Common stereotypes contend that boys have more natural ability and interest in math than do girls, which may contribute to the underrepresentation of women in some Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields. Research suggests that many teachers endorse these stereotypes to some extent. These stereotypes have the potential to be transferred to their students via their behavior, which may impact math self-concept and achievement, particularly in girls. Thus, we hypothesized that math-gender stereotyping in teachers would be associated with lower math achievement and self-concept in their female, but not male students, and that student math-gender stereotyping would mediate these relationships. In a sample of 2,387 kindergarten through 3rd grade students and their 223 teachers from 30 schools in the United States, we measured student math achievement and self-concept in Fall and Spring of the 2018/19 school year. We also measured math-gender stereotyped beliefs in both the teachers and the 3rd grade students from the sample. We found evidence of male-biased math-gender stereotypes in both teachers and male students, and female-biased stereotypes in female students. Using multi-level models, we found that there were no significant relations between teacher stereotyping and student math achievement or self-concept. We also found no relation between teacher stereotyping and student stereotyping in the 3rd grade students, and thus did not test the overall mediation model. However, when stereotypes about men and women were examined separately from those about girls and boys, we found that male-biased stereotyping about adults in teachers was associated with higher math achievement overall, and higher stereotyping and lower math self-concept in 3rd grade boys. We suggest that teacher math-gender stereotyping overall may not be a particularly effective avenue for intervention to improve math outcomes for female students, but that the influence of stereotypes about adults specifically merits exploration. Future research with a developmental approach is required understand how these relations may change over time and what potential gender stereotyping may have as a candidate for intervention as children grow.
|Qualification||Master of Science|
|Award date||11 Dec 2020|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|