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Socio-historical perspectives on the scientific education of girls in nineteenth and twentieth century England.

Manthorpe, Catherine Anne (1985) Socio-historical perspectives on the scientific education of girls in nineteenth and twentieth century England. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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This thesis seeks to account for the current sex-differentiation in science education as the result of a particular social process. Unlike contemporary explanations for girls' under-achievement in science in terms of biological or social-psychological factors, this work investigates to what extent there has been in operation a "process of differentiation" which has either kept girls out of science, or offered them a limited conception of science in relation to ideas about women's role in society. It also asks how far women and girls have been excluded from, and subordinate in, the complex of activities understood as science because of male defined concerns and priorities of science, reflective of the male domination of the scientific community. This work draws on a variety of documentary sources from the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries to identify the significant factors involved in the shaping of science education for girls. It is argued that since the early nineteenth century science education developed in a sex-differentiated way in relation to different conceptions of the male and female spheres and to a sexually differentiated labour market. The institutional context of girls' education has also had an important effect on the determination of science education for girls. In conclusion it is argued that the problem of girls' under-achievement in science has been seen most often as a problem for, and about, girls, rather than as a problem for, and about, science education. The socio-historical approach to the question of girls' science education suggests that an alternative view of the problem is required. This places at the centre of critical inquiry science education and the social context in which it is situated rather than the perceived negative attitudes held by girls' towards science

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Education & training
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.332135
Depositing User: Ethos Import
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2018 15:36
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2018 15:36
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/21080

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