Thesis

Dr. Jekyll vs. Mr. Hyde: the effect of scientists as guest speakers on reducing students' stereotypes of scientists

The purpose of this study was twofold. One was to determine if students in an urban independent study high school hold stereotypical images of scientists. The second was to discover if exposing these students to alternative images of scientists as guest speakers could reduce students' stereotypes of scientists. The Draw-A-Scientist-Test (DAST) and Test of Science-Related Attitudes-The Normality of Scientists Scale (TOSRA) pre and post tests were administered to 42 students. The treatment group consisted of22 ofthe 42 students and was exposed to four alternative image scientists as guest speakers. The remaining 20 students were not exposed to any scientist guest speakers and they became the control group. Five students from the treatment group participated in the Image of Scientists Focus Group (ISFG). There was a significant difference between the DAST treatment group posttest and control group posttest. There was no significant difference between the TOSRA treatment group posttest and control group posttest. The results from the ISFG support the data gathered from the DAST. The results ofthis study suggest scientist guest speakers may reduce students' stereotypes of scientists.

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