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Gendered Teacher Expectations of Mathematics Achievement in New Zealand: Contributing to a Kink at the Base of the STEM Pipeline?

Penelope Winifred StJohn Watson, Christine Margaret Rubie-Davies, Kane Meissel, Annaline Flint, Elizabeth Ruth Peterson, Lynda Garrett, Lyn McDonald

Abstract


Women remain under-represented in mathematics-related domains, despite demonstrating that their ability in these domains is equal to that of men. Teacher expectation has been identified as one factor that may explain differences in student outcomes, and student gender has been influential in shaping such expectation. However, while the association between teacher gender and mathematics achievement has been explored, there exists a paucity of studies that have probed how teacher gender relates to teacher expectations of mathematics 1903achievement. The current study was conducted with a sample of elementary schools in New Zealand, a national context where the implementation of policies advocating educational gender equity has been criticized as ineffective. Differentiated male and female teacher expectations, and the influence of teacher–student gender match and mismatch on teacher expectations of student achievement in mathematics, were explored using hierarchical linear modelling. In addition, the study explored whether such teacher expectations supported an intention to foster educational gender equity, or reflected stereotypical gender norms that ran counter to that intent. The current study found that teacher gender was associated significantly with teacher expectations of student achievement in mathematics, revealing possible implications for males in the teaching profession, and for female students’ future involvement in mathematics and related fields. 

 


Keywords


teacher expectations; gender; mathematics; STEM

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