Seeking to improve young African American girls’ attitudes toward science: A participatory action research study

Abstract
In this participatory action research study, we answered the question, How can we improve attitudes toward science education of the African American girls at an elementary school? Girls in grades 3–6 completed the Modified Attitudes toward Science Inventory. A purposeful sample of 30 girls participated in several focus-group interviews throughout the year. The cumulative findings indicate that our initiative (1) had positive impacts on girls who originally demonstrated low self-efficacy in science education or low attraction to science and (2) maintained the positive attitudes of the other girls. The instructional aspects of our initiative that contributed to the improvement in attitudes included the establishment of collaborative activities, a supportive lab teacher, and inquiry-based experiences focused on local problems. Our findings also reveal aspects of our efforts that we need to improve. These areas include a more open, inquiry-based science fair and connections between the lab and classroom teachers.
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Publisher's, offprint version
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Citation
Buck, G., Cook, K., Quigley, C., Prince, P., & Lucas, Y. (2014). Seeking to improve young African American girls’ attitudes toward science: A participatory action research study. The Elementary School Journal, 114(3), 431-453.
DOI
10.1086/674419
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Article