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Using the DAST-C to explore Colombian and Bolivian students' images of scientists


Abstract and Figures

The way in which students view science and its practitioners, particularly during their late elementary and early secondary grade levels, has been at the core of numerous studies dating back to research by Mead & Metraux (Science 126:384–390, 1957). In this study, we used the Draw-a-Scientist Test Checklist developed by Finson, Beaver & Cramond (Sch Sci Math 95(4):195–205, 1995) to explore and document Colombian and Bolivian students’ perceptions of scientists. Despite the wealth of information from years of study, there is a lack of research on images held by students in Latin American nations. This study involved Colombian and Bolivian students (N = 1,017) in 5th to 11th grades and was aimed at providing an original account of how these students picture scientists and science. Results suggest differences on how students perceive scientists based on nationality, grade and school type. We discuss how features may be associated with educational and socioeconomic status in each school community. Key wordsimages–Latin America–perception–school science–scientists
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Received: 19 August 2009; Accepted: 21 April 2010
ABSTRACT. The way in which students view science and its practitioners, particularly
during their late elementary and early secondary grade levels, has been at the core of
numerous studies dating back to research by Mead & Metraux (Science 126:384390,
1957). In this study, we used the Draw-a-Scientist Test Checklist developed by Finson,
Beaver & Cramond (Sch Sci Math 95(4):195205, 1995) to explore and document
Colombian and Bolivian studentsperceptions of scientists. Despite the wealth of
information from years of study, there is a lack of research on images held by students in
Latin American nations. This study involved Colombian and Bolivian students (N= 1,017)
in 5th to 11th grades and was aimed at providing an original account of how these students
picture scientists and science. Results suggest differences on how students perceive
scientists based on nationality, grade and school type. We discuss how features may be
associated with educational and socioeconomic status in each school community.
KEY WORDS: images, Latin America, perception, school science, scientists
It is believed that, by the end of elementary school, students have formed
an image about scientists (Schibeci & Sorenson, 1983) which will
influence their identification with (Losh, Wilke & Pop, 2008) or against
science (Matkins, 1996). These images seem to be related to future career
choices (Mason, Butler-Kahle & Gardner, 1991), attitudes toward the
study of this subject (Tobin & Fraser, 1987; Finson, et al., 1995) and
participation roles in science classrooms (Faye-Neathery, 1997). With
very few exceptions (Sala & de Gómezgil, 1975), the bulk of research has
centered on assessing studentsimages of scientists in school communi-
ties from most developed countries (MDCs), particularly the USA
(Barman, Ostlund, Gatto & Halferty, 1997; Bodzin & Gehringer, 2001;
Farland & McComas, 2008; Faye-Neathery, 1997; Jones & Bangert,
2006; Painter, Jones, Tretter & Kubasko, 2006), Australia and Canada
(Chambers, 1983) and Europe (Raty & Snellman, 1997; Reis & Galvão,
2004). Surprisingly and despite the substantial amount of research
devoted to this issue, similar research efforts are non-existent in Latin
America. There is also a lack of this type of research in other non-
International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education (2011) 9: 657Y690
#National Science Council, Taiwan (2010)
Western countries (Song & Kim, 1999). The participation of Latin
American countries in the international scientific community has been
found to be considerably low (Pineda, 2003); it is in the school
classrooms where this phenomenon starts to form. Quiroga (2007)
maintains that there are two major factors, family and the schooling
process, that influence the interest in and practice of science by students
in these countries. Sociocultural issues and traditions are deeply rooted in
the family and community structure. High levels of poverty, especially in
public schools, place much of the student population in early disadvan-
tage vs. those students coming from more affluent backgrounds. One
issue that deserves special attention is the participation of women in
science. This perception gains significance in this study due to the
predominant role of males in Latin American family and community life,
a factor that is somewhat replicated in school, especially in rural and
provincial settings. Efforts put forth by institutions such as the Third
World Organization for Women in Sciences (TWOWS), the Bolivian
Organization for Women in Science (BOWS) and the 2007 Women,
Science and Technology Summitare intended to give girls the tools to
become independent learners, which is an essential piece of the model
being suggested by these organizations to achieve a more balanced
participation of children in science and therefore the consolidation of the
scientific disciplines in school classrooms (Quiroga, 2007). If we know
that the way in which students depict and view a typical scientist is
influenced by their cultural background (Song & Kim, 1999) and that
science conceptions are built on a specific socio-cultural reality(Reis &
Galvão, 2004, p. 1622), then it should be reasonable to consider and
contribute to science education practices in less developed countries
(LDCs) from a socialcultural standpoint.
In terms of the scientific profession and its practitioners, which is the
central topic of this manuscript, the participation of Latin Americans in
science has been historically small. For instance, while industrialized
nations are home to 94% of the worlds scientists, Latin America
contributes only 1% of scientists, of whom only 1% are Colombians
(Pineda, 2003, p. 91). According to the Colombian Observatory of
Science and Technology (OCyT), Colombian publications between 1997
and 2004, as reported by the Science Citation Index, accounted for only
2.42% of the database. Bolivia contributed at 0.33% in the region, while
Brazil and Mexico showed the highest scholarly productivity with rates of
43.8% and 18.5%, respectively (OCyT, 2004). Given this information, it
would be important to shed light on how cultural assumptions affect the
images of scientists produced by students from LDCs, which is a missing
element in previous research (Carlton-Parsons, 1997; Song & Kim, 1999).
Considering these factors in times of globalization, this type of research is
welcome in the broad sense of an education community (Jones &
Bangert, 2006) and especially needed by science educators in Latin
Drawings to elicit studentsperceptions about characters in different
fields, for instance the Draw-a-Mathematician at Work Test (Picker &
Berry, 2000) and the Draw-an-Archaeologist Test (Renoe, 2003), have
been found to be valid and reliable instruments to assess students
intellectual development. The richness of pictorial representations also
conveys information about studentsown worlds and feelings with regard
to their membership to a given group or discipline. Since images inform
us how individuals see the world around them (Knight & Cunningham,
2004), they are appropriate tools for researchers to learn about the sense
making process students use in everyday experiences.
The study of the images students form about scientists has been the
focus of numerous studies in science education research starting with the
Mead & Metrauxs(1957) study which was aimed at exploring, through
written reports, studentsviews on scientistspersonalities and their
profession. In 1983, Chambers suggested the Draw-a-Scientist Test
(DAST) which has since made the pictorial representation an established
tool in the science education research agenda (She, 1998). Building upon
Chambers(1983) instrument, Finson et al. (1995) developed a checklist
to accompany the use of this instrument, producing an enhanced version
which they called the Draw-a-Scientist-Test Checklist (DAST-C). The
importance of having a checklist is supported by the fact that it brings
objectivity to the recording and coding procedures. It also presents
researchers with a finite list of stereotypical elements likely to be found in
pictorial representations of scientists submitted by students. In addition to
the seven stereotypical characteristics (see Table 3) reported by Chambers
(1983), the DAST-C suggests an additional feature, alternative images
(e.g. indications of danger, presence of light bulbs) which has expanded
the scope of the instrument to 15 stereotypical features. Each item in the
instrument is rated with either 1 or 0 points depending on the presence or
absence of the mentioned features in the checklist. A students perception
of scientists, as measured with the DAST-C overall rating, is placed along
a continuum that depicts the degree of stereotypical quality. An overall
high score is associated with stereotypical depictions, whereas low ratings
indicate less stereotypical images.
The effectiveness of the DAST has been demonstrated through
numerous studies which have shown consistency in results over years
of implementation (Finson et al., 1995; Lunn & Noble, 2008; Monhardt,
2003; Symington & Spurling, 1990). Unlike previous studies that require
students to provide a written response, this instrument asks students to
complete a drawing of a scientist or scientists. Part of their versatility is
that they circumvent difficulties that may arise in terms of language when
working with student populations with differing native languages
(Schibeci & Sorenson, 1983) or with elementary school students not yet
proficient in written responses (Monhardt, 2003). This assessment is also
valued as a psychological projective test as studentspictorial representa-
tions may be informative of their self-images and cognitive identification
with the world of science (Losh et al., 2008). Nevertheless, some
researchers who have expressed their reservations in regards to the
objectivity of the test have also proposed modifications. For instance,
McComas & Farland (2007) argue that, since students may have more
than one image available, it would be more accurate to ask students to
complete several drawings of scientists at different times. Along these
lines, Symington & Spurling (1990) contend that studentsrenditions
would convey different images depending on the way the question is
presented. They contend that asking students to draw a scientist or
scientistsis different than asking students to complete a drawing of a
scientist or scientists that tells the researcher what they [students] know
about them. Matkins (1996) addressed this concern by implementing a
repeated measure design, that is, collecting a second set of drawings from
a student group or grade level.
The body of existing knowledge on these types of studies can be
divided into two groups. First, a significant number of studies have
targeted K-12 student populations. Goals addressed in these types of
investigations include the effectiveness of intervention strategies in
counteracting stereotypical images of scientists (Bodzin & Gehringer,
2001; Painter et al., 2006), the influence of studentscultural background
like in the case of Native American students (Monhardt, 2003), the
relationship between teaching styles and studentsperceptions of
scientists (Finson, Pedersen & Thomas, 2006) and the investigation of
controversial socioscientific issues with regard to the image students have
formed about scientists (Reis & Galvão, 2004). In a second group, there
are studies focused mainly on post-secondary student populations. Within
this cluster, researchers have investigated pre-service science teachers
identities and their perceptions of scientists (Quita, 2003; Rubin & Cohen,
2003), the comparison of perceptions held by science and science
education majors about scientists (Rosenthal, 1993) and contrasting
drawings produced by college and elementary school students (Thomas,
Henley & Snell, 1996). Mixed methods combining pictorial and written
responses (Bodzin & Gehringer, 2001; Knight & Cunningham, 2004;
Rosenthal, 1993) or pictorial and oral formats (Barman et al., 1997;
Carlton-Parsons, 1997) have also been reported in the literature.
Origin of Stereotypical Images of Scientists
A general standpoint among researchers is that stereotypical images of
scientists may arise in part due to science instruction practices (Carlton-
Parsons, 1997; Farland-Smith, Finson, Boone & Yale, 2010;Finsonetal.,
2006; Rubin & Cohen, 2003). Special attention has been given to teachers
personal and professional background since it is believed that educators
transmit their own viewsto their students(Matkins, 1996; Moseley & Norris,
1999; Rosenthal, 1993). Subtle teacherstudent interactions also impact how
students understand scientistsroles and personalities. An anecdotal case that
exemplifies this eventuality occurred in a Colombian school when a student
asked his science teacher about the fact that the work of a national scientist
(Manuel Patarroyo) known by his work on a vaccine against malaria had not
received full recognition of the international scientific community. The
teacher replied to the student by saying that Patarroyo had not followed the
scientific method and that that was the reason his contributions were not
acknowledged (personal communication, February 20, 2008). Not only was a
central aspect of the nature of science misrepresented but a teachable moment
also passed by without the student learning, for instance, that the media plays
a major role in the kind of perceptions citizens create about scientists. The
student probably incorporated a disjointed image of the famous scientistin
this case facilitated by an authority figureas an individual working
independently without the support of team members.
Others still suggest that negative attitudes about science, particularly in
girls, begin to form as early as in second grade (Knight & Cunningham,
2004) and are well established by the age of 914 (Skolnick, Langbort &
Day, 1982). A second source of image forming comes from TV shows,
textbooks, cartoons and movies (Long & Steinke, 1994; Steinke, 1998;
Thomas & Hairston, 2003; Türkmen, 2008). However, Thomas & Hairston
(2003) warn against attributing the origin of stereotypical images of
scientists to a particular source as it may not be accurate; they contend
that children learn about science from a variety of sources. Although all
these sources, especially the media, have contributed to the establishment of
a well-known picture that defines the role and personality of scientists, it is
necessary to consider other forces that occur in the out-of-school world. For
instance, home-related practices such as discussion (or lack of) about
scientific careers, overprotecting attitudes of parents about biological issues
or family traditions that emphasize traditional feminine behaviors for girls
are among some of the reason for the appearance of these perceptions
(Baker & Leary, 1995; Campbell, 1991). The description of scientists that
persists in the literature presents these individuals as white male Caucasians
who work in traditional indoor laboratory settings and wear a lab coat,
glasses and carry pens in their pockets. They are sometimes also engaged in
violent and secretive behaviors as mad scientists, magicians, miracle workers
or even wizards (Barman, 1996; Bodzin & Gehringer, 2001;Long&
Steinke, 1994;Quita,2003; Rubin & Cohen, 2003). In their analysis of
images of scientists as portrayed in TV shows, Long & Steinke (1994) found
that often times these individuals are also portrayed as omniscient people,
elite members of the scientific community and practitioners of a discipline
that involves danger and violence, like in the case of the film Jurassic Park.
Despite the stereotypical images that have been persistently reported in
the literature and contrary to Steinkes(1998) study, Jones & Bangert
(2006) recently reported an interesting trend showing an increased
frequency of female scientists in studentspictorial representations. They
attributed this factor to modern TV shows like Crime Scene Investigation
(CSI) in which female characters play primary roles in science-related
tasks. Thomas et al. (1996) have also reported comparable results. In
correspondence with these authors, findings in Barmans(1997) study
show positive changes in studentsperceptions of scientists. For instance,
the author found a reduction in the stereotypical characteristics (e.g. old
age) commonly associated with traditional perceptions of scientists.
Likewise, other features such as the work setting were depicted as non-
destructive and non-secretive, indicating possible gains in recent years.
Similarly and in agreement with the findings reported in Barmans(1997)
study, Türkmen (2008) reported that Turkish elementary students
produced images of scientists smiling and using new technology devices.
Likewise, the number of images of scientists wearing glasses and lab coats
and engaged in dangerous experiments decreased in this investigation.
Images of Scientists in Latin American Students
Although the study of the images of scientists held by students in K-12
and even higher education settings has been a fairly common research
topic, perceptions of students from school communities in Latin American
nations have not yet been well described. Interestingly, the only study
reported in the literature addressing this kind of investigation in this
region dates back to the 1970s. The study in mention was conducted by
Sala & de Gómezgil (1975) with over 7,000 Mexican students from both
public and private schools. Unlike most studies on this topic, Rodriguez
Sala de Gomezgils research employed a written format in the form of
two questionnaires that mirrored Mead & Metrauxs(1957) study. Here,
students were asked to write an essay in response to the following
situation: When I think of a scientist I have in mind the following…” A
second prompt presented the student with this situation: IfIwereevera
scientist I would like to do the followingas was the case of (name of the
scientist whose life and work were, in your opinion, very interesting(p. 355).
The second questionnaire employed a 31-item semantic scale that
included concepts to be assessed and a series of elements by which the
concepts could be expressed. The concept list included occupations such
as being a scientist, and among the elements, there were adjectives that
students could use to characterize the selected occupations. A combina-
tion of the results from the two questionnaires led to an integrated image
of both science and scientists. An initial finding in this study indicates
that both female and male Mexican students, without age and grade level
distinction, possess images of scientists characterized as both positive (i.e.
intellectual characteristics) and negative (i.e. personality traits). The
author contends that overall, students prefer psychological and social
characteristics over physical features to describe their images of scientists.
According to this study, Mexican students envision scientists as
individuals with good memory, active and creative. They also depicted
them as having a shared culture, manual dexterity and analytical skills.
In quoting this author, we adhere to her point that given the
tremendous development that science and technology have undergone in
the past few years, and the intense rhythm with which they continue to
evolve(Sala & de Gómezgil, 1975, p. 360), we propose that it is
imperative to attend to this kind of investigation in LDCs hoping to keep
up with global demands. This includes the educational programs and
services offered to students.
Due to the lack of research addressing this issue in Latin America, the
primary goal of this study is to provide an original account of the sort of
images students from two Latin American countries have of scientists.
From this overarching goal, this study attempts to answer the following
research question: How do nationality, gender, grade level and school
type influence Colombian and Bolivian studentsimages of scientists?
As a preliminary note to methodology, it is important to point out that the
first and third authors are natives to Colombia and Bolivia. They worked
to secure site collaboration, procedural fidelity and data coding as the
cultural and linguistic experts of the study. The first author taught high
school science for over 9 years in urban Colombia in both public and
private settings. The third author currently teaches high school science in
an inner-city public school in La Paz, Bolivia.
This study was conducted in two countries (Colombia and Bolivia), the
participating students (N= 1,017) attended public (50.4%) and private
schools (49.6%). The Colombian sample comprised both public and
private schools; in the case of the Bolivian sample, it only contained
public schools. Private schools in this country that were contacted
declined to participate. With the exception of a provincial school, data
collected in Colombia came from schools in three relatively large cities
including the country capitol (Table 1). As for the participating Bolivian
schools, all of them are inner-city institutions in the country capitol city
(Table 2).
The Schools and Their Communities
Colombia. This country is located in the northeastern region of South
America and bordered by Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Panama and
by the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. With a population of nearly
50 million people, Colombia is the second largest populated country in
South America, after Brazil. Colombia is also very ethnically diverse,
with the majority of its population being mestizo (of European and
Indigenous ancestry). Other ethnic groups include white, African-
Colombian, indigenous and a population of mixed black and white
ancestry. The majority of the urban centers are located in the highlands of
the Andes mountains (coffee region); the Colombian territory also
encompasses the Amazon rainforest, tropical grasslands, deserts and both
Caribbean and Pacific coastlines.
In the 2009 Human Development Index (HDI), Colombia ranked 77th
out of 182 countries with respect to human development; this is a
composite measure of three dimensions of human development: longevity,
access to education and a decent standard of living. Considered within this
ranking, Colombia is placed 73rd (72.7 years in life expectancy) and 59th
Colombian student population by gender, grade and school (n= 640)
Grade 5 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 9 Grade 10 Grade 11
Public Private Public Private Public Private Public Private Public Private Public Private Public Private
Female students
0 5822 6 0 1654 01168 2121 0 6
Male students
0 6829 6 0 1913 0 136 7657 0 27
(92.7%) in adult literacy among 182 countries. In terms of education, basic
education is compulsory. It consists of two levels: primary basic, which
goes from 1st to 5th grade, and secondary basic education, which goes from
6th to 9th grade. Basic education is followed by middle vocational
education that comprises 10th and 11th grade.
The participating Colombian schools serve students from varying
socioeconomic status (SES). Three schools operate under a religious agenda
including the provincial school, and only one school offers a military
emphasis. One school serves low-income families, one more is characterized
as mid-low SES school, four schools serve students from mid-SES, one is in
mid-upper level and two more (private) enroll students from high SES.
The three schools with religious orientation and the inner-city school
are located in the eastern range of the Colombian Andes. As for the
setting, the rural regions provide their residents with excellent lands for
agricultural vocation, being coffee, bananas, sugar cane and vegetables
the main products. In the urban zone, families make their living on
informal businesses, such as neighborhood stores, cafeterias, billiards,
bakeries and restaurants, or as employees of the agrarian bank, the
National Federation of Coffee Growers, the National Ministry of
Agriculture, National Police, teachers and farmers, or as day laborers.
This is a typical setting of small provincial communities in the Andean
region of the country. The other religious schools are located in the two
city capitols of two neighboring states. The urban setting of these schools
is in a region with historical tradition. One of these cities was a prominent
center in the times of the independence. Because of its geographical
position, this region is as an obligated destination in the transit to and
from the neighboring country, Venezuela. The main work of its residents
is as merchants, being the hub of the Colombian shoe industry. Due to its
location, most small grocery stores smuggle their items from the
neighboring country. Recently, because of gasoline prices, which are
better across the border, a black market has been created and appears as
the means upon which many low-income families make their living. A
Bolivian student population by gender and grade (public schools only; n= 377)
Female Male
6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th
Students 23 43 39 23 28 17 22 55 60 18 35 14
local journalist defines the residents of this city as happy, cheerful people;
they are both envious and generous depending on their feelings; hard
workers, industrialists, merchants by need; attached to their families,
sincere and respectful, and above all honest and with a great sense of
humor.(La Opinión, 2004, p.5).
As for the private military school, it is located in the country capitol
and was named after a hero of the independence movement. Although the
school is under the direction of an academic principal, there are also
military personnel performing training duties they call internal regime.
Besides the common national curricula implemented in this school, there
are also other subjects that are intended to promote a military vocation
among students who, for the most part, come from families with military
tradition. The military instruction in the school is complemented with
physical training that takes place outside the school on a weekly basis.
The schools philosophical orientation points out the necessity to educate
citizens with the values necessary to make them autonomous and capable
of building a culture of peace. It is important to note that, as additional
attractive feature, those students who finish their secondary education in
this school will not have to serve the 1-year requirement in the military
forces of the country upon graduation, as it is obligatory for all other
males in any other public and private school.
In the case of the two private schools serving student populations from
high SES, one of them is in the country capitol and the other one in a state
capitol on the north east part of the country. In both cases, families pay high
tuitions that correspond with the attractive school facilities and programs
(e.g. intensive English instruction) offered at these institutions. The school
in the national capitol city has tied with a British university; students in this
school are rapidly enculturated into a foreign education style that meets the
academic requirements for college entrance overseas. The other private
school in this category serves students from influential families and offers a
country-like facility with an academic emphasis in English. Although this
is a fairly new school, it has already achieved an important status within
prestigious group of schools in this city. In the same city is one of the
religious, public, only female school. Students attending this school are
from middle SES. The facilities are new and the emphasis is in the
preparation of students for successful tertiary education, as measured by the
national standardized test for high school seniors (ICFES test).
As for the Colombian school curriculum, science educators must teach
in compliance with the national curriculum. That is, they teach science
subjects in accordance with a national program that is differentiated by
discipline and grade levels and by the newly adopted National Science
Education Standards that serve as benchmarks within the national
curriculum. A distinguishing feature of the science teaching and learning
in Colombia is that goals are score-oriented. A high performance on the
national standardized test is widely recognized and discussed as an
urgent needamong science educators, academic coordinators and even
high school principals. Mr. Molina, a school principal recently appointed
in his position, is feeling confident about the achievements his school will
accomplish under his administration.
For this year, we signed a contract with PC Group Inc. We are going to consult with them,
so we are hoping to increase our scores even more. Last year, we had our students trained
[for the national test] by Educativa Group Inc., and we did not do so well. Now, we have
changed to the PC Group Inc. because they are the best in the country. Thank God we
have reached a good agreement with this organization, plus Mr. Blanco, the owner of this
company, is one of my very best friends, so it worked out really well.
On his part, Mr. Lopez, a school administrator from a privateCatholic
school, is also concerned with the overall performance of his students in the
most recent examinations. The dissatisfaction with the scores has caused
the school administrators to conduct an analysis of the situation. As a result,
two possible explanations are circulating, as Mr. Lopez claims:
It could have been that we hired a new science teacher this year to take care of the
chemistry classes. The other explanation could be found in the studentsattitude, their
apathy and lack of enthusiasm. Another cause is the culture of the minimal effort, they
[students] are satisfied just with a passing grade.
The results show that the performance declined in areas such as
chemistry, physics and biology. In this school, the emphasis is in science,
a reason for them [school administrators] to feel disappointed.
The management of the school curriculum in this school is also
influenced by the preparation of students for standardized tests, which
have caused a re-organization of the program of studies that focuses on
rearranging the academic load of the most and less significant areas.In
addition, students in this school are also placed on a supplemental training
for the national examinations. As a proactive measure, Mr. Lopez
explains that, for this year, the school is planning on having its 10th grade
students (junior students) also take weekend workshops with PC Group
Inc. He also points out that the practice tests will be internally
implemented to imitate the format of the national standardized test.
Bolivia. The traditional notion that foreigners may have about Bolivia
focuses on media portrayals of the cocaine trade and a vague awareness
of Indians and llamas(Luykx, 1999, p. xi) and on political differences
with the USA associated with internal violence issues in the northern
states. Bolivia is much more; it is a multi-ethnic and a multi-lingual
country. While 60% of the people speak Spanish, since 1999, the
government has also recognized Quechua, Aymara and Guaraní and over
33 other indigenous languages. This country also has a great geographical
diversity, including the Andes Mountains, the altiplano (Plateau region),
the pampas (plains) and the Amazon Basin jungle. Bolivia still maintains
one of the highest poverty rates in Latin America. Taking into account
income rates, 63% of Bolivians are poor, an indicator that is well above
that of the region, which is 36% (Contreras & Talavera-Simoni, 2003).
In the 2009 Human Development Index (HDI), Bolivia ranks 113th out
of 182 countries with respect to the human development. Within this
ranking, Bolivia is placed 123rd (65.4 years in life expectancy) and 67th
(90.7%) in adult literacy among 182 countries. In terms of education,
there are some disparities between rural and urban populations as
measured by illiteracy rates. For instance, while the 2001 illiteracy rate
for urban males was 2.5%, it was four times greater for urban women
(10.1%) and 15 times greater for rural women (37.9%). There are also
disparities in academic achievement between rural and urban schools. The
1998 national surveys of academic achievement showed that academic
performance was consistently higher in urban schools than in rural
schools as students progressed from 3rd to 8th grades (Contreras &
Talavera-Simoni, 2003).
The Bolivian sample consists of public schools only. The six participating
Bolivian schools serve a student population that is characterized as being of
low SES. None of these schools have a science laboratory; students usually
carry out their practical science activities in the classroom with materials that
both teachers and students bring from home. As indicated in previous
sections, private schools declined to allow their students participate in this
study without giving specific reasons for their decision. Bolivian students in
this study attend inner-city schools in the city of La Paz, the country capitol.
Students attend school either in the morning or afternoon shifts, a measured
that seeks to provide coverage of this service. Unlike the Colombian
education system, Bolivian schools do not have a national set of standards to
implement. In their place, school instruction follows the Four National
Transversal Areas for School Instruction: gender, environmental education,
democracy and health and sexuality.
By the early 1990s, The World Bank described the Bolivian education
system as (1) suffering from a weak administration, (2) excluding the
primary beneficiaries from the decision making processes, (3) having a
poor coverage and quality, (4) practicing an inappropriate management of
resources for public education and (5) dealing with obstacles for
educational attainment (i.e. teacher preparation, attention to nonspeaking
Spanish populations; Contreras & Talavera-Simoni, 2003). By 1994, the
Education Reform Law came into place. It was an effort to address
the aforementioned deficiencies in the education system of the country.
The reform introduced a constructivist approach centered on active
learning, bilingual and intercultural education, a new grade level
structure, testing to measure academic achievement in the 12,000 schools
of the education system and the expansion of the teaching profession to
practitioners in other professional fields.
The Colombian students participating in this study were enrolled in
biology and chemistry classes. From the total sample, 21.6% of the
students were in their last grade of elementary school (5th grade), 27.4%
in middle high school and the remaining 50.9% in high school grade
levels. In the case of the Bolivian sample, 65.1% of the student sample
was drawn from middle grade levels, and 34.8% represented high school
grade levels.
First, the DAST-C was presented to the teachers with instructions on the
proper way to administer this instrument in their classes. For instance,
they were cautioned not to share with their students details about the
study so their depictions were not affected during the presentation of the
task. Second, students were encouraged to produce a drawing of a
scientist or scientists on the form handed out by the teacher. Special
attention was given to the presentation of the task in order to address
Symington & Spurlings(1990) suggestions in regard to the veracity of
studentsperceptions of scientists. The form presented students with the
following instruction: In the space provided below, complete the
drawing of a scientist or scientists by using the knowledge you have
about these people or about the work they do.Students were not timed
while completing their drawing; they were told to use as much time as
needed. Another method to ensure the accuracy of the images, as
suggested by Matkins (1996) and McComas & Farland (2007), was to
randomly select a second set of drawings from the original sample. The
intention of this confirmatory approach was to verify that the initial
submission of drawings were reliable measures of the true perceptions
students possess about scientists. A total of 175 students produced a
second drawing; this second set was again rated using the DAST-C by the
same two evaluators and used as a within-subject repeated measures
comparison to the first drawing. The amount of time between drawings
one and two ranged from 8 to 10 months. Upon a first inspection of both
sets of drawings, it was noted that the table heightand amount of
space used in each drawingfeatures seemed different, especially in the
drawings submitted by the Bolivian students. This is the reason for
performing this secondary analysis which emerged only after the
reception of the data set.
Prior to the coding of the drawings and in an attempt to elucidate
potential disagreements when assessing the 15 indicators in the test, both
the principal investigator and his research assistant discussed the use to be
given to the checklist accompanying the DAST. It was also part of this
discussion to reach a consensus on particular features such as the age of
the scientist and presence of lab coat, as there was, in some cases, certain
degree of inaccuracy in their depictions. The convenience in the use of the
checklist resides in its practicality by presenting the evaluator with a
precise set of the stereotypical and alternative features (see Table 3) likely
to be found in drawings of scientists. When scoring a DAST drawing, the
rater codes each indicator with either 1 or 0 points depending on the
presence or absence of the feature under examination in the checklist. In
the scoring sheet, the rater submits subtotals for each of the two sets of
features (stereotypical and alternative). As part of the coding procedure,
the rater also makes notations in case information such as scientists
working in collaboration or a female scientist who plays a primary or
secondary role is portrayed in the drawing. The final score (0 15) for
each drawing results from adding the stereotypical and alternative
subtotals. It is assumed that a high score correspond with a stereotypical
image of scientists whereas a low score coveys a less stereotypical view.
During the analysis stage, each students drawing was subject to the
quantification of stereotypic characteristics based on the checklist
suggested by Finson et al. (1995). A parallel analysis was also applied
to each drawing in order to collect additional information regarding
features not addressed in the checklist (e.g. role played by male and
female scientists depicted in the drawing). This secondary analysis
provided supporting information that was useful during the interpretation
of results. Two features were considered within this analysis category: the
height of the lab tables and the space used by each student to complete the
Distribution percentage of indicators per grade level per country [frequency (%) of students (N= 1,017)]
DAST-C indicator
12345 6 789 10 1112 131415
Mean SD
Stereotypical views Alternative views
Lab coat
symbols Technology
gender Caucasian
of danger
Ind. of
Bolivian students (n= 377)
Lower grades,
69(n= 283)
21.90 (62) 49.60
2.12 (6) 1.41 (4) 6.02 (17) 2.12 (2) 89.70
11.30 (32) 5.23 1.77
Upper grades,
1011 (n= 94)
32.60 (31) 22.10
3.15 (3) 0 (0) 13.60 (13) 0 (0) 73.60
15.70 (15) 5.33 1.83
Colombian students (n= 640)
Lower grades,
59(n= 434)
20.30 (87) 17.50
1.63 (7) 4.20 (18) 7.94 (34) 0 (0) 81.50
50.90 (218) 5.98 1.96
Upper grades,
1011 (n= 207)
14.50 (30) 19.32
7.73 (16) 9.18 (19) 9.66 (20) 1.45 (3) 85.99
74.30 (154) 6.87 1.77
drawing. In the later case, we divided the space provided into four
quadrants a way to quantify the amount of space employed in each
The initial coding procedure was conducted by the principal
investigator and his assistant. They both completed the coding for each
set of drawings; when inconsistencies appeared, they were resolved
through brief discussions between the two evaluators. Efforts were also
made to prevent coding discrepancies by retraining for overall inter-rater
agreement greater than 80% on the standards applied to judge features
that could involve variability; this approach was especially useful in cases
when discerning stereotypical characteristics that did not clearly meet the
condition under consideration. For instance, in the case of the lab coat
feature, the evaluators agreed that it could be determined as present only
if the scientist was wearing a lab coat-like piece of clothing, falling past
the waist and secured with buttons on the front. Two more features
retrained by the two coders was the meaning given to the presence/absence
of light bulbs. It was observed that, in these countries (LDCs), students
used a question markover the head of the scientist to indicate an idea that
the scientist is pondering in his mind and the elderly scientistbased on
the presence of facial wrinkles and/or declining stature.
It is also important to note that the DAST-C was designed to be used
with student populations in MDCs, and as such, it does not take into
account ethnic groups outside the Western society. Although the
Caucasian group is originally used for the DAST-C, the term is not
employed in the Bolivian and Colombian communities. Therefore, the
coders adjusted the ethnic terms students could depict in their drawings
based on a white and non-white binary distinction. For the students in this
study, these distinctions included white (light skin, mestizo or from
European and Amerindian ancestry) or non-white (African-Colombian/
Bolivian, mulato and indigenous ethnicities).
Overall Perceptions of Scientists by Bolivian and Colombian Students
As stated in the INTRODUCTIONsection, the purpose of this study was to
explore Bolivian and Colombian studentsperceptions of scientists and
provide an original account of the images they possess. Table 3presents
the distribution of the indicators by grade level for each country. In
general, Bolivian studentsproduced images of scientists that represent
these individuals as white (87.3%) males, conducting experiments indoors
(85.0%), wearing lab coats (55.0%) and glasses (33.6%). Similarly, the
Colombian students reported in their drawing images of scientists as
white (92.6%) males, performing experiments indoors (81.9%); they also
wear lab coats (64.6%) and glasses (53.3%). However, unlike their
Bolivian counterparts, Colombian students have an image of scientists as
individuals of middle and elderly age (57.8%). Both groups of students
(Bolivia and Colombia) view scientists working in their labs, performing
experiments in which they mainly used flasks (41.9% Bolivian students;
45.1% Colombian students) and test tubes (33.5% of Bolivian students;
27.4% of Colombian students). As for the gender of the depicted scientist,
85.23% of Bolivian students included male scientists in their depictions
while 78.0% of Colombian students chose male characters to represent
these individuals.
Regarding the presence of women in the drawings, 9.49% of
Colombian students drew female scientists while 6.04% of Bolivian
students depicted scientists as females. Students also included both male
and female figures in their depictions; 2.35% of Bolivian students drew
males and females while 4.82% of Colombian students depicted scientists
as both males and females. Non-human figures were also featured. In this
case, 2.33% of Bolivian students included figures with unrecognizable
gender vs. 2.68% of Colombian students (Table 4).
Other Indicators
In addition to the 15 elements in the DAST-C, other drawing features
surfaced throughout the scoring procedure. These features are not
commonly addressed in the analysis of studentsdrawings in previous
studies, but in this case, we considered them worth exploring due to the
significance they might add to the overall understanding of the submitted
Distribution (percent) of male and female scientists in drawings
Gender Bolivian students Colombian students
Female 6.04 9.49
Male 85.23 78.07
Female and male 2.35 4.82
Undetermined 5.28 3.69
No human figure 2.33 2.68
drawings. The list of other indicatorsinclude scientists working in
teams, the depiction of the table as a basic element in the lab setting, the
wearing of lab coats and the amount of space and detail employed in each
Although the frequency of the teamwork feature included in the
drawings was small in comparison with the depiction of male scientists, it
stood out as a difference between the two student samples. For instance, a
much higher percentage of Colombian students (16.4%) drew scientists
working in teams as compared to their Bolivian counterparts, where only
6.05% represented this trait. Within this set of drawings, half of the
Colombian depictions included women as members of the group of
scientists. In most of these renditions, students drew women standing next
to the male scientist who appears conducting the experiment, or working
in a corner of the room, receiving instructions from the male scientist or
being supervised by him or staying in the lab while her male colleague
works outdoors. There was the case of a drawing in which the female
scientist was assigned the caption apprenticewhile the male was called
scientist. Bolivian students drew a small number of scientists working
in teams. In this case, female members were represented as assistants of
the male scientist; they were standing behind or next to him, or even
carrying out objects around the laboratory.
As for the depiction of the tables in the drawing space, the number and
position of this element in relation to the scientist became consistent in a
way that reflected some differences between the two groups (Bolivia and
Colombia). In this case, we coded for two sub-categories: single and low
table. We were interested in the representation of the table as an element
that could reveal studentsperceptions of the physical context of the
science laboratory. Some differences were found. While 21.4% of
Colombian studentsdrawings contained only one table, over twice as
many of the Bolivian drawings (43.9%) conveyed the same feature.
The frequency for the low table feature indicates that 13.8% of the
Colombian students drew tables that were below the waist of the scientist
standing next to it, compared to 32.6% of Bolivian students. Additionally,
the height of the table was compared to the height of the figure of the
scientist drew in the picture. The appearance of the table in the lab setting
was another interesting element. It was noted that some students drew
tables which were considerably small as compared to the stature of the
scientist. It was also observed that, when students drew small tables, they
did not include other objects around the lab setting, conveying an image
that was poor in detail. Although there were no significant differences in
the ratio of scientists height to table height in the country and grade level
variables, there was a difference in the ratio based on gender (F= 5.18,
p= 0.02), with the female ratio being higher than the male ratio (5.41 and
4.71, respectively). Females tended to draw shorter tables in relation to
the scientistsheights (Tables 5and 6).
During the presentation of the task, students were instructed to use the
space within the square to draw their pictures. By dividing the square into
four quadrants, it was noticed that 31.2% of Bolivian students employed
all four quadrants, 30.5% used three quadrants, 29.9% used two and
14.3% used only one. In the Colombian group, 46.8% completed their
drawings within the four quadrants, 24.5% of the students used three
quadrants, 18.8% used two and 9.6% used only one.
Regarding the wearing of a lab coat, 28.0% of the Colombian students
depicted scientists wearing a piece of clothing other than a lab coat, while
49.2% of Bolivian students drew scientists not wearing a lab coat. From
this set of drawings, 17.4% of Colombian students drew scientists
wearing short sleeve shirts, compared to 0.5% of Bolivian students.
Another difference was related to the research instruments placed on or
around the table. The most common research instruments in both samples
were flasks, test tubes, microscope, beakers and Erlenmeyer flasks.
Nevertheless, the variety of drawn research instruments was greater for
the Colombian sample. The following materials were observed in the
drawings by the Colombian students only: safety wash bottles, separatory
funnels, flask brushes, filing cabinets and goggles. The symbols of
knowledgeindicator was among the lowest rated stereotypical features.
In the case of the Colombian group, 24.7% of the students added
knowledge symbols to their depictions of scientists, whereas 15.1% of the
Bolivian students drew the same feature in their depictions. In the
Bolivian sample, this category was the second lowest rated stereotypical
Scientists height vs. tables height (centimeters) by country and grade level
Bolivia Colombia
(n = 117) (n = 97)
Mean SD Mean SD
Lower grades 13.50 6.35 12.36 5.76
Upper grades 12.03 5.08 11.17 4.67
Overall 13.25 6.14 12.09 5.51
feature. There was no great variety in the representation of this feature;
the most common symbols of knowledge observed in both Colombian
and Bolivian drawings were as follows: pens in pockets and books on
shelves and in small proportion clipboards on the table.
Comparison Between Bolivia and Colombia
Analysis of variance tests were performed to determine whether there was
a difference between the sample means of the countries based on gender
and grade levels (6 9and1011). Additionally, female students
perceptions were examined separately since stereotypically, science is a
male-dominate field, and the authors wished to focus more attention on
female responses as a result. The rationale for dividing grade levels into
two groups (lower and upper) is based on the mandatory curricular
content assigned to each grade level. For instance, the lower grade
curriculum contains courses that progress along these years without much
change other than in the complexity of the content being covered. In the
case of biology, students take this course in every year of their secondary
school, except in the upper grade levels. The same occurs with the other
subject content areas. Once in the upper grade levels, students encounter a
fairly new curricular program with new subjects such as chemistry and
philosophy. Students also have a chance to select an academic track that
emphasizes different disciplines (e.g. business) or vocational options (e.g.
mechanics). Therefore, it is our belief that this division in the depth of the
content and training areas may have an effect in the overall image
students form at each of the two stages of high school grade levels.
For each of the tests of significance, an alpha of 0.05 was set. The main
effects of country (F= 71.63, pG0.0001) and grade level (F= 12.68,
p= 0.0009) were each statistically significant when the countries were
combined. The Colombian students (M= 6.27) produced more stereo-
typical images than the Bolivian students (M= 5.25). It should be noted
that students in upper grades produced more stereotypical images than
Scientists height v. tables height (centimeters) by gender
Females (n = 93) Males (n = 121) Overall
Mean SD Mean SD Mean SD
13.74 6.07 11.96 5.66 12.80 5.89
their lower grade counterparts (M= 6.39 and M= 5.68, respectively).
However, although the upper grade produced more stereotypical images
than the lower grades in both Bolivia and Colombia, this result was not
statistically significant across countries, as will be seen below. When
examined for an interaction effect between country and grade level, the
effect was statistically significant (F= 7.77, p= 0.0081). Bolivian students
produced depictions that contained similar levels of stereotypical images
in upper and lower grades, but Colombian students, however, drew more
stereotypical images in upper grades than in lower grades (Figure 1;
Table 7). This interaction means that a students score on the DAST-C
cannot be modeled by only knowing the students nationality. The
additional variable of grade level must be included.
Analyses by Country
Bolivia. In the Bolivian sample, neither of the tests of main effects nor the
test for interaction was statistically significant. Thus, it appears that the
Bolivian studentsdrawings of stereotypical images were not influenced
by gender or grade level (F= 0.67, p= 0.62; F= 0.26, p= 0.61, respec-
tively; Table 8). Interestingly, the variables of gender and grade level did
not really explain the differences in level of stereotypical images drawn at
all (R
= 0.0031). Thus, there are variables other than gender and grade
Figure 1. Country vs. grade level interaction
level that should be examined to explain the differences in level of
stereotypical images drawn.
Colombia. Unlike the Bolivian sample, the Colombian sample contained
students from both public and private schools, therefore so we have an
added variable for this sample, school type. In the Colombian sample,
there was a main effect for grade level and school type. Students in the
lower grades submitted images that were less stereotypical than students
in the upper grades (F= 19.78, pG0.0001), and students educated in
private schools produced images that were less stereotypical that students
educated in public schools (F= 4.55, p= 0.03). There was no statistically
significant interaction between gender, grade level, and school type
(Table 9). In the Colombian sample, the variables of gender and grade
level explained about 4.8% of the differences in level of stereotypical
images drawn. The addition of school type added an additional 1.5% so
= 0.063 in this sample. This was somewhat better than the amount of
variance explained in the Bolivian sample. However, additional variables
Descriptive statistics for the Bolivian sample
Grade level
Female Male
n Mean SD n Mean SD
Lower (6th9th) 128 5.13 1.93 155 5.31 1.63
Upper (10th11th) 45 5.24 1.69 49 5.41 1.97
Descriptive statistics for stereotypical images total by country and grade level
Grade level
Bolivia Colombia
n Mean SD n Mean SD
Lower (6th9th) 283 5.23 1.77 427 5.98 1.96
Upper (10th11th) 94 5.33 1.83 207 6.87 1.77
that could potentially explain the difference in stereotypical images drawn
should be examined in this country as well.
Female Sample
In the sample data that included only females, there was no interaction
effect between country and grade level related to stereotypical images
drawn. Through examining the main effects in the female-only sample,
we found the effect of country to be statistically significant, with the
Bolivian sample producing images that were less stereotypical than the
Colombian sample (F= 25.82, pG0.0001). These results were in line with
the results from the sample that included both females and males. No
interaction was found between country, grade level and school type. In
the female sample, 7.3% of the difference in level of stereotypical images
could be explained by the country and grade level variables.
Repeated Measures Analyses
To examine whether studentsperceptions of scientists changed over a
period of time, a repeated measures analysis was used to assess the
images drawn by 175 students from both countries. The amount of time
between drawings ranged from 8 to 10 months. There were no
interactions of time vs. country, time vs. gender or time vs. grade level.
These results show that the studentsdrawings were able to be modeled
using only one variable instead of requiring the additional variable of time
to model the differences. There was not a significant main effect of time
Descriptive statistics for the Colombian sample
Female Male
School type Public Private Public Private
Grade level n Mean SD n Mean SD n Mean SD n Mean SD
192 6.19 1.95 87 5.66 1.89 49 6.43 1.58 76 6.91 1.80
21 6.95 1.53 26 6.38 1.92 99 5.65 2.13 84 6.96 1.75
which means overall students did not significantly change their
perceptions between time 1 and time 2.
The results of the testretest analysis were moderately reliable with α=
0.62. Additionally, the score from time 1 was correlated 0.45 with the score
from time 2 which was statistically significant (pG0.0001). As such, the
results of the responses between time 1 and time 2 were reliable, and
students were fairly consistent in the level of stereotypical images drawn
across Time. Lastly, Bolivian students drew items that were slightly less
stereotypical the second time around (time 1: M= 5.16; time 2: M= 5.08),
but Colombian students drew items that were quite a bit less stereotypical
the second time around (time 1: M= 7.12; time 2: M= 5.57). This decrease
in level of stereotypical images drawn may have been due to an increase in
awareness of science and of the different images of scientists. However, the
actual causation of this decrease is a topic for a future study.
Based on the results, it appears that the Colombian students have more
stereotypical thinking of scientists than the Bolivians. While the
Colombian sample included students from low through high socioeco-
nomic status attending both public and private schools, the Bolivian
sample was comprised of students from low socioeconomic status and
from public schools only. This could be thought to influence the type of
images students possess. In general, it could be suggested that students
exposed to a comprehensive practice of science in their schools may
become more acquainted with the nature of the scientific endeavor.
Students who are rarely exposed in their classes to the study of nature that
transcends beyond the school walls may have a less-informed view on the
topic. Although drawings depicting a scientist wearing regular clothing
can be seen as a positive sign, in the case of Bolivian students, it is more
likely related to a lack of resources and opportunities in meaningful
science learning. Thus, less stereotypicality in DAST-C scoring should be
interpreted with caution. For example, contrary to the Colombian
population, nearly half of the Bolivian students drew a single low table
in their depictions with few additional details. In Bolivian schools, the
arrangement of each classroom shows pairs of students sharing a single
long table. The fact that Bolivian students drew single and low lab tables
could be indicative of their familiarity with the only science lab setting
they have available in their schools, their classroom. Another important
characteristic in the Bolivian studentsrenditions was related to the lab
coat element. Almost half of the Bolivian student sample (49.2%) drew
scientists without lab coats; some even drew themselves as the scientist
wearing traditional school uniforms. In this case, it could be argued that
low stereotypical ratings may be related to limiting socioeconomic factors
affecting their science learning. In her study, Monhardt (2003) reported
this trend in a similar investigation with a Navajo student population in
the USA.
As mentioned early, the access to and participation of women in
science in Latin American schools has been the focus of events put
together by non-profit organization in the region (Quiroga, 2007). It is
important to recognize the efforts of organizations such as the TWOWS
and the BOWS in creating awareness of this issue in their school
communities and also in providing schools with guidelines, especially in
the public sector from rural communities, on how to offer their teachers
and students, an enhanced vision of the science education experience that
is inclusive and relevant. As a result of the work done at these events, a
series of sociocultural features have been identified as the focus of the
measures that should continue to be discussed and practiced. For instance,
the 2007 Women, Science, and Technology Summitidentified 11 key
elements that are thought to prevent students from these school
communities to enjoy of a meaningful science education experience;
these factors include cultural attitudes and gender stereotypes, more
education opportunities for boys, especially in rural communities, high
levels of poverty, the perception that parents have on the so-called hard
core school subjects (e.g. mathematics, physics, chemistry), college-
bound tests, the rigid view of science as transmitted by textbooks and
teachers discourse and the outdated instructional approaches practiced in
K-11 school classrooms.
Three of the abovementioned issues (gender stereotypes, prominent
roles boys play during classroom instruction and poverty) were evident in
the pictorial reports on scientists and science submitted by the students in
this study. First, the vast majority of students in the two samples
perceived science as a male-dominated discipline. A low proportion of
students, however, included women in their depictions. When female
scientists were included in the drawings, in all cases, they were assigned
secondary roles (e.g. holding a research instrument as the male scientist
performs the experiment, carrying out materials around the lab) or simply
standing on a corner of the lab or next to the male scientist. In a particular
case, the student added captions to each character, apprenticeto the
female and scientistto the male one. Second, the lack of physical and
human resources in public and rural schools may have also contributed to
the disjointed view students may possess about science and scientists.
This is the case of the Bolivian student sample which consisted of inner-
city schools only. Although the practice of science does not necessarily
take place in laboratories, it is important to mention that schools in the
Bolivian sample lack these facilities. From teachersreports and video
lessons, it is observed that classroom instruction revolves around the
teachers discourse with occasional cooperative learning. These images
were prevalent in the drawings completed by the Bolivian students; most
of them drew themselves as scientists, wearing their school uniforms and
working at their desks. Their depictions, as judged by amount of space
used, were brief and did not include the typical science lab format
observed in these types of renditions found in the literature with other
student populations around the globe.
A similar pattern was observed in the Colombian inner-city school.
Although students in this school have a small laboratory classroom, it is
seldomly used due to the number of students in each grade. A group of
students from 7th grade in this school turned in their drawing forms
empty; when inquired about their response, they submitted that they did
not know what a scientist look like. In other public schools although lab
facilities would allow for more periodic laboratory-based lessons, their
teachers alluded to the demanding task of putting together a lab activity
for their students. Furthermore, the preparation of students for standard-
ized examinations seems to be goal governing instruction in these
schools. One of these teachers submitted:
The problem is putting the theory into practice, too much theory, but too little practice.
Here, in our school, our labs are completely obsolete, especially in biologyI try to do
all the lab experiences that come in the textbook, creating new activities is something that
one would not do, it would be like improvising. New findings in science are rarely
included. Rather we follow what the textbook already has.
At the other side of continuum are private and some public schools
where families, especially from high income levels, and their children can
afford a higher education quality. For instance, students at the private
school in the city capitol receive bilingual instruction (Spanish and
English) in most subjects, conduct year-long investigations in conjunction
with environmental agencies and publish their papers in a science journal
they have created. The view of science and scientists in this and other
schools where students participate in science activities that promote
curiosity, collaborative work, community projects based on authentic
investigations seem to be more comprehensive. Students in these schools
included a higher proportion of women in their depictions, scientists
working in collaboration and scientists working on their projects
outdoors. The perception of science and scientists submitted by s students
in schools such as the military and the urban catholic school did not differ
as much from the traditional view of scientist (white, male individual
doing science indoors).
One of the major findings in this study, contrary to other research
(Koren & Bar, 2009; Long & Steinke, 1994), is the lack of overt
stereotyping. For example, DAST-C scores for the element of mythic
stereotypes (e.g. mad-Frankenstein figure) did not rank among the highest
four features. Science and scientists, for these students, may still be a
discipline perceived with a positive ingenuous attitude. Although the
presence of females in the depictions was favorable, the secondary role
assigned to them in the drawings is still a concern that should be the
target of improvement. Educators interested in addressing this issue,
however, should be informed by cultural traditions such as the roles
played by women in their communities which may be perpetuated in
school. As for the type of school attended, more stereotypical images were
produced by students in public schools than for the students at private
institutions. Most private schools in the Colombian sample, for instance,
have science lab facilities that support local and national science projects
(e.g. the Waves Project). In these schools, students have opportunities to
design and carry out year-long projects in the school surroundings that
finalize as a publication in the schools scientific journal; interdisciplinary
connections are also made to practice writing and oral skills as students
execute their projects (e.g. a survey of the flora being affected by
deforestation and sprawling). In their study, Jimenez & Lockheed (1995)
submit that high-quality education in Latin America, for the most part, is
offered in private schools which are located in the major urban centers.
They also note that achievement quality in these schools is concomitant the
demanding selection criteria for both students and teachers(p. 18).
The repeated measures results showed that, contrary to researchers
previous suspicions, students actually drew similarly stereotypical images
at two different times. This helps eliminate the possibility of the students
being affected by a recent incident having an influence on his/her
drawing. Each of these results are interesting and helpful to examine why
there is very noticeable disparity in the number of Bolivians and
Colombians pursuing scientific careers compared to those in other more
developed countries. Nevertheless, both student samples characterized
scientists as white males wearing lab coats and manipulating traditional
tools in an indoor setting. In a similar study, a group of African-
Colombian middle high school students continued to draw white male
scientists after a 3-week activity in which they read about, discussed and
presented the life of black and female scientists.
The size of the human figure differed within and across samples. Bolivian
studentshuman figures averaged 13.25 cm, compared to 12.09 cm for the
Colombian sample. Also, there was a general height difference for female
students(13.74 cm) and male studentsfigures (11.96). It was also noted
that students in lower grades drew human figures that were larger than their
counterparts in upper grades. Figure size correlated positively with the
richness of drawings. Colombian students drew smaller figures with more
detail; a similar trend was observed in upper grade level studentspictures,
especially from private schools.
As pointed out by She (1998), studentsimages of scientists are also
influenced by instructional approaches. In Bolivia for instance, the
national curriculum is characterized as being in an emerging phase.
Therefore, it would be expected that Bolivian teachers do not see their
science teaching as being informed by a set of guidelinesthat do not
exist yetas an important aspect in their daily instruction. In a study on
instructional practices, Bolivian teachers declared that science instruction
should be centered on the democratic values needed in their social
environment rather than in the teaching of content and theories that would
enable students to pursue further studies of technological and environ-
mental problems (Campbell, Zhang & Erdogan, forthcoming). In
Colombia, the national science education standards were enacted in 2003.
This study was about providing an original account of the quality of
images about scientists possessed by students from two Latin American
countries. That being said, it does not intend to present a concluding
depiction of the perceptions students from this part of world hold about
science and scientists. We encourage future studies addressing this issue
from different angles. For instance, we consider it important to explore
aspects such as, the role of cultural traditions in school communities from
both rural and urban settings, the influence of well and under-served
schools in both settings and the impact of the national school curricula in
the teaching and learning of science. From this study, we conclude that:
1. Colombian students possess an image of scientists that is more
stereotypical than the one submitted by their Bolivian counterparts.
The stereotypical quality is more prevalent in students from upper
grade levels and from public schools. Although students generally
perceive scientists as a white male, working in an indoor lab facility,
the scientist is not necessarily depicted as a mad person, wearing a lab
coat or pursuing investigations in a secretive fashion. Young and
smiling, both male and females figures were observed.
2. Although Bolivian students submitted drawings depicting scientists in
a less stereotypical manner, it is our assumption that it is not in
connection with a positive and well-rounded view of science. It may
be argued that, instead, students from the participating Bolivian
schools have an incomplete image of what science is and the work
scientists do which might be affected by the low quality of the school
3. In the case of the Colombian sample, it seems that the quality of
science education offered in private schools affects, in a positive
fashion, the studentsperceptions of science and scientists. In their
depictions, students from these schools offered images of scientists
that do not fully resemble the stereotypical depictions. Their renditions
were also rich and well documented as compared to the ones produced
by students in public schools and also from the Bolivian sample. It
could be argued that the participative roles students are allowed to play
and the relevance of the school science curriculum in these institutions
have encouraged these students to see science in a more comprehen-
sive way.
In these countries and unlike students in public and rural schools, it is
expected that most students from private schools move on to their tertiary
education. Therefore and from a pragmatic standpoint, science education
in the private school sector has a market value for families who can afford
a college career for their children.
Limitations of the Study
In the present study, the students were tested within individual classes. As
a result, there may have been a classroom effect that was not examined.
Students within a class generally behave more similar than students across
classes since they are educated by the same teacher and experience the
same classroom dynamics. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) allows
for the testing of differences at different levels. HLM allows the
researcher to test for differences both within and between classes as well
as schools. Once a larger sample is collected, a future study will use HLM
to provide a more detailed look at this topic.
One more issue that may arise is that some students are better drawers
than others. A student who has artistic talent may draw a scientist and his/
her surroundings with more detail. A student who is not as good as a
drawer may produce a very basic depiction of a scientist. The student who
is not the better drawer may be penalized (or in some cases rewarded) for
not drawing the more detailed version when in fact the student may
actually have the same view of a scientist as the student who is the better
drawer. One possible solution to this concern is to have the students add a
list of features they think of when they think of a scientist and that they do
not feel they can include in their drawing. Another important approach to
consider in future studies is to make possible the participation of private
schools in each student sample in order to guarantee a broader
comparison between the participating countries and school communities.
We also acknowledge the fact that our Bolivian data were gathered only
in the capitol city of La Paz, where we have been collaborating with
school districts in other civil and science education initiatives for the past
4 years (see Medina-Jerez, Taylor & Bryant, 2009, for review). It is then
necessary to recognize that we may have not been able to obtain a
generalizable data set for interpreting the range of diverse socioeconomic
and culturallinguistic backgrounds from other parts of Bolivia.
Finally, it would be of great interest to address this investigation from a
social justice perspective in hopes of providing evidence to school
administrators and policy makers about ways to reduce the quality gaps
between private and public education to help even the learning ground for
students from all walks of life in these school communities.
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William Medina-Jerez
University of Wyoming
Laramie, WY, USA
Kyndra V. Middleton
Howard University
Washington, DC, USA
Walter Orihuela-Rabaza
Science Teacher at Juan Lechin Oquendo High School
La Paz, Bolivia
... Although the drawings eliminate the linguistic difficulties that may arise in terms of expressing individuals' thoughts (Fiorella & Zhang, 2018), supporting the drawing with tools, such as written explanation (McCarthy, 2015;Reinisch et al., 2017;Toma et al., 2018) and interviewing (Farland-Smith et al., 2017), enables individuals to express their thoughts in many ways and is more reliable in determining the perception of what a scientist is. Students studying in a curriculum and education system in which they actively participate have learned science more comprehensively (Thomson et al., 2019), have a more positive perspective of scientists (Taylor et al., 2022), and have a more extensive perspective in drawings of scientists (Medina-Jerez et al., 2011). Books, especially commercial books, have been effective in forming children's scientific identities and their thoughts as scientists (Farland-Smith et al., 2017). ...
... According to studies conducted in different societies and age groups, the perceptions of scientists are affected by many factors. Although the exact source of the perception of a typical scientist among students cannot be identified (Medina-Jerez et al., 2011), children learn about science and the scientist from various places (Farland-Smith et al., 2017), which includes resources outside the school as well as those within the school. According to Miller et al. (2018), teachers convey their opinions to their students and students may adopt the opinions of their teachers. ...
... Therefore, teachers should pay attention to their own personal and professional attitudes as these may affect their students (Taylor et al., 2022). The type of school (public school, private school, etc.; Medina-Jerez et al., 2011), grade level (Bozzato et al., 2021;Emvalotis & Koutsianou, 2018;Thomson et al., 2019), as well as their teachers' opinions (El Takach & Yacoubian, 2020) can all affect students' perceptions of scientists. In addition, the media plays an important role in eighth-grade students' perceptions of scientists (Bozzato et al., 2021;Farland-Smith et al., 2017;Ferguson & Lezotte, 2020;Hagenkötter et al., 2021;Takahashi & Tandoc, 2016), including written sources like books (El Takach & Yacoubian, 2020;Farland-Smith et al., 2017;Finson et al., 2018;Miller et al., 2018;Yacoubian et al., 2017), comics (Lamminpää et al., 2023), and newspapers (Thomson et al., 2019;Mergoupi-Savaidou et al., 2012). ...
The aim of our study was to investigate the effect of scenario-based learning on eighth-grade students’ perceptions of scientists. We used a semiexperimental design to conduct our research with 36 students from the eighth grade, who were divided into experimental and control groups. We collected the data through a “Draw-a-Scientist Test,” an opinion form, and semistructured interviews. According to the findings we obtained from the drawing test, students have stereotypical perceptions of the scientists’ working environment (indoor/laboratory). But the results showed that scenario-based teaching affects eighth-grade students’ perceptions of scientists and moves them forward on two points: (1) the physical appearance of the scientist (drawing characteristics in the head area, accessories, clothing features, etc.) and (2) symbols of knowledge (encyclopedia/books/notebook, writing board) and research (test tube, magnifying glass, experiment glasses, etc.). In the light of these findings, we propose some suggestions regarding the use of scenarios in education to affect students’ perceptions of scientists.
... At this point, it can be seen as a pleasing result that the perception of elderly scientists in individuals is increasingly broken and a young scientist representation is formed in the minds of students. On the other hand, studies that include drawings depicting scientists at an old and advanced age contradict the results of the current study (Rabaza, 2011;Ruiz-Mallén & Escalas, 2012;Türkmen, 2008). The description of long hair and beard by seventh grade students, at most, brings to mind the possibility that photographs of Isaac Newton with long hair and Galileo Galile with a beard can be the source. ...
... Likewise, in the literature, it is emphasized that factors such as books, movies, magazines, comics, television programs shape scientist stereotypes in individuals (Emvalotis & Koutsianou, 2018;Karaçam, Bilir & Danışman, 2021;Long vd., 2010;Steinke vd., 2007). On the other hand, many national and international studies carried out in the literature reveal that students describe scientists with lab coats and glasses (Akçay,2011;Bozzato vd., 2021;Ferguson & Lezotte, 2020;Gounsoulin, 2001;Güler & Akman, 2006;İvgin, Akçay & Kapıcı, 2021;Kara & Akarsu, 2013;Kaya, Doğan & Öcal, 2008;Mallen & Escalas, 2012;Özel, 2012;Rabaza, 2011;Samaras, Bonoti & Christidou, 2012;Thomson, Zakaria & RadutTaciu, 2019;Türkmen, 2008). ...
... Likewise, the finding that scientists work indoors such as laboratories and libraries overlaps with many studies in the literature (Akçay, 2011;Bozdoğan vd., 2018;Bozzato vd., 2021;Camcı Erdoğan, 2008;Duran & Bayar, 2019;Emvalotis & Koutsianou, 2018;Ferguson & Lezotte, 2020;Mallen & Escalas, 2012;Nuhoğlu & Afacan, 2011;Özdemir, 2019;Rabaza, 2011;Ruiz-Mallén & Escalas, 2012). In order to destroy the perception of scientists working only in indoor environments, it is recommended that students organize scientific activities outdoors. ...
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This study aims to reveal whether there are any relations between secondary school students' perceptions of scientists and the images of scientists in secondary school science textbooks. The participants of the study were 140 secondary school students from a public school. The study is based on a qualitative research methodology. Qualitative research methods were used in the research. As a data collection tools, the Draw a Scientist Test (DAST) and secondary school science textbooks were used. The drawings obtained from the students and the images of scientists in the science textbooks were analyzed in the context of the determined themes. As a result of the study, it was determined that the students generally drew the scientist as male, thoughtful, wearing a lab coat and glasses, and young, with long and curly hair. It has been observed that scientists express their working environment as people who work alone in the laboratory and library environment. It also stands out that they benefit from computers and other technological apparatus like telescopes. It was determined that the students mostly included the drawings of Isaac Newton, Galileo Galilei, and Albert Einstein at each grade level as famous scientists. It has been determined that the drawings made by the students were influenced by the images from the textbooks.
... Most research relies on the Draw-a-Scientist-Test (DAST), which requests students to 'Draw a picture of a scientist' on a blank sheet of paper (Chambers, 1983). Analysis of the drawings reveals a prevailing image of white male scientists, wearing a lab coat while performing experiments (Emvalotis & Koutsianou, 2018;Medina-Jerez et al., 2011;Miller et al., 2018;Ruiz-Mallén & Escalas, 2012). The DAST relies on the intuitive assumption that such a stereotypical image of scientists may discourage students from pursuing a career in science (Ateş et al., 2021;Ferguson & Lezotte, 2020;Kahle, 1993;Maoldomhnaigh & Hunt, 1988;Miller et al., 2018). ...
... Throughout the 1980s and into the present day, studies utilising the DAST and DAST-C documented the stereotypical images of scientists in students, teachers, and faculty members from different countries including Portugal (Martins et al., 2021), Spain (Toma et al., 2018), Turkey (Özgelen, 2012), South Africa (Meyer et al., 2019), Fiji (Sharma & Honan, 2020), or Grece (Emvalotis & Koutsianou, 2018), among many others (for reviews and meta-analyses, see Ferguson & Lezotte, 2020;Finson, 2002;and Miller et al., 2018). This research agenda demonstrated that stereotypical views persist regardless of age, gender, or background (Farland-Smith, 2009;Medina-Jerez et al., 2011;Ruiz-Mallén & Escalas, 2012;Türkmen, 2008;Walls, 2012). Indeed, strong evidence supports that such a depiction of scientists is stable over time and pervasive worldwide (Authors, 2018;Farland-Smith, 2017;Finson, 2002;Losh et al., 2008). ...
... The inclusion criteria, or sampling stages, were (i) co-educational public schools, (ii) located in Armenia, Quindío (Colombia), and (iii) with educational services for 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 11th-grade levels. The grade levels were chosen in light of prior research indicating that stereotypical drawings do occur and tend to increase during the upper grades school stage (Medina-Jerez et al., 2011;Ruiz-Mallén & Escalas, 2012). ...
A growing body of research addresses students’ images of scientists using the Draw-a-Scientist-Test (DAST) and its Checklist (DAST-C). These protocols rest on the assumption that stereotypical views of scientists, as identified by the presence of multiple indicators in student drawings (e.g. lab coat, male gender; eyeglasses; facial hair), may affect science career interest. Yet, such an assumption remains unexplored. This study investigated whether stereotyped images of scientists identified by the DAST and DAST-C predicted and affected students’ science career interests. A total of 1799 students in grades 3, 6, 9, and 11 in Colombia drew a picture of a scientist at work and reported their interest in a scientific career. Contrary to theoretical expectations, neither the original seven DAST stereotypical indicators nor the eight alternative DAST-C indicators predicted students’ science career interests. Similarly, drawings of male or female scientists had no predictive power of students’ science career interest. On the contrary, students interested in a science career drew significantly more stereotyped indicators than their counterparts with low interest. This study failed to find evidence supporting the contention of DAST and DAST-C protocols, and raises questions about their validity in identifying stereotipical images of scientists.
... When the mDAST and VoSAL data were examined, it was seen that the findings regarding the location where the scientist worked pointed to the traditional image structure. This conclusion was also reached in previous studies (Medina-Jerez et al., 2011;Subramaniam et al., 2013). In addition, in the study of Gheith and Aljaberi (2019), pre-service teachers mostly depicted scientists in closed environments. ...
Full-text available
The Draw-A Scientist Test (DAST) has been used for many years as a data collection tool in studies where the image of the scientist is attempted to be determined. In this test, in which the image of scientist is attempted to be revealed with drawings, the drawings are analyzed using a coding ruler or checklist. However, the DAST has been criticized in terms of some methodological issues and it has been emphasized that alternative instruments should be developed. In this context, the Views of Scientist, their Activities, and Locations (VoSAL), developed as an alternative to the DAST, are discussed in this study. First, a validity and reliability study was carried out with the adaptation of the VoSAL into Turkish. At this stage, data were collected from 625 pre-service teachers. The analysis results showed that the VoSAL had excellent goodness-of-fit indices. In the second stage of study, the scientist image of 46 pre-service teachers were evaluated comparatively using the DAST and VoSAL. The results showed that the data of the DAST and VoSAL confirmed each other. The results were then discussed in terms of the scientist image literature. ARTICLE HISTORY
... Studies have shown that when drawing a scientist or an engineer, more students (both boys and girls) drew males than females (Capobianco et al., 2011;Farland-Smith, 2009;Hansen et al., 2017;Medina-Jerez et al., 2011), which indicates that students may implicitly gender scientists and engineers as male. Moreover, researchers found that gender stereotypes regarding intelligence were observed on children as young as six (Bian et al., 2017) and that elementary students began to hold the implicit belief that "math is for boys" (Cvencek et al., 2011). ...
Full-text available
One of the goals of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education is to promote students’ understanding of and interest in STEM careers. However, young students often hold stereotypical perceptions of STEM professionals. This study aimed to apply two newly developed checklists to explore upper elementary students’ perceptions of scientists, engineers, and technologists as STEM professionals. A total of 564 valid responses were collected from fourth- to sixth-grade students. The data were collected using an instrument revised from the Draw-A-Scientist Test (Chambers in Sci Educ 67(2):255–265, 1983). Content analysis was conducted on students’ drawings and written descriptions of the STEM professionals’ work with the newly developed checklists and a categorization process, and inter-rater reliabilities were calculated to ensure trustworthiness. Results show that both girls and boys drew more male than female scientists, engineers, and technologists. Moreover, students tended to associate scientists with laboratory-related features, engineers with building construction, and technologists with technological products. In addition, students’ perceptions of scientists, engineers and technologists fell into seven major categories of careers, and students overwhelmingly placed inventors and programmers into their presentations of scientists and technologists, respectively, rather of engineers. The results indicate that gender stereotypes existed pervasively in the students’ perceptions of scientists, engineers, and technologists, with engineers being the most stereotyped. Moreover, the students associated engineers with various professions related to civil construction and did not see many other engineering professionals as engineers, implying that students generally have a naïve understanding about engineering. The mechanism underlying the formation of these stereotypes and potential countermeasures are discussed.
... Furthermore, it is encouraging to note that almost all drawings featured smiling scientists. Results are consistent with the international studies, which show that scientists are primarily male, have stereotyped features, and work indoors (Emvalotis & Koutsianou 2017;Medina-Jerez, Middleton, & Orihuela-Rabaza 2011;Rosenthal 1993). Only four participants (2%) drew female scientists. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Draw-a-Scientist-Test (DAST) has been one useful tool for studying science-related implicit gender stereotypes among children. The current study attempted to explore science-related perceptions in a sample of male school children (N=202, Age=12-15 years) in India. To realize that purpose, the present piece of research used DAST and a Word Association Test. The result of DAST reveals substantial gender stereotyping; i.e., 82% of the participants drew a male scientist, and only 2% depicted a female figure. Further, the words associated with a scientist disclosed three significant domains: lab work (chemical, lab, experiment, the microscope, invention, and test tube), male role model scientists (Albert Einstein, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, and Newton), and perceived traits associated with science (hard-working, crazy, insane, genius and intelligent). The results displayed that the majority perceived a scientist as a male who works primarily in closed spaces, working in a laboratory with chemicals, beakers, and test tubes. The results of these gendered stereotypes are discussed at length.
... While this finding is included in many studies (Chambers, 1983;Deniş Çeliker & Erduran Avcı, 2015;Gonsuolin, 2001;Medina-Jerez, Middleton, & Orihuela-Rabaza, 2011;Nuhoğlu & Atacan, 2011), there are also studies to change the relevant image. For example, Erten, Kiray, and Sen-Gumus (2013) examined the change in the perceptions of 11-12-year-old students towards science and scientists by using a context-based teaching approach with scientific stories. ...
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z Bu araştırmanın amacı dijital öyküleme yöntemiyle hazırlanan ve bilim insanlarının kısa biyografilerine yer veren öykülerin, ilkokul öğrencilerinin bilim insanı imajları üzerindeki etkisini araştırmaktır. Bu amaçla çalışma, bir devlet okulunda öğrenim gören toplam 126 ilkokul öğrencisiyle tek grup ön test-son test zayıf deneysel desen tasarımıyla yürütülmüştür. Çalışmada metaforlardan ve bilim insanı çizim testinden yararlanılmıştır. Nicel verilerin analizinde McNemar istatistiği yapılmış nitel veriler ise içerik analizine tabi tutulmuştur. Çalışma sonucunda öğrencilerin bilim insanının dış görünüşü, bilgi kategorisi ve cinsiyeti konusunda imaj değişikliğine uğradıkları ancak araştırma ve teknoloji sembolleri, çalışma mekânı ve başlık-alt yazı-simge kategorilerinde imaj değişikliğinin olmadığı görülmüştür. Öğrencilerin bilim insanı konusunda geliştirmiş oldukları metaforlar incelendiğinde ise bilim insanının doğuştan getirdiği yetenekleri dışında çalışarak başarıya ulaştıklarına dair imaj edindikleri görülmüştür. Çalışma sonuçlarına dayanarak yeni uygulamalara yönelik öneriler sunulmuştur. Anahtar sözcükler: bilim insanı imajı, dijital öyküleme, ilkokul öğrencisi Atıf: Esen, S., Türkyılmaz, S. ve Küçükaydın, M.A. (2022). Dijital öyküleme yöntemiyle hazırlanan bilim insanı biyografilerinin ilkokul öğrencilerinin bilim insanı imajına etkisi. Pamukkale Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 55, 155-179.
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The research aims to provide a systematic literature review on image research to promote image research. This research was carried out with a systematic review approach. The data of the research were obtained from the image articles published in the field of education in the journals scanned in Web of Science (SCIE, SSCI, AHCI). In the analysis of the data, bibliometric analysis and descriptive analysis technique, one of the content analysis techniques, were used. 48 research articles from 2002 to 2022 were critically reviewed and analyzed by applying a systematic literature review approach. The results showed that image studies were grouped under three themes: concept image, teacher image, and organizational image. The results also revealed what the inputs and outputs of corporate image were.
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In this study, we examined 32 journal articles in which measurement tools such as DAST, DAST-C, etc. were used to reveal the views of scientists in science education in Turkey. According to the findings obtained from the systematic review, research has been intensified since 2013, data were collected from small student groups in a short time, no data on two important regions of the country could be determined, and a uniform data collection tool was preferred, and the studies focused on the 5th and 8th-grade levels. In addition, it was determined that students from the kindergarten level to the 8th-grade level generally have stereotypical views toward scientists. The results revealed in the research stated that this situation stems from the media, culture, gender effect, field of study, teacher, family, curriculum, textbooks, social life, and the word scientist that emphasizes the male gender-specific to Turkey. It can be said that the recommendations in the studies are for the determined factors. The results of the study also include gifted students. In this respect, the research gives an idea about the design and future direction of research that uses the views of scientists in science education.
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Bu çalışmanın amacı Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı, Talim Terbiye Kurulunun 2018 yılında yenilenen fen bilimleri öğretim programı doğrultusunda 2021-2022 eğitim öğretim yılında ortaokul ve imam hatip ortaokulu 5., 6., 7. ve 8 sınıf fen bilimleri dersinde okutulmasına onay verilen 8 tane Fen bilimleri ders kitabında bulunan bilim insanlarının analizinin yapılmasıdır. Araştırma ders kitaplarında üniteler ve konular içerisinde yer verilen bilim insanlarının isimlerini, veriliş şeklini (resim, yazı), cinsiyetlerini ve milliyetlerini belirlemeye yöneliktir. Nitel araştırma yöntemlerinden doküman analizi esas alınarak yapılmıştır. Araştırma sonucunda genellikle ders kitaplarında yer verilen bilim insanlarının isimlerinin gerek kitaplar arasında gerekse üniteler ve konular arasındaki dağılımının orantısız olduğu, bilim insanlarının cinsiyetlerinin genelde erkek olduğu, bilimi insanlarının ders kitaplarında veriliş biçiminin belirli bir düzen içerisinde bulunmadığı, milliyetlerinin yabancı kökenli oldukları tespit edilmiştir.
Technical Report
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Country StudiesEducation Reform and Management Publication Series • November 2003
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Several media effects perspectives suggest that televised images can influence children's perceptions of science and scientists. This study analysed images of science and scientists in four children's educational science programmes. The images of science as truth, as fun, and as a part of everyday life, as well as the image that science is for everyone, were quite evident. Little evidence was found for the image of science as magical or mysterious. Support for the images of science as dangerous and science as a solution to problems was mixed. Images of scientists as omniscient and elite were quite prevalent; there was no evidence for the image of scientists as evil or violent. Some support was found for the image of scientists as eccentric and antisocial. Overall, the images were more constructive than detrimental. Predictions about the effect these images could have on children and on the scientific community are given.
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Bern's gender schema theory (Bern 1981, 1983, 1993) provides a useful framework for examining the influence of women scientist role models on girls’ perceptions of science and scientists. The purpose of this paper is (1) to describe how Bern's gender schema theory serves as a framework for guiding future research, (2) to examine the fundamental premises of Bern's gender schema theory as they relate to the processing of information about science and gender roles, and (3) to identify key conditions and criteria from gender schema theory to guide the design of television programs that use role models to reduce gender‐stereotyping of science.
This study explores children's images of intelligence: What is the social content of their images of intelligence, and how does gender organize these images? A group of elementary school pupils (N = 170), aged 8-12 years, were asked to draw a picture of an intelligent and an ordinary person. A content analysis of the drawings showed that the most common portrait of an intelligent person was an adult male, with a high social status and involved in a mental-cognitive activity. These characteristics seemed to be more dominating with the older children. For the boys, the prototype of an intelligent person was unequivocally an adult male, whereas the girls had a broader view. The results suggested that elementary school-aged children have already captured some central value-bound ideas of intelligence in our culture.
The often portrayed media image of the scientist is a rather strange one, grim‐looking scientists, usually male, poised beside incomprehensible instruments. It is little wonder that we encounter the stereotype of the bespectacled scientist; thick black rims, coke bottle lenses, roman sandals, dressed in lab coats, trousers up to their necks. A qualitative study designed to produce a series of visual and oral narratives based on the everyday lived realities of “the contemporary scientist” was undertaken. The study was a participative project in which a research team, including the project leaders Anne Noble and Michelle Lunn, together with research assistants and documentary photography students, worked alongside scientists to produce contemporary and deliberately challenging stories of “the scientist”. In this paper, the most pervasive theme to emerge from the research, the link between art and science, is discussed.
The purpose of this study was to explore student‐held images of science and scientists according to gender and grade level and the reasons behind them. A drawing activity and interviews‐about‐instance on the theme of science and scientists were administered to a total of 297 students (153 male and 144 female students) from three elementary and three middle schools in Taiwan. The results show male students being more strongly influenced by public stereotypes of science and scientists at a younger age compared with female students. However, a significantly larger number of males made a change in accepting non‐stereotypical science/scientists images as they increased in age, particularly grade 8 boys. Grade 8 girls were found to be most open to the idea of women working as scientists, yet those same female students were, for the most part, incapable of imagining themselves pursuing a science‐related career because of being afraid of being labelled as loo capable when compared with male peers. Throug...