The Relationships Between Gender, Mindset, and Science Inquiry in Middle School Science




Hooper, Jennifer D.

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My dissertation is a pre-mid-post-test, quantitative research design, including surveys and written assessments, to answer these research questions:1. How do students' science mindset vary over time when engaged in science inquiry activities? Is there a difference between male and female students?2. Is there a relationship between 7th grade students' performance on science inquiry activities and their science mindset? Is there a difference between males and females? The scatter plots generated from the survey data for question #1 display a pronounced shift for all students, moving an average of one point towards a growth mindset and 49% of females had a positive change from a fixed to a growth mindset. For question number #2 I did not find a linear correlation between a student's science mindset and their written assessment, despite showing a large movement of student's mindset towards growth after a second science inquiry intervention. A female's science identity weakens if elements such as self-efficacy, interest, and willingness to challenge themselves are missing. As students become more familiar with scientific inquiry, there is a deeper understanding of the science content by communicating within their group and engaging in a hands-on lab activity. In pursuit of a more in-depth understanding, a student's self-efficacy and identity in science increase as well as a growth mindset (Devers, 2015). My research shows that the use of scientific inquiry as a teaching method directly impacts a female's science growth mindset and may reduce the gender gap in science achievement.


The author has granted permission for their work to be available to the general public.


Gender Gap in Science Achievement, Mindset, Science Inquiry



Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching