ERIC Number: ED449096
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
Exploring Perceived Personal and Social Gender Stereotypes of Maths with Secondary Students: An Explanation for Continued Gender Differences in Participation?
Watt, Helen M. G.
In New South Wales, Australia, a longitudinal study of 3 sequential cohorts over three years (N=428, 436, 459 for cohorts 1 to 3 respectively) indicated their intended levels of participation in both Higher School Certificate (HSC) mathematics course selection and career plans, revealing a persistent gender imbalance in higher levels of participation favoring boys. Given this continued gender difference in participation, explanations were sought in students' perceptions of personal and social stereotypes about mathematics being more suited to males or females (or neither). Students rated the extent to which they themselves perceived mathematics as more suited to males or females, as well as the extent to which they perceived "society" as perceiving mathematics as more suited to males or females. In addition, students provided qualitative explanations for their ratings of personal and social gender stereotypes. Quantitative and qualitative data were collated for each gender within each cohort, and explanations thematically grouped. Despite most students' ratings favoring neither gender, stereotypes favored boys for mathematics where these occurred. Social stereotypes appeared more prevalent than personal stereotypes, perhaps reflecting cultural change and perhaps indicating a degree of "political correctness" on the part of students' reported self-perceptions. There was limited suggestion that social stereotypes are stronger for older students. The study focused on personal versus social stereotypes for boys versus girls, how these may develop and how these might contribute to the gender imbalance in mathematics participation. (Contains 5 figures, 6 tables, and 18 references.) (BT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia