Greek students' science-related interests and experiences: Gender differences and correlations
This paper explores the science-related interests and out-of-school experiences of 583 ninth-grade Greek students. The instrument of data collection consisted of a questionnaire including items on science-related topics that could be of interest to students and on everyday, out-of-school, science-related experiences. Factor analysis yielded six distinct fields of interest and five types of science-related experiences. Significant gender differences emerge: girls are more interested in topics related to human biology, health, and fitness, and are more familiar with using instruments and devices, seeking information about nature, and doing cuisine and handicraft; while boys are more interested in science, technology, and their social dimension, and the threatening aspects of science and technology, and tend to engage more in manual work and computer use. The results of this study indicate that there is a need for the Greek science curriculum to become more appealing to students, by integrating topics and experiences that are interesting and relevant to them.