Date of Award

8-1994

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

Abstract

Women tend to hold a smaller population within the fields of science and mathematics than men. This is believed to be largely due to gender bias coming from family, school, and society. The areas of math and science are largely considered to be male-oriented, and female students consider the fields to be largely unavailable to them. This master thesis addresses this topic by surveying a large number of high school math students, and interviewing school faculty.

A large suburban school district in Rochester, NY was used for this research. The study included 285 male students and 343 female students in grades ten through twelve who were surveyed from the following courses; Course III, Pre-Calculus, Advanced Topics in Mathematics, and Calculus. The survey was composed of a profile including age, gender, and current math course as well as a questionnaire of three parts. Part I asked if the student was accelerated or not as well as previous math courses completed. Part II asked the students’ enjoyment and confidence towards mathematics. Part III asked questions pertaining to the students’ reasons for taking advanced math classes. Results showed that there were actually more female students than male students taking advanced math classes, and that female students were generally very confident in their own abilities. Interviews with faculty showed that the mathematics department has many female teachers and this may inspire female students to pursue math.

Comments

Abstract created by repository to aid in discovery.

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