At The Very Root of The Development Of Interest: Using Human Body Contexts to Improve Women’s Emotional Engagement In Introductory Physics

  • Geneviève Allaire-Duquette Université du Québec à Montréal
  • Patrick Charland
  • Martin Riopel

Abstract

In physics, women find contexts concerning human biology, medical applications, or natural phenomena highly relevant (Hoffmann, 2002), and the rareness or absence of these in physics curricula may make it more difficult for women to develop and maintain their interest in physics. To date, research in physics education addressing student’s interest mainly employed subjective or contextual data, mostly questionnaires containing statements about different scientific topics. However, no index has been used to identify the triggering of interest as it is happens in real time and, more importantly, in action. Psychophysiological data, in this case electrodermal activity, allow non-intrusive recordings of student’s arousal that serve as a more direct and objective way to observe their interest while they solve physics problems. The onset of interest with arousal must be investigated given that a strong, positive emotional engagement is an essential first step in developing interest in a discipline (Hidi & Renninger, 2006). This study compares the emotional engagement of 13 female college and university students while solving physics problems involving either technical or human body contexts. Results show that the emotional engagement of women in the subject was, in part, significantly greater and more positive when they were solving problems involving the human body context rather than the technical context.

References

Baram-Tsabari, Ayelet, & Yarden, Anat. (2008). Girls' biology, boys' physics: evidence from free choice science learning settings. Research in Science and Technological Education, 26(1), 75-92.
Biopac Systems Inc. (s.d.). Education, Transducers, Electrodermal, EDA LEAD, BSL - SS57L. Retrieved 25 avril, 2013, from http://www.biopac.com/electrodermal-activity-lead-bsl
Bradley, M.M., Codispoti, M., Cuthbert, B.N., & Lang, P.J. (2001). Emotion and Motivation I: defensive and appetitive reactions in picture processing. Emotion 1, 276-298.
Cohen, J. (1969). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. New York: Academic Press.
Colicchia, G. (2005). Sit up straight! It’s good physics. Physics Education, 40(4), 365-369.
Critchley, H.D. (2002). Electrodermal Responses: What Happens in the Brain. The Neuroscientist, 8(2), 132-140.
Davidson, R. J. (2000) The neuroscience of affective style. In M. Gazzaniga (Ed.), The new cognitive neurosciences (pp. 1149–1162). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Dawson, C. (2000). Upper primary boys’ and girls’ interests in science: Have they changed since 1980? International Journal of Science Education, 22(6), 557-570.
Dawson, M.E., Schell, A.M., & Filion, D.L. (2007). The Electrodermal System. In J. T. Cacioppo, L. G. Tassinary & G. G. Berntson (Eds.), Handbook of Psychophysiology Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Doberenz, S., Roth, W.T., Maslowski, N.I., Wollburg, E., & Sunyoung, K.. (2011). Methodological Considerations in Ambulatory Skin Conductance Monitoring.
International Journal of Psychophysiology, 80(2), 87-95.
Duit, R., Häussler, P., Lauterbach, R., Mikelskis, H., & Westphal, W. (1992). Combining issues of girl-suited science teaching, STSand constructivism in a physics textbook. Research in science education, 22(1), 106-113.
Erath, S.A., El-Sheikh, M., Hinnant, J.B., & Cummings, E.M. (2011). Skin Conductance Level Reactivity Moderates the Association Between Harsh Parenting and Growth in Child Externalizing Behavior. Developmental Psychology, 47(3), 693-706.
Figner, B., & Murphy, R. O. (2011). Using skin conductance in judgment and decision making research. In M. Schulte-Mecklenbeck, A. Kuehberger & R. Ranyard (Eds.), A handbook of process tracing methods for decision research. New York: Psychology Press.
Gardner, P.L. (1985). Interests in science and technology education. Paper presented at the Paper presented at the 12th IPN symposium, University of Kiel.
Haussler, P., Hoffmann, Lore, Langeheine, Rolf, Rost, Jurgen, & Sievers, Knud. (1998). A Typology of Students' Interest in Physics and the Distribution of Gender and Age within Each Type. International Journal of Science Education, 20(2), 223-238.
Haussler, P., & Hoffmann, L. (2002). An Intervention Study To Enhance Girls' Interest, Self- Concept, and Achievement in Physics Classes. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39(9), 870-888.
Hebb, D.O. (1949). The organization of Behavior: A Neuropsychological Theory. New York: Wiley.
Hidi, S. (2003). Interest: A motivational variable with a difference. Paper presented at the 10th Biennial Meeting of the European Association for Learning and Instruction, Padova, Italy.
Hidi, S., & Baird, W. (1986). Interestingness — A neglected variable in discourse processing. Cognitive Science, 10, 179-194.
Hidi, S., & Baird, W. (1988). Strategies for increasing text-based interest and students’ recall of expository texts. Reading Research Quaterly, 23, 465-483.
Hidi, S., & Harackiewicz, J. (2000). Motivating the academically unmoti- vated: A critical issue for the 21st century. Review of Educational Research, 70, 151-179.
Hidi, S., & Renninger, A.K. (2006). The Four-Phase Model of Interest Development. Educational Psychologist, 41(2), 111-127.
Hoffmann, L. (2002). Promoting girls' interest and achievement in physics classes for beginners. Learning and Instruction, 12, 447-465.
Holmes, J., Burns, L., Marra, M., Stubbe, M., & Vine, B. (2003). Women managing discourse in the workplace. Women in Management Review, 18(8), 414-425.
Ivie, R., & Stowe, K. (2000). Women in Physics, 2000. AIP Report R-430, College Park, MD.
Jones, M.G., Howe, A, & Rua, M.J. (2000). Gender differences in students’ experiences, interests, and attitudes toward science and scientists. Science Education, 84(2), 180-192.
Kerger, Sylvie, Martin, Romain, & Brunner, Martin. (2011). How can we enhance girls’ interest in scientific topics? British Journal of Educational Psychology, 81(4), 606-628.
Kerger, Sylvie, & Poncelet, Débora. (2009). Étude de l’influence de l’environnement scolaire –mono-éducatif versus co-éducatif – sur l’intérêt des filles pour les sciences. Recherches & éducations, 2, 73-91.
Labudde, P., Herzg, W., Neuenschwander, M.P., Violi, E., & Gerber, C. (2000). Girls and physics: teaching and learning strategies tested by classroom interventions in grade 11'. International Journal of Science Education, 22(2), 143-157.
Lang, P.J., Greenwald, M.K., Bradley, M.M., & Hamm, A.O. (1993). Looking at pictures: Affective, facial, visceral, and behavioral reactions. Psychophysiology, 30(3), 261-273.
Lavonen, J., Byman, R., Juuti, K., Meisalo, V., & Uitto, A. (2005). Pupil Interest in Physics: A Survey in Finland. Nordina, 72-85.
Lipstein, R., & Renninger, K. A. (2006). "Putting things into words”:12–15-year-old students’ interest for writing. In P. Boscolo & S. Hidi (Eds.), Motivation and writing: Research and school practice. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum.
Lorenzo, M., Crouch, C.H., & Mazur, E. (2006). Reducing the gender gap in the physics classroom. American Journal of Physics, 74(2), 118-122.
Mitchell, M. (1993). Situational interest: Its multifaceted structure in the secondary school mathematics classroom. Journal of Educational Psychology, 85, 424-436.
Murphy, P. (1990). Gender gap in the National Curriculum Physics World, 3(1), 11.
Murphy, P., & Whitelegg, E. (2006). Girls and Physics: continuing barriers to "belonging". Curriculum Journal, 17(3), 281-305.
Nair, I., & Majetich, S. (1995). Physics and engineering in the classroom. In S. V. Rosser (Ed.), Teaching the majority: Breaking the gender barrier in science, mathematics, and engineering. New York: Teacher College Press.
Nakasone, A., Prendinger, H., & Ishizuka, M. (2005). Emotion Recognition from Electromyography and Skin Conductance. Paper presented at the The Fifth International Workshop on Biosignal Interpretation, Tokyo, Japan.
OECD. (2007). Comprendre le cerveau: naissance d'une science de l'apprentissage: Centre pour la recherche et l'innovation dans l'enseignement (CERI).
Panksepp, J. (2003). At the interface of the affective, behavioral and cogni- tive neurosciences: Decoding the emotional feelings of the brain. Brain and Cognition, 52, 4-14.
Panksepp, J. (2000). Emotions as natural kinds within the mammalian brain. In M. Lewis & J. M. Haviland-Jones (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (2nd ed., pp. 137–156). New York: Guilford.
Panksepp, J. (1998). Affective neuroscience: The foundations of human and animal emotion. New York: Oxford University Press.
Psychology Software Tools Inc. (2014). E-prime 2.0. Retreived June 12th 2014 from: http://www.pstnet.com/.
Rosenthal, R. (1991). Meta-Analytic Procedures for Social Research. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Rosenthal, R. (1994). Parametric measures of effect size. In H. Cooper & L. V. Hedges (Eds.), The Handbook of Research Synthesis (pp. 231-244). New York: Russel Sage Foundation.
American Physical Society. (2013). Fraction of Bachelor's Degrees in STEM Disciplines Earned by Women 1966-2010. Retrieved August 2, 2013, from
http://www.aps.org.proxy.bibliotheques.uqam.ca:2048/programs/education/statistics/wom enstem.cfm
Srivastava, A.K. (1996). Widening Access: Women in Construction Higher Education. (Ph.D. thesis), Leeds Metropolitan University.
Stark, R, & Gray, D. (1999). Gender preferences in learning science. International Journal of Science Education, 21(6), 633-643.
Tranel, D., Fowles, D.C., & Damasio, A.R. (1985). Electrodermal discrimination of familiar and unfamiliar faces: A methodology. Psychophysiology, 22, 403-408.
Venables, P.H., & Christie, M.J. (1980). Electrodermal activity. In I. Martin & P. H. Venables (Eds.), Techniques in psychophysiology (pp. 3-67). Chichester: Wiley.
Zohar, Anat, & Bronshtein, Boaz. (2005). Physics Teachers' Knowledge and Beliefs Regarding Girls' Low Participation Rates in Advanced Physics Classes. International Journal of Science Education, 27(1), 61-77.
Published
2017-02-28
How to Cite
ALLAIRE-DUQUETTE, Geneviève; CHARLAND, Patrick; RIOPEL, Martin. At The Very Root of The Development Of Interest: Using Human Body Contexts to Improve Women’s Emotional Engagement In Introductory Physics. European Journal of Physics Education, [S.l.], v. 5, n. 2, p. 17-34, feb. 2017. ISSN 1309-7202. Available at: <http://eu-journal.org/index.php/EJPE/article/view/66>. Date accessed: 18 jan. 2021. doi: https://doi.org/10.20308/ejpe.v5i2.66.
Section
Articles