Making science and gender in kindergarten

Alicia M. McDyre

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


As we watch television or scroll through news stories we are more likely to see advertisements connecting women or girls to STEM related images now than in the past. We hear more about women’s accomplishments than we have in the past, in part due to our changing political society, but also in part because women are developing a louder voice and are demanding to be heard. Historically women and girls were not the universal image brought to mind when picturing a scientist or engineer. Women and girls have been marginalized within the space of science (e.g., Brickhouse, Lowery, & Schultz, 2000; Longino, 1993; Sadker & Sadker, 1995), traditionally positioned with less power and intellect within the science classroom (Sadker & Sadker, 1995). Researchers suggest that girls learn that their scientific identity may be antagonistic to their gendered identity, which may be enforced by how they are positioned in the curriculum and classroom (Sadker & Sadker, 1995). Even with an increase of portrayals of woman scientists and engineers gender gaps are still present and more work needs to be done in order to increase our understanding of how women are positioned in science and engineering. Typically, most gender research in this area has been performed while girls are in their middle school years/adolescence (Carlone, 2004), but I would argue that in order for us to understand why girls are not doing as well in science or are not interested in science in middle school and high school, we need to look at how they have historically been positioned throughout their formative years of schooling beginning in kindergarten. Therefore, my study focused on a community of young learners and their positioning and identity within that kindergarten classroom community during science instruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTheory and Methods for Sociocultural Research in Science and Engineering Education
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781351139915
ISBN (Print)9780815351894
StatePublished - Dec 17 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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