Gender Disparities in Self-concept, Attitude and Perception in Physics and Chemistry
This study sought to determine disparities and associated factors in students’ performance in Physics and Chemistry at the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) ex- amination in Nandi North District. The research objectives included determining differences in students’ performance at KCSE in Physics and Chemistry, self-concept (perception) of, attitude toward, and perception of the usefulness of Physics and Chemistry as subjects. Students were classified accord- ing to gender, using a causal-comparative design. Majority of the students aged between 15 and 19 years. Three ques- tionnaires were administered to the form four students, and KCSE results for the years 2000 – 2004 were obtained from the District Education Office. These were analyzed using de- scriptive and inferential statistics. We concluded that boys reflected better academic achievement as compared to the girls in both physics and chemistry. The boys and girls had comparable self-concept in physics. The girls had a higher self-concept in chemistry than the boys. This may suggest that self-concept does not influence performance in chemistry since boys still out-performed the girls in spite of the girls’ higher self-concept. With regard to attitude towards chemistry and physics, the boys and girls had the same attitude, mixed and single-sex school students had comparable attitude to- wards physics and chemistry. An intervention regarding the level of preparedness of primary school pupils in dealing with the challenges of learning Physics and Chemistry at sec- ondary is recommended.