Type of Document Dissertation Author Zapata, Mara URN etd-11102005-172610 Title The Attitudes and Beliefs of a Female Science Teacher: Implications in Relation to Gender and Pedagogical Practice Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Middle and Secondary Education, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Alejandro J. Gallard Committee Chair Jeffrey Milligan Committee Member Nancy T. Daviis Committee Member Paul H. Ruscher Committee Member Keywords
- Feminist Poststructuralism
- Social Context of Education
- Science Education
Date of Defense 2005-10-20 Availability unrestricted AbstractRecognizing the role of the larger patriarchal structure in framing social expectations, identifying preconceived notions about gender, and the self-concept of students is critical in understanding what goes on in science classrooms and why. This study examines the relationships between teaching science and gender dynamics in society, and the way in which a female science teacher brings her life experiences to the classroom through her pedagogical practices and interactions with students. These interactions and intents of the teacher are shaped by society, both academically and socially, thus influencing the development and perpetuation of gender identity and doing gender in society.
In this case study of a female science teacher, numerous observations, field notes, researcher interpretations, and assertions were developed. As meanings were negotiated, intent of actions was defined using significant statements, clustered to produce invariant meaning units. Both the participantís intents and how she interpreted her experiences were central to the understandings sought in this study.
The findings of this study point to the tensions between Lauraís attitudes and beliefs and her pedagogical practices, disconfirming these as they pertain to gender in relation to teaching and learning science. The findings also support questioning the role of intentionality and a teacherís perceived ability to adhere to intentions while practicing within the norms established by the social institution of schools operating within the larger structures of society.
The major findings and implications are relevant to the manner teachers are prepared and encouraged to enact their practice by departments and boards of education, prepared by institutions of higher education and subsequent participation in professional development. Specifically, calling attention to how these educational frameworks emphasize or de-emphasize the role of teachers and promote cognizance in terms of the culture of schools, reflective of the larger structures of society. Understanding the larger social structures and manner in which science in particular is formally packaged with its hegemonic reality and power arrangements reflective of such society is important if teachers are going to enact their practice in ways that facilitate this understanding to students.
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