Girls into physics: two years on

This work investigated whether there were any observable impacts two years on from the Girls into Physics Action Research Project.

The Girls into Physics project commissioned by the Department of Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and the Institute of Physics (IOP); was enacted by the regional Science Learning Centres with 66 partnership schools in 2008. The project evaluation was performed by a consortium consisting of the Widening Participation Research Centre at Edge Hill University, Laura Grant Associates and the Science Communication Unit at the University of the West of England, Bristol. The report, published in April 2009, looked at the immediate impact on schools, teachers and their pupils.

This phase of research investigated if there was any longer-term impact, as a result of the action research undertaken by teachers in schools. In particular, the IOP wanted to see if uptake at AS and A-level had improved in these schools, as a result.

To address these aims, this work investigated the following research questions:

Uptake of physics post-16:

  • Has uptake (both boys and girls) changed at the schools involved in the 2008 Girls into Physics programme?
  • Has uptake (both boys and girls) changed at the schools which teachers have moved to after being involved in the 2008 Girls into Physics programme?
  • What are teachers’ perceptions of the reasons behind any changes in uptake?

Legacy of Girls into Physics:

  • What is the impact of the Girls into Physics programme two years after completion?
    • Impacts on teachers
    • Impacts on students
    • Impacts on department/school
  • What are the successes and challenges that teachers have faced in trying to embed Girls into Physics practice in their schools?
  • Have teachers applied action research to any other areas of their practice?
  • Have they extended or continued the Girls into Physics work?
  • What are the intended and unintended outcomes of Girls into Physics?

The work was completed early in 2011.

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