Thursday, September 18, 2008

Gender and math/science study

Self-confidence feeds girls' interest in math, sciences
Girls who show little initial interest in science may still excel if their parents and teachers help them build confidence in the subjects, according to a new study. "The relationship between confidence and interest is close," says researcher Nadya Fouad. "If they feel they can do it, it feeds their interest." parent support and expectations emerged as the top support in both subjects and genders for middle- and high-school students. Also powerful for younger girls were engaging teachers and positive experiences with them. Both boys and girls perceived that teachers thought boys were stronger at math and science. For boys this represented a support, while for girls it acted as a barrier. Top barriers for all age groups and disciplines were test anxiety and subject difficulty, but these differed between boys and girls. In addition, the genders formed their perceptions of math or science based on the barriers and supports, but they often arrived at different views.
Ultimately, it's perception, more than reality, that affects the person's academic and career choices, says Fouad.

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee (2008, September 8). Tracking The Reasons Many Girls Avoid Science And Math. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2008, from­ /releases/2008/09/080905153807.htm

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