Gender Differences in Teenagers’ Perceptions and Attitudes toward Sciences
The adolescence represents a significant period in the life of an individual, characterized by rapid transformations and evolutions, where new experiences are faced and lived - practically, the most complex stage on the road to maturity. In general, the dynamics of this age is marked by deep crisis, by internal and external conflicts, emerged in the attempts to discover the self-identity. Studies on gender differences in adolescence are focused on issues concerning the formation of self-identity, self-esteem, appearance of crisis that marks this stage and ways to overcome them on educational performance and school success, but also on the existed options of choosing a career or crystalizing the future profession. Differences in the perception and attitude of male and female adolescents are important in terms of discovering the mechanisms that favor to achieve outstanding results, which may generate interest for major topics and motivational support for specific activities. But when Science area (even in the traditional format of Physics-Chemistry-Biology) is presented to adolescences, it seems that it cannot be said that Science peak their interest, being qualified as having rather a negative image for most of them. In this sense, the aim of the paper is to highlight the teen-agers’ perception and their attitude towards scientific activities, taking into account the gender variable, considering the designing of appropriate learning opportunities in relation to students’ interests and particularities. The analysis was performed following the feed-back expressed by 185 high-school students (11th and 12th grades), before the classroom interventions of inquire-based science teaching modules designed in the frame of the European FP7 Project entitled: “PROFILES - Professional Reflection Oriented Focus on Inquiry-based Learning and Education through Science”.
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