Exploring the Role of "Gendered" Discourse Styles in Online Science Discussions
International Journal of Science Education Volume 37, Number 3, ISSN 0950-0693
In this study, we examined whether gendered discourse styles were evidenced in online, synchronous, physics collaborative learning group discussions, and the extent to which such discourse patterns were related to the uptake of ideas within the group. We defined two discourse styles: the oppositional/direct style, theorized to be the socialized discourse pattern typically used by males, and the aligned/indirect style, theorized to be the socialized discourse pattern typically used by females. Our analysis indicates the presence of both styles in these chats and the styles were generally utilized along theorized, gendered lines. However, we also observed male use of the stereotypically "feminine" discourse style and female use of the stereotypically "masculine" discourse style. Moreover, we found no main effect for discourse style on the uptake of ideas. The findings indicate that, contrary to prior research in both face-to-face science classroom settings and online physics settings, ideas were taken up at relatively similar rates regardless of the gendered discourse style employed. Design implications of this study are discussed and suggestions for future research are made.
Sullivan, F.R., Kapur, M., Madden, S. & Shipe, S. (2015). Exploring the Role of "Gendered" Discourse Styles in Online Science Discussions. International Journal of Science Education, 37(3), 484-504.