Teaching Science for Girls
Boys and girls learn differently – this fact is proven in several studies (Sir Peter Knight, 2012). This is visible especially in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), in which female learners are often less successfully in their learning compared with the male learners (Keller, 2013).
This paper describes a new pedagogical approach to strengthen female learners in STEM subjects. The method was developed in School Education and focuses on the age of 16 to 18 years old students. The method uses analogous comparisons by taking examples or situations from everyday life and in consequence the logical or analogous transfer to the scientific problem. The method uses the development of imaginations or “pictures in the head” to develop a view of the analogy; this picture is transferred as a problem-solving idea to the concrete scientific problem. Multimedia material like animations are used to provide a higher level of imagination and to develop the understanding for the discussed problem. The method was developed in the subjects physics, mathematics and computer science and was tested in physics at high school level.
The research questions focused on the proof of the acceptance of the method, the feedback of concerned female learners; and finally, how male learners also can benefit of this pedagogical approach. The paper presents the result of a study with a sample of approx. 150 learners from different schools in Austria.
The results of the study were published at the ICERI 2017 (in Seville).