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Differential Treatment of Females and Males in Mathematics Classes

Joanne Rossi Becker
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education
Vol. 12, No. 1 (Jan., 1981), pp. 40-53
DOI: 10.2307/748657
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/748657
Page Count: 14
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Differential Treatment of Females and Males in Mathematics Classes
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Abstract

This observational study of 10 high school geometry teachers combined the collection of quantitative and qualitative data using participant observation techniques to determine if there was differential treatment of male and female students. Categorical data gathered by use of the Brophy-Good Teacher-Child Dyadic Interaction System were analyzed by inferential and descriptive statistics. Ethnographic data were analyzed using anthropological field research techniques. Combined data showed a distinct trend for disproportionate teacher contacts, in both quantity and quality, with male students. It is hypothesized, based on observed behavior and interviews, that the sites displayed a type of self-fulfilling prophecy, with differential expectations by teachers for behavior of students of each sex causing differential treatment of students, which, in turn, contributed to differences in student behavior.

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