Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Charles L. Mulford
This dissertation describes the results of a three-day role model intervention. The intervention utilized female scientists and engineers to change the attitudes of ninth grade students toward science and math and toward the role of females in technical careers. A general introduction and literature review describe factors influencing the attitudes and behaviors of adolescent girls toward science and technology. Three papers report the results of the study;In the first paper, we explain the development and testing of an instrument designed to measure ninth grade students' attitudes toward science and math and the role of females in technical careers. The questionnaire was developed to evaluate the effectiveness of the role model intervention. Mean student responses to eleven pre-test items relating to the role of females in technical careers were skewed, indicating that gender stereotyping was not pronounced: A factor analysis indicated that seven factors defined students' attitudes toward science and math;The second article describes the design, administration and results of the pre-test. Mean factor scores revealed that participating ninth grade girls and boys like math more than science, that girls and boys like math equally well, and that boys like science more than girls. Differences appear to be school specific;The third article evaluates the effectiveness of the intervention. The intervention was developed to inform students about the importance of science and math courses to many careers; to encourage them to stay in science and math so as to not limit their options; and to emphasize that these careers are appropriate for both girls and boys. The differences between the students' mean pre- and post-test scores on six factors found to be associated with students' interest in and attitudes toward science and math and technical careers were analyzed to determine which of five experimental groups responded most positively to the intervention. Higher difference scores indicated that the attitudes of girls and boys who participated in the intervention improved more than the attitudes of girls and boys in the control groups.
Digital Repository @ Iowa State University, http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/
Mary Ann Evans
Evans, Mary Ann, "Changing attitudes toward science and women in science: assessing the impact of a role model intervention on ninth grade students " (1992). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 9992.