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Spotting the Science Culture - Integrating Gender Perspectives into Science Courses

Anita Hussenius, Kristina Andersson, Annica Gullberg

Abstract


Teaching about gender theories as well as highlighting science as culture has been integrated into science courses within teacher education programs (early childhood education to lower secondary) in Sweden, in order to increase the understanding of what may contribute to the emergence of students’ negative attitudes towards science and to the attitude differences between girls and boys. The underlying feminist starting point was the theoretical assumption that such an expansion of the ordinary course content may lead to prospective teachers working with natural sciences in new ways. Thus, gender theories and analyses, critiques from feminist science philosophers, the use of cases and reflection tasks, and mandatory written assignments are some of the additions to the courses, along with the ordinary concepts and phenomena-oriented content. The students were urged to assume a position where they examined the subject and the activities they took part in from an external perspective while studying the subject. This case study discusses experiences from the project and illustrates what a widened critical perspective can bring to higher education. The practical implementation is described and exemplified. Finally, some conclusions and implications for teacher education are presented.


Keywords


culture of science; gender; teacher education; integrating gender perspectives

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