ERIC Number: ED430295
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
A Gendered Dichotomy in Written Reflections in Professional Development Portfolios.
Irby, Beverly J.; Brown, Genevieve
This paper reports on a study that analyzed 91 written reflections in the professional-development portfolios of 13 doctoral students in educational leadership. The purpose of the research was to determine dichotomous expressions of thoughts between eight males (56 reflections) and five females (35 reflections). The study took place in a regional university in Texas. Participants for the study were all administrators in schools or universities and were in the first year of their program. Analysis of the written reflections reveals that the students' reflections were consistently the same length. In examining the structure of the reflections, 38 percent of the men, but almost none of the women, used bulleted or numbered lists. Men were also more likely to have grammatical errors than women. An analysis of voice revealed that women used the third person more extensively than men and their reflections were more clinical sounding, as if they were quoting authorities. All of the men used the first person and wrote with authority. The participants' degree of self confidence, therefore, was another theme that emerged. The women's work appeared passive and tentative, while the men's reflections expressed confidence, assertiveness, and decisiveness. Overall, the study revealed gendered dichotomies in five areas: length, structure, voice, confidence, and collaboration. (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 19-23, 1999).