Senior High School Female Students' Interest in Physics as a Course of Study at the University Level in Ghana

The study of females' interest in physics is an issue of international concern. Of the sciences, physics is the subject in which the increase in the number of females involved has been particularly low. The term 'interest' may usually refers to preference to engage in some types of activities rather than others. This study investigated whether Ghanaian Senior High School female science students would prefer to study physics at the university or not and the reasons for their choice. Two hundred and one final year female students in four Senior High Schools offering biology, chemistiy and physics in the Cape Coast Metropolis of the Central Region of Ghana, participated in the study. Data was obtained with Questionnaire on Female Participation in Physics and Interview Protocol, administered to the female students. The findings from the study suggest that female students do not prefer physics as a course of study at the university level due to limited career opportunities in the subject. An implication from this study is that female enrolment in physics will not improve unless information about career awareness in the subject is made available to students. Serious efforts must be made by physics educators as well as Physics Departments to create awareness of career opportunities in the study of physics.

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