Giving mothers a voice: towards home involvement in high school science

Susan Stocklmayer, Irene Durant, Elizabeth Cerini

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Parents, in particular mothers, often have little knowledge of or confidence in science, yet their involvement and interest in their children's school work can have a positive effect on their children's choice of subjects for study or their future career. At the high school level, parental involvement can be particularly problematic. This paper describes a pilot programme which was designed to engage mothers in the kind of science that their children would encounter in high school, to encourage greater confidence in their science knowledge and experience. It was envisaged that this would, in its turn, facilitate conversations about science between these women and their teenage children. A constructivist, hands-on approach to learning, using easily available materials, ensured that most activities could be repeated in the home environment. The approach was gender-specific and culturally appropriate to the age group. Seventeen mothers attended the programme over six mornings. Evaluations indicate that there was a range of positive outcomes, particularly in the reported level of parent-child discussions. There is a necessity for further research, however, to investigate the effect on the students, to encompass a broader participant demographic, and achieve a transferable model.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23-46
    JournalInternational Journal of Science Education. Part B: Communication and Public Engagement
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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