Gender Stereotyping and Female Pupils’ Perception of Studying Advanced Level Sciences: A Survey of One Province in Zimbabwe
In spite of advances in the field of science and technology, females are still under-represented in the sciences. The study sought to explore the perceptions of female pupils regarding studying Advanced level sciences in one province in Zimbabwe. The descriptive survey design was employed. One hundred female pupils learning sciences at either Ordinary or Advanced level in ten selected secondary schools in the province participated in the study. Data was collected through questionnaires and focus group discussions. Findings indicate that female pupils have a negative perception towards studying Advanced level sciences and that the low participation of female pupils in Advanced level sciences stem from their lack of confidence in studying subjects that are regarded as masculine in the society. Schools need to implement programmes designed to alter the negative perception of female pupils towards participation in Advanced level sciences and educate them on the benefits derived from studying advanced sciences.
Key words: gender stereotyping, perception, participation, science education, female pupils