The ways in which children from different countries view and draw scientists have been investigated in numerous studies. The present study explored Italian primary school students’ images of scientists and their work, with a particular focus on gender and grade level differences. A sample of 686 students (368 girls and 318 boys) from the first (n = 193), second (n = 155), fourth (n = 180), and fifth (n = 158) grades were asked to draw a scientist; this was based on Chamber’s Draw-A-Scientist Test (DAST). Grounded in prior literature, a new drawing analysis protocol was developed to code the participants’ drawings. Descriptive and bivariate analyses revealed that, as in other Western cultures, Italian schoolchildren still hold a stereotypical image of scientists (i.e. male gender, positive expression, and working indoors and alone). The participants tended to draw scientists corresponding to their own biological sex, and the male participants made greater use of stereotypical indicators. Low grade-level participants drew less stereotypical images of scientists compared to older children, but the latter portrayed the activity of scientists more completely and realistically. The findings of this study supported the need for an Italian cultural change involving both students and their teachers.

Gender, stereotypes and grade level in the draw-a-scientist test in Italian schoolchildren

Bozzato P.
Primo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
2021-01-01

Abstract

The ways in which children from different countries view and draw scientists have been investigated in numerous studies. The present study explored Italian primary school students’ images of scientists and their work, with a particular focus on gender and grade level differences. A sample of 686 students (368 girls and 318 boys) from the first (n = 193), second (n = 155), fourth (n = 180), and fifth (n = 158) grades were asked to draw a scientist; this was based on Chamber’s Draw-A-Scientist Test (DAST). Grounded in prior literature, a new drawing analysis protocol was developed to code the participants’ drawings. Descriptive and bivariate analyses revealed that, as in other Western cultures, Italian schoolchildren still hold a stereotypical image of scientists (i.e. male gender, positive expression, and working indoors and alone). The participants tended to draw scientists corresponding to their own biological sex, and the male participants made greater use of stereotypical indicators. Low grade-level participants drew less stereotypical images of scientists compared to older children, but the latter portrayed the activity of scientists more completely and realistically. The findings of this study supported the need for an Italian cultural change involving both students and their teachers.
2021
2021
children’s drawings; Draw-a-scientist test; Gender stereotypes; grade level; Italian schoolchildren
Bozzato, P.; Fabris, M. F.; Longobardi, C.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/2152674
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