentation of women in physics, along with student and teacher interviews and relevant student work, for possible mechanisms connecting these discussions to an increase in physics identity for female students. They found that the discussions created an opportunity for students' views of professional and school science to change, which may subsequently enable a shift in physics identity development among female students.

Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.12.020101 (2016)

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