Anxious girls and laid-back boys: teachers' and study counsellors' gendered perceptions of students

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Abstract

Efforts to reach gender equality in education in Finland have been extensive. Both teacher education and policy documents for schools have focused on gender equality and gender-neutral treatment of students. The aim of this study is to explore if and how these efforts are manifested in upper secondary school teachers' and study counsellors' perceptions of students' self-belief, academic emotions, study habits and behaviour at school. Twenty-three interviews were conducted and analysed qualitatively through inductive content analysis. The results revealed that teachers and study counsellors perceive that girls' low self-belief and high achievement expectations affected their academic performance, while boys' insecurity or need for support was rarely mentioned. The teachers ascribed the students several gender-stereotypical attributes: girls were perceived as diligent and hard-working while boys were perceived as being indifferent towards school and achievements. The implications of these results for students' self-belief and for teacher education are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCambridge Journal of Education
Volume50
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)185-199
Number of pages15
ISSN0305-764X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences
  • Gender
  • stereotypes
  • self-belief
  • academic emotions
  • study habits
  • STEREOTYPE THREAT
  • SCHOOL BURNOUT
  • SELF-EFFICACY
  • ACHIEVEMENT
  • IDENTITY
  • INTELLIGENCE
  • EXPECTATIONS
  • LADDISHNESS
  • PERSONALITY
  • ENGAGEMENT

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