Male and Female students' attitudes toward social studies - A case study in government secondary school

Year: 2001

Author: Hansberry, Leah, Moroz, Wally

Type of paper: Refereed paper

This paper describes research into male and female secondary students' attitudes toward social studies. The research was a case study involving Year 9 students at one Western Australian government secondary school. The aim was to obtain information about students' attitudes toward social studies and the factors that influence these attitudes, and more specifically, to determine whether student gender influences attitudes. The research design included both quantitative and qualitative techniques, incorporating a survey questionnaire and a focus group discussion.

The findings from the study suggest that social studies has a low status among Year 9 students at the case-study school. The reasons for this poor image may be attributed to the teacher-centred, didactic pedagogy and uninteresting content. There were significant differences in attitude toward social studies based on student gender. Female students had a more positive attitude towards school and social studies than did males in most aspects and were also more positive about most school subjects including social studies.

This case study offers an informative foundation for further studies.