Gender and science identity and the visitor experience : looking closely at aquarium visitors Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/bn9999253

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  • In recent years, there has been an increased focus on identity and how it shapes visitor experience in free-choice learning (FCL) environments. Inquiry into how visitor's sex impacts identity and experience has yielded equivocal results. To date there has been no research into how the psychosocial construct of gender and gender identity influence visitor identity, experience, and science identity. This thesis set out to discover possible connections between and individual's visitor experience, visitor identity, free-time science activities, and science identity through the gender identity lens. The study took place at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, Oregon. The Personal Attributes Questionnaire (PAQ) was used to measure gender identity, and interviews were conducted to determine visitor experience, visitor identity, and science identity based on free-time science activities engaged in by the participants. Raw PAQ scores were statistically analyzed within the study population using standardized scores, which were then applied to the coded interview data. Links and "hints" were noted based on this analysis, and hypotheses for future research were formulated based on this data. Gender identity emerged as a useful construct that could broaden the FCL field's ability to understand the complexity of the visitor experience and explain some of the equivocal findings about traditional influences of sex in such settings. Although science identity did not emerge as an important variable, there are likely conceptual and measurement issues affecting these findings. The information gathered here and applied to research in the future, both in school and FCL settings, could lead to a deeper understanding of why there is still a gender gap in many science, mathematics, engineering, and technology fields.
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  • description.provenance : Rejected by Julie Kurtz(julie.kurtz@oregonstate.edu), reason: Rejecting because there are two pdf's and should be only one. Once two documents are merged into one, open the item that was rejected. Replace the attached files with the revised file and resubmit. Thanks, Julie on 2011-06-09T23:00:33Z (GMT)
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Julie Kurtz(julie.kurtz@oregonstate.edu) on 2011-06-13T20:42:14Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 RobichauxThesis.pdf: 300472 bytes, checksum: fd0dbcd39accc36658f9a31a892997ef (MD5)
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