Presentation Title

Sources of Girls’ Math Self-Efficacy Beliefs

Location

Guzman 113, Dominican University of California

Start Date

4-17-2019 7:00 PM

Department

Education

Student Type

Graduate

Faculty Mentor(s)

Jennifer Lucko, PhD

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

Research on the gender gap within mathematics shows girls’ math self-efficacy to be correlated with their interest in higher levels of math education and STEM career opportunities. Most of the studies regarding the gender gap in mathematics have used only quantitative approaches, thereby missing the opportunity to gain deeper perspectives by listening to the girls who are steadily facing the mathematical gender gap. The aim of this research was to help identify sources that had an effect on math self-efficacy in order to determine if there are strategies that parents, teachers, administrators, and educational policymakers can implement to increase the level of math self-efficacy for girls. This study centered around two small focus groups of girls who have chosen to attend a unique secondary school (grades 6-12) that dedicate their entire afternoons to math and focus on the deep engagement and enjoyment of higher-level mathematics. In addition, parents of girls at the school were surveyed to provide further insight into possible sources of their daughter’s efficacy in math. The findings from the study show how particularly impactful supportive family, teachers, and/or peers are in building a strong math culture foundation for girls to then have the self-realization that they enjoy math for themselves. Ongoing reinforcement of their math identity through the continuation of supportive and engaging environments is highly influential in maintaining their math self-efficacy. It is crucial that adults create family, school, and extracurricular environments that support girls’ development and maintenance of their math self-efficacy.

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Apr 17th, 7:00 PM

Sources of Girls’ Math Self-Efficacy Beliefs

Guzman 113, Dominican University of California

Research on the gender gap within mathematics shows girls’ math self-efficacy to be correlated with their interest in higher levels of math education and STEM career opportunities. Most of the studies regarding the gender gap in mathematics have used only quantitative approaches, thereby missing the opportunity to gain deeper perspectives by listening to the girls who are steadily facing the mathematical gender gap. The aim of this research was to help identify sources that had an effect on math self-efficacy in order to determine if there are strategies that parents, teachers, administrators, and educational policymakers can implement to increase the level of math self-efficacy for girls. This study centered around two small focus groups of girls who have chosen to attend a unique secondary school (grades 6-12) that dedicate their entire afternoons to math and focus on the deep engagement and enjoyment of higher-level mathematics. In addition, parents of girls at the school were surveyed to provide further insight into possible sources of their daughter’s efficacy in math. The findings from the study show how particularly impactful supportive family, teachers, and/or peers are in building a strong math culture foundation for girls to then have the self-realization that they enjoy math for themselves. Ongoing reinforcement of their math identity through the continuation of supportive and engaging environments is highly influential in maintaining their math self-efficacy. It is crucial that adults create family, school, and extracurricular environments that support girls’ development and maintenance of their math self-efficacy.