Gender Disparities in Self-concept, Attitude and Perception in Physics and Chemistry

  • Inzahuli Samuel Majere Majere Mosoriot Teachers College; Kenya
  • Elizabeth Role University of Eastern Africa, Baraton, Eldoret, Kenya
  • Lazarus Ndiku Makewa University of Eastern Africa, Baraton, Eldoret, Kenya
Keywords: Gender, disparities, attitude, perception, chemistry, physics


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.


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