Source: Educational Action Research, Volume 15, Issue 3 September 2007, pages 417 - 440.
This article reports on the outcomes of an action research project on gender and science education carried out in two upper secondary schools in Sweden. The article focuses on how student voices draw on wider societal discourses when they talk about what it means to be natural science students at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
The article is divided into four sections. The first briefly describes the Swedish secondary school system, and identifies discourses of schooling and natural science in Swedish society. The second section contextualises the schools where the action research took place, concentrating in particular on the student focus groups. It further describes the methods used, the identification of themes from the students' discussion, and the analysis of student voices in the light of societal discourses.
The third section explores and analyses the issues raised in the focus groups, and these are further discussed in the final section where new insights are provided, at an individual as well as a more general level. Overall, the article draws attention to the importance of student 'voices' and of the student perspective in discourses of science, gender and education.