In China, there exists many factors such as girls’ socialized gender norms and the values and pedagogy incorporated in the science curriculum that may discourage female students from choosing science courses. In order to ensure that female students have the same opportunities to reach their potential in STEM areas, it is important to understand these factors that influence their choices. This study investigates the potential reasons why female high school students in China are less likely to choose STEM subjects. By conducting qualitative interviews with six female students, from two Chinese high schools, the study discovers several factors behind their decision-making in course selection, including the influence of current science curriculum, teachers, labor market, parents, and peers. The findings of this study enrich existing research on gender equity in Chinese high school education and provide insights about relevant policies to address gender disparities in science programs.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.