ERIC Number: ED334074
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Gender, Confidence, Math: Why Aren't the Girls "Where the Boys Are?"
In the area of school mathematics, research has repeatedly indicated that males are far more likely than females to participate in and excel at the highest levels of achievement. Given the supposition of innate differences between the sexes in mathematical ability, as well as the existence of sociocultural differences, none of these variables appears readily amenable to intervention strategies. A study investigated those variables upon which the mathematics education community can exert some influence. Considered as a possible explanatory factor for gender-related differences in mathematical abilities was autonomous learning behavior, which is both characterized as mediation between internal and external influences and performance on high-level cognitive tasks, and hypothesized to be the result of environmental and societal factors. Analyses were conducted to examine the relationship of standardized mathematics achievement scores, problem-solving strategies, self-report scores, and Confidence in Learning Mathematics survey scores among 122 eighth-grade students, 70 females and 52 males, representing all levels of mathematics achievement. Among the findings, no gender differences were evident on any of these scores; however, the Confidence scores functioned differently for the sexes. When consideration was focused upon average scores on the problem-solving strategies measure, males exhibited a direct relationship between routine problem scores and Confidence scores, whereas females showed an inverse relationship. (22 references) (JJK)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Autonomous Learning
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (Boston, MA, August 1990).