Gender Dependency and Cultural Independency of Science Interest in an Open and Distant Science Learning Environment
Keywords:Gender, cross-cultural, informal science education, questions, Ask-A-Scientist, Middle East
AbstractThis study aims to describe the similarities and differences in the science interests of males and females from Israeli and Arab Middle Eastern countries, as derived from over 1,000 science questions sent to an international ask-a-scientist site. Our findings indicate that while the stereotypical gender gap in interest persists, and significant differences were found between the age groups, no significant differences were found between science questions that were sent by Israelis and Arabs. Furthermore, no correlation was found between female participation and the state of gender equity in the country, and only 1% of the questions made any reference to country-specific, local, or religious aspects. One may conclude that science interests are gender- and age-dependent but culturally-independent in this asynchronous, open and distant science learning environment. Further research is needed in order to determine if this is a genuine attribute of science interest in ODL environments or an outcome of the digital divide in the region.
How to Cite
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence. The copyright of all content published in IRRODL is retained by the authors.
This copyright agreement and use license ensures, among other things, that an article will be as widely distributed as possible and that the article can be included in any scientific and/or scholarly archive.
You are free to
- Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
- Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.
The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms below:
- Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
- No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.