Girls into Physics Action Research

In July 2011, the Institute’s Stimulating Physics Network initiated an action research programme focused on Girls in Physics.

Teachers from 23 Partner Schools worked with Teaching and Learning Coaches to explore the particular circumstances that might influence the uptake of A-level physics by girls, and evaluate the impact of different interventions intended to increase girls' engagement with physics.

The interim report (November 2012) is available online, and highlights the importance of:

  • Planning and reflection - physics teachers considering gender issues in their teaching;
  • Intellectual engagement - communicating the nature of physics through high-quality and enthusiastic teaching;
  • Life choices - raising girls' awareness of the relevance of physics to their future.

Prior to this, the Institute worked with the National Network of Science Learning Centres, funded by the DCSF, on an action research programme, which used the Institute resources as a starting point. The second phase (2008) enabled teachers from 100 schools to participate. The evaluation aimed to gauge the success of the interventions that schools undertook as part of the project and the findings were published by the DCSF in April 2009.

The Research Brief contains recommendations from the project and highlights the key findings of the evaluation. The full Research Report contains the theory of change model developed for the evaluation, rich data from teachers and students and further analysis of key issues. The analysis will be useful for informing CPD development using action research approaches with teachers and students.

Documents are available to download via the links below: