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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.504 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Imprimir: 1072-8325
ISSN On-line: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.2012002317
pages 153-178

KEEPING THE GIRLS VISIBLE IN K−12 SCIENCE EDUCATION REFORM EFFORTS: A FEMINIST CASE STUDY ON PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING

Gayle A. Buck
Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Indiana University, W.W. Wright Education Building, Bloomington, Indiana, USA
Nicole M. Beeman-Cadwallader
Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Indiana University, W.W. Wright Education Building, Bloomington, Indiana, USA
Amy E. Trauth-Nare
Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Indiana University, W.W. Wright Education Building, Bloomington, Indiana, USA

RESUMO

Research has provided us with valuable understandings of girls' experiences in traditional classrooms, yet little is known about their experiences with contemporary reform efforts that alter these classrooms. The purpose of this feminist case study was to provide a descriptive, as well as interpretive, account of seventh-grade girls' cognitive and procedural engagement in a problem-based Earth and space unit, specifically focusing on how various instructional strategies influenced engagement. We addressed the question: What aspects of the problem-based learning (PBL) instructional approach fostered or hindered the girls' procedural and cognitive engagement in science education. The final analysis revealed four broad themes. These themes articulate connections among girls' levels and types of engagement and (1) interpersonal aspects of PBL instruction, (2) level of task structure, (3) technology-enhanced approaches, and (4) authentic contexts in PBL instruction. The findings from this case study contribute to an understanding of the impact of science education reform effort on girls' participation and offer possible directions for making this effort more conducive to girls' needs.


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