2019-02-28 Methods in a mixed methods Quasi-experimental investigation of gendered choices of school subjects in Rwandan secondary schools

Nzabonimpa, Jean Providence (2016-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This methodologically focused, two-phase equal-weight convergent mixed methods study was designed to investigate whether results are comparable and complementary between methods strands. It was designed to examine methods effects on study results and using a survey questionnaire on the one hand, and interviews and essays on the other, in Rwandan secondary schools. Findings suggest that results are similar over time when data from the same tools are considered. Such results suggest that when a particular tool is used it is likely that similar data are gathered and results produced, regardless of whether respondents participated once or twice. Different and mixed results were also produced. Where differences were observed, either a certain questionnaire response provided by a large number of questionnaire respondents would not be mentioned by qualitative-strand participants, or only by a small minority of them. When qualitative-strand participants agreed with or mentioned an issue, the quantitative-strand respondents also did so, but the degree to which they did also varied between the two strands. Without conducting the mixed analysis in an iterative and looping manner, the qualitative data become de-contextualised through quantitising, while the quantitative data are fleshed out with insights only generated through the researcher’s interpretation. It was shown that underlying quantitative and qualitative insights were interwoven in the existing pool of mixed methods data. Such insights led to understanding the explicit and the implicit, the said and the unsaid, in the responses on gendered choice of school subjects, thus greatly enhancing our understanding of the issue under consideration. Findings from both the quantitative and qualitative strands revealed that schoolchildren prefer mixed-sex to single-sex schools, although the latter have generally been indicated to offer a better learning environment. Girls from single-sex schools were reported to perform better than their counterparts in mixed-sex schools. As evidence further shows, the type of school has more of an effect than gender on self-reported performance in, and choosing of, school subjects. Findings indicate that there are sensitive or complex responses related to gender which are less easily written than said. The voices raised against the patriarchal order in science convey a message of revolt against inequitable gender practices. Findings show, counter-intuitively, that more boys than girls were likely to report positive attitudes towards women in society. The socially constructed gendered behaviours and practices adopted by both male and female social actors negatively affect girls and do not allow them to catch up with boys. Further nuances and insights that were captured indicate that some subjects, such as biology and chemistry, also have a “female face”, while mathematics and physics (to a greater extent) and chemistry (to some extent) were often associated with boys. Girls seem to be passive victims of the patriarchal order. The study also revealed that there were positive and negative predictors of the choice of science subjects, regardless of gender. This study contributes to the development and understanding of mixed methods research, challenging equal-weight designs for triangulation purposes, and also points out that educational choice of school subject is differentially gender-driven.

AFRIKAANS OPSOMMING: Hierdie metodologie-gefokusde, tweefase, gelykgewigtigte, konvergerende gemengde- metodes ondersoek is ontwerp om te ondersoek of resultate van metodestringe vergelykbaar en aanvullend is. Dit is ontwerp om metode-uitwerkings op ondersoekresultate te ondersoek, deur enersyds ‘n opnamevraelys, en andersyds onderhoude en opstelle, te gebruik. Bevindinge suggereer dat resultate oor tyd eenders bly as data in ag geneem word wat deur dieselfde metodes ingesamel is. Hierdie resultate suggereer dat, as ‘n bepaalde metode gebruik word, dit waarskynlik is dat eenderse data ingevorder en resultate geproduseer sal word, ongeag of die respondent een of twee maal deelneem. Verskillende en gemengde resultate is ook geproduseer. Waar verskille waargeneem is, was dit die geval dat sekere vraelysresponse, wat deur ‘n groot aantal vraelysrespondente verskaf is, òf nie deur kwalitatiewe-string respondente genoem word nie, òf deur slegs ‘n klein minderheid van hulle genoem word. As kwalitatiewe-string deelnemers saamgestem het met ‘n kwessie, of dit genoem het, het die kwantitatiewe-string respondente ook, maar die mate waarin hulle dit gedoen het, het ook tussen die stringe gevarieer. Indien die gemengde ontleding nie op ‘n iteratiewe en terugwerkende wyse uitgevoer word nie, word die kwalitatiewe data deur middel van kwantitisering gedekontekstualiseer, terwyl die kwantitatiewe data uitgebou word met insigte wat slegs deur die navorser se interpretasie gegenereer is. Daar is getoon dat onderliggende kwantitatiewe en kwalitatiewe insigte verweef is in die bestaande poel van gemengde-metodes data. Sodanige insigte lei tot begrip van die eksplisiete en die implisiete, die genoemde en die onuitgesproke, in die response op gendered skoolvakkeuse, en bevorder daardeur grootliks ons begrip van die kwessie in oorweging. Bevindinge van beide die kwantitatiewe en kwalitatiewe stringe het aan die lig gebring dat skoolkinders gemengde-geslag- bó enkelgeslagskole verkies, alhoewel daar oor die algemeen aangedui is dat laasgenoemde ‘n beter leeromgewing bied. Daar is berig dat meisies van enkelgeslagskole beter prestesteer as hul eweknieë in gemengde-geslagskole. Soos verder bewyse toon, het tipe skool meer van ‘n uitwerking as gender op self-gerapporteerde prestasie in, en keuse van, skoolvakke. Bevindinge dui aan dat daar sensitiewe en ingewikkelde response is met betrekking tot gender, wat moeiliker geskryf as gesê word. Die stemme wat opgaan teen die patriargale orde in wetenskap dra ‘n boodskap oor van opstand teen onbillike genderpraktyke. Bevindinge toon, teenintuïtief, dat meer seuns as meisies geneig was om positiewe houdings teenoor vroue in die samelewing te rapporteer. Die sosiaal-gekonstrueerde, gendered gedrag en praktyke wat deur beide manlike en vroulike sosiale akteurs uitgeoefen word, het ‘n negatiewe uitwerking op meisies, en laat hulle nie toe om op te vang met seuns nie. Verdere nuances en insigte wat vasgelê is, toon dat sommige vakke, soos biologie en chemie, ook ‘n “vroulike fasade” het, terwyl wiskunde en fisieka (tot ‘n groot mate) en chemie (tot ‘n sekere mate) dikwels met seuns geassosieer is. Meisies skyn passiewe slagoffers van die patriagale orde te wees. Die ondersoek het ook openbaar dat daar, ongeag gender, positiewe en negatiewe voorspellers van wetenskapsvakkeuse is. Hierdie ondersoek dra by tot die ontwikkeling en begrip van gemengde-metodes navorsing, betwis gelykgewigtigte ontwerpe vir triangulasiedoeleindes, en wys daarop dat skoolvakkeuse in die onderwys differensieel gendergedrewe is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/100367
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