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Girls in the physics classroom

This report, published in June 2006, showed that girls were under-represented in physics post-16.  In 2006 the Institute of Physics published the results of a review that sought to identify causes of this issue. Following publication of the research findings, the Institute produced a teachers' guide to carrying out action research and two video films that explored ways in which schools could encourage girls to study physics post-16.

The guide supports teachers who want to carry out action research in the classroom:

1. Introduction

2. Action research

  • What is action research?
  • Why action research and not just action, or just research?
  • What does action research involve?

3. Decide on your intervention

  • What does educational research tell me?
  • What is the situation in my classroom and school?
  • Teachers’ top tips 10

4. Planning your action research project

  • Writing an action research plan
  • Research methods overview
  • Qualitative or quantitative?
  • Students as researchers
  • The golden rule

5. Doing your action research project

  • How long should my project last?
  • I’m getting little or no interest or support from colleagues
  • My intervention doesn’t seem to be working
  • What if I end up engaging girls but putting the boys off?

6 .Reflecting on success

  • What do I do with my data?
  • How do I analyse quantitative data?
  • How do I analyse qualitative data?
  • Help! I have collected loads of data and I don’t know what to do with them
  • How do I know what the data are telling me?

7. Sharing learning

  • What’s the best way to communicate my research findings?
  • What next?

8. Action research glossary

9. References

10. Action research toolkit

  • Self-evaluation checklist
  • Physics questionnaire
  • Diamond 9 ranking activity
  • Action research planning template
  • Action research report template

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