Faculteit der Natuurwetenschappen, Wiskunde en Informatica

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Natascha Musters

Creating equal opportunities for boys and girls in upper secondary physics education.

Promotor: Prof. dr. M.G.J. Swerts (UvT), en co-promotor/dagelijks begeleiders: Dr. A.M.L. Aarts (UvT), en Dr. M.A.A. van Amelsvoort (UvT)

Gender differences in Dutch education have continued to receive quite some scholarly attention. In

Dutch secondary and higher education boys have –on average- less favorable school careers than girls, resulting in school dropout or continuing education at a lower level, as indicated in the report of the educational council last year. Girls seem to have better working attitudes and motivation to study, which may account for this difference. In physics however, results from the last seven years of the largest school federation in the Netherlands show that boys outperform girls on the national final exams. In this research proposal, we aim for gender equitable upper secondary physics education. A first literature search seems to point towards su-student interactions and teaching methods as possible causes of gender differences. We will explore these issues further in a systematic literature review. Results of the review will be explored in the teaching practice of physics teachers by using both teacher and student questionnaires, textbook analysis, classroom observations and focus groups. Based on these data and in collaboration with physics teachers, learning material and classroom interventions will be created using Lesson Study. To reach dissemination of the outcomes, a training for physics teachers will be designed, executed and evaluated.