Smasse trained science teachers’ address of gender issues in classrooms

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Jane Rarieya

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Lilian Vikiru


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


The importance of Science education cannot be overemphasised in today’s world that is increasingly advancing scientifically and technologically. Nonetheless, the absence of women in scientific fields reflects serious gender inequities which emanate from the classroom. This qualitative case study investigated how Strengthening Mathematics and Science in Secondary Schools (SMASSE) trained Science teachers address gender issues in their classrooms. The study was conducted in Kiambu County and engaged two male Science teachers trained in gender issues during a SMASSE training. Twelve students; six girls and six boys in Form four class also participated in the study. Multiple data collection methods, namely, document analysis, observation, individual and Focus Group interviews were used. Study findings show that gender issues formed a very small component of SMASSE training. Findings also reveal the presence of gender issues in the classrooms such as differential participation of boys and girls, as well as disparity in performance all in favour of girls. Moreover, boys show a lackadaisical attitude towards education. Findings further show that, in-spite of the training, teachers are still not adequately prepared to address gender issues, particularly, those related to the boy child. Teachers’ classroom practices show minimal gender sensitive response to issues related to gender. In addition, the dominant patriarchal values in the community as well as certain school factors influence how teachers address gender issues in their classrooms. The study advocates for inclusion of gender in education course during pre-service training of teachers as well as in-service courses in order to equip them not only with knowledge and skills of addressing gender issues in their classrooms, but also positive attitudes about boys and girls as learners.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library