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Education Research International
Volume 2019, Article ID 6324704, 13 pages
Research Article

Perceptions of Scientists and Stereotypes through the Eyes of Young School Children

1Associate Professor of Educational Psychology, North Carolina State University, Teacher Education and Learning Sciences Department, Raleigh, NC 27695-7801, USA
2Teacher Education and Learning Sciences Department, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7801, USA
3Associate Professor of Education, Educational Sciences Department, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Correspondence should be addressed to Margareta M. Thomson; ude.uscn@nosmoht_ateragram

Received 15 August 2018; Accepted 21 February 2019; Published 1 April 2019

Academic Editor: Gwo-Jen Hwang

Copyright © 2019 Margareta M. Thomson et al. 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.


The goal of the current study was to investigate children’s representations of scientists using the Draw-a-Scientist Test (DAST). Participants () were young school children from Romania enrolled in both rural and urban public schools from grade levels 3, 4, and 5. The study findings showed that most children represented stereotypical characteristics of scientists in their drawings such as white male wearing lab coats using instruments that reflected a chemistry lab. Results also indicated statistically significant differences in the score of stereotyping indicators with respect to student grade level. Additionally, students who visited science museums scored significantly higher in stereotyping indicators than students who indicated on their survey answers that they have not visited science museums. Findings are discussed in relationship with students’ views about scientists and their understanding of science.