Gender differences in perceptions of chemistry laboratory environments in Singapore

Year: 1996

Author: Wong, Angela F. L., Fraser, Barry J.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

It is important to take into account gender differences within a classroom setting. This is to ensure that the needs of both the boys and the girls are catered for. In this study, the differences in boys' and girls' perceptions of their chemistry laboratory classroom environment are examined using the Science Laboratory Environment Inventory (SLEI). The sample comprised 649 boys and 801 girls in 50 upper secondary coeducational science classes from 28 schools in Singapore. The students responded to the actual and preferred versions of the SLEI, and their responses were compared. The findings showed that the girls perceived the learning environment of their chemistry laboratory classes more favourably than the boys. These differences in perceptions are presented and some implications for chemistry laboratory classrooms discussed.