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Title:Structural and status barriers to participation in mathematics, science, and computer studies: A case study
Author(s):Frederick, Betz Rosalie
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Westbury, Ian
Department / Program:Education
Discipline:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Education, Mathematics
Education, Secondary
Education, Technology of
Education, Sciences
Abstract:The purpose of this case study was to explore whether the structure of the curriculum and the status of students acted as barriers to participation in mathematics, science, and computer studies. The setting of the study was a culturally diverse community in the Midwest. Three status classifications, SES, gender, and the combination of SES and gender, were used as lenses to view the curriculum. The transcripts of 254 students were analyzed.
SES was found to be associated with differential participation between programs in mathematics and science but gender was not. A larger percentage of high-SES students were in the college preparatory programs in mathematics and science than other SES groups, but approximately equal percentages of females and males were in these programs.
Within the general studies program, SES and gender were not associated with differential participation. Graduation requirements appeared to set a floor on how much mathematics and science students elected to take. A third of the students in the community graduated completing 1.5 years of mathematics and 50% graduated completing a year of science. Within the college preparatory programs, SES and gender were associated with differential participation in mathematics. Medium- and high-SES students and males completed more mathematics than low-SES students and females. SES and gender was not associated with differential participation in science and computer studies. College preparatory females of low-, medium-, and high-SES completed the same median number of years of mathematics. The median number of years of mathematics completed by males increased as SES increased. The median number of years of science completed increased for both females and males as SES increased. SES and gender were associated with differential participation in advanced mathematics, science and computer studies. A higher percentage of males and high-SES students participated in advanced mathematics, science and computer studies than females and other SES groups.
Females with the same ability as males in terms of grades in Algebra 3-4, science and Basic Programming did not enroll in advanced courses in these subjects at the same rate as males. Females in the college preparatory science program were more likely than males to enroll in Advanced Biology rather than Physics or Advanced Chemistry. Seventy percent of the students taking computer studies courses completed college preparatory programs in both mathematics and science although this was not a prerequisite.
Issue Date:1989
Type:Text
Language:English
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/20922
Rights Information:Copyright 1989 Frederick, Betz Rosalie
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI8916247
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI8916247


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