Telima Adolphus


This paper presents the trend of science enrolment and attainment for the National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher in Scotland. Also, analysis of enrolment and attainment in the core science subjects of biology, chemistry and physics by gender for all three qualifications have been presented. Results in public domain from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) from 2008 – 2018 (for Higher and Advanced Higher) and 2014 – 2018 (for National 5) were accessed and analyzed. Data were analyzed using simple percentages and t-test for significance, using SPSS. The results show a slight decline in enrolment in the three core science subjects especially for the National 5 and Higher qualifications. An independent sample t-test conducted using SPSS, to compare the mean percentage attainment of boys and girls in Higher biology, physics and chemistry showed a significant difference in the mean percentage physics attainment for boys and girls with t(20)=9.99, p<.05. The result also shows significant difference in the mean performance by gender in all three subjects at the Advanced Higher level. The study also affirm the gross underrepresentation of girls in physics that has been reported in many countries and that a greater proportion of girls than boys generally attain better grades in science, especially in physics. Finally, the paper calls for a need for further research in investigate for instance, the persistent underrepresentation of girls in physics classrooms despite all efforts to mitigate this imbalance by government and other organizations such as the Institute of Physics (IOP), the Royal Society of Chemistry.


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This paper presents the trend of science enrolment and attainment for the National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher in Scotland. Also, analysis of enrolment and attainment in the core science subjects of biology, chemistry and physics by gender for all three

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