Understanding male underachievement in middle school science: challenging the assumptions
The overall purpose of this collaborative action research study was to explore the experiences of eight middle school science teachers. This collaborative action research study concerned itself with male student underachievement in science at the middle school level. The study was conducted at Sherwood Forest Middle School (a pseudonym) with sixth through eighth grade science teachers with more than three years of experience, various teaching backgrounds within academic subjects as well as special education, and different grade levels. The interviews probed the teachers’ personal experiences and insights regarding male underachievement in science. This collaborative action research study relied on qualitative data from interviews and other pieces of evidence that might support the teachers’ observations, specifically standardized test data and class grades. In addition, four of the seven teachers participated in a focus group, developing strategies for more effective teaching in science for all students. Understanding the experiences of science educators for sixth through eighth grade students can assist local, state, and federal policymakers in educational decision-making processes for the future.