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Autori: Jugović, Ivana
Naslov: The Importance of Gender Roles, Stereotypes and Motivation in the Explanation of Educational Choices
Izvornik: The European Conference on Educational Research (ECER)
Skup: The European Conference on Educational Research (ECER)
Mjesto i datum: Berlin, Germany, 12 - 13 September 2011
Ključne riječi: gender roles; stereotypes; motivation for physics; educational choices
Young people’s interest for key science studies and mathematics is declining and, "when looked at from a gender perspective the problem is even worse as, in general, girls are less interested in science education than boys" (European Commission, 2007). The most common goal of gender equality policies in education in most European countries is to challenge traditional gender roles and stereotypes (Eurydice, 2010). In line with this, the aim of this research is to explore the rationale behind gender differences in choosing physics and technical studies in higher education. More specifically, the focus of this research is to explore if these educational choices are made not only because of students' motivation for the field of study, but also because they are under the influence of their actualized gender roles and stereotypes about the appropriateness of these studies for men and women. Eccles and colleagues’ expectancy-value model was used as a theoretical framework for this research (Eccles, 1987). Research shows that physics can be considered as a stereotypically male educational domain: boys have higher motivation for physics than girls (Marušić, 2006) and children still endorse stereotypes that physics is a male domain (Jugović, 2010 ; Whitehead, 1996). Women are also underrepresented in most of the technical courses in higher education for which knowledge in physics is important (Croatian Bureau of Statistics, 2009 ; National Science Fundation, 2007). According to the expectancy-value model, the most important factors that explain gender differences in academic achievement and choices are expectations for success and subjective task values (interest, utility value and attainment value) (Eccles, 1987). This model is based in socialization theories and emphasizes the role that family and school contexts have in child’s development, e.g. how gender roles, stereotypes and different gendered expectations about child’s behavior and abilities that parents and teachers have affect child’s educational achievement and career choices. Although the theory proposes that gender roles and stereotypes are factors that influence academic achievement and choices, their role, compared to the role of the motivational factors, has rarely been empirically examined. The aim of this research was to explore the role of stereotypes, gender roles and motivational factors in the explanation of intentions of vocational choices in a stereotypically male educational domain – physics. The main research problems were to test the hypothesis of the expectancy-value model (1) that motivational factors are the most important predictors of the intentions of choosing physics at the state matura and applying for technical studies, and (2) that traditional female gender roles and endorsement of stereotypes about males’ greater talent in physics and technical careers have negative effect on girls' intentions to chose physics and apply for technical studies. The sample of the research consisted of 744 grammar school students from Zagreb, the Capital of Croatia. Several questionnaires were administered during students’ regular classes in the middle of the third year of their high school education. Concepts of motivation for physics (expectations for success in physics related activities in the future, perceived competence in physics, interest, attainment value, and utility value of physics) were measured with scales that were translated into Croatian language and adapted to the Croatian educational context from the original scales in English language that have been used in the research that examined expectancy-value theory in the USA (Eccles, O'Neil & Wigfield, 2005). Gender roles in adolescence (femininity and masculinity) were measured with the Gender Roles in Adolescence Scale that was constructed for the purpose of this research and that has shown to be a reliable and valid measure of gender roles for adolescents in the Croatian social context. Apart from these concepts, stereotypes about men's greater talent in physics and technical careers, and educational outcomes such as the intention to choose physics at the state matura (high school leaving exam) and the intention to choose to apply for technical studies, were also examined. The results have shown that girls had lower motivation for physics, and less intention of choosing physics at the state matura and applying for technical studies than boys, in spite of the girls' higher grades in physics compared to boys' grades. The results of the hierarchical regression analyses for both girls and boys have shown that out of all predictors, motivation for physics contributed the most to the explanation of the intentions to choose physics and technical studies. More specifically, these intentions were stronger if the students perceived physics to be useful for their future, and for girls specifically, if they expected to succeed in physics related activities in the future. The endorsement of the female gender role and stereotypes about men's greater talent in technical careers had a negative effect on these intentions for girls. These results provided a strong support for the replicability of the expectancy-value model (Eccles, 1987) in the European context and could also contribute to the development of programs for promoting and enhancing gender sensitive education and guidance in European countries, given that it is available in only half of the European countries (Eurydice, 2010).
Vrsta sudjelovanja: Poster
Vrsta prezentacije u zborniku: Sažetak
Vrsta recenzije: Međunarodna recenzija
Projekt / tema: 100-1001677-0880
Izvorni jezik: ENG
Kategorija: Znanstveni
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Upisao u CROSBI: (, 18. Stu. 2011. u 11:25 sati

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