Gender, Text, and Discussion: Examining Intellectual Safety in the Science Classroom

Barbara Guzzetti, Wayne O. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


It is clear from the extant literature that gender inequities exist in a myriad of ways in science classrooms. Past research, however, has been conducted solely from researchers' observations and has neglected to investigate students' awareness of and reactions to their own experiences. Hence, this study focused on students' perceptions of gender differences in instructional activity and talk about that activity in physics and honors physics classes. Data analysis showed that although teachers may be unaware of gender inequities, students of both sexes are not unaware of such inequities. Females explained their fears of offering their opinions and participating in activities like labs and small-group or whole-class discussions. Differential language patterns were found for males and females, particularly when discussion was structured and rewarded for refutation. Explanations are offered for these disparities and suggestions are given for addressing gender bias in science classrooms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-20
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Research in Science Teaching
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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