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Handbook of Self-Regulation of Learning and Performance

Barry J. Zimmerman, Dale H. Schunk

The Influence of Gender on Students’ Self-Regulated Learning and Performance

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Kay Bussey
Published online on: 08 Mar 2011

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Australia A greater number of women are participating in advanced education and obtaining Bachelor’s degrees than ever before. Hill. 10. self-directed learning requires not only the ability to self-regulate learning and performance. the majority of Bachelor’s degrees are awarded to women (National Science Foundation.Downloaded By: Florida Atlantic University At: 16:02 28 Jul 2017. For: 9780203839010.ch2 27 The Influence of Gender on Students’ Self-Regulated Learning and Performance Kay Bussey Macquarie University. 1997). Crucial to academic success is the capacity to self-direct learning and performance. 2008). 2009. Self-efficacy to regulate thoughts. 2007). and 426 . knowledge of self-regulatory strategies. chapter27. 1986). this chapter draws on social cognitive theory (Bandura. Therefore. and reacting self-evaluatively to one’s performance. Lindberg. The major concepts associated with self-regulated learning and performance are first considered. However.4324/9780203839010. Williams. 2010). This gender gap has persisted despite increasing evidence showing that females are as capable as males in these fields (Hyde. affect. SELF-EFFICACY BELIEFS AND STUDENTS’ SELF-REGULATED LEARNING Central to academic achievement is the capacity for self-regulation. To examine the theoretical underpinnings of self-regulated learning. & Barnett. & Williams. From this perspective. Corbett. but a belief in one’s ability to do so. motivation. Rose. Sydney. The theory encompasses a range of cognitive mechanisms as well as social and motivational factors. particularly in the domains of math and science. which provides a comprehensive account of human functioning. self-directed learning requires forethought. Pivotal to this is self-efficacy which refers to students’ beliefs in their capabilities to perform specific tasks and activities (Bandura. Linn. In the United States. this chapter examines factors that differentially impinge on males and females in the academic domain affecting learning and performance. women remain underrepresented in the science and math fields at the undergraduate and graduate levels and in the workplace (Ceci. entailing setting goals and anticipating outcomes for achieving those goals. self- regulation involving the adoption of personal standards. From an agentic view of the self. Ellis. This chapter addresses the role of self- beliefs in students’ self-regulated learning and performance and the influence of gender on these self-beliefs.

as girls have become less gender traditional in their views about themselves and their gender attitudes have become more egalitarian. Eccles. As will be shown later.4324/9780203839010. 2008. girls typically outperform boys in reading and writing (Nowell & Hedges. From the social cognitive theory perspective. Osgood. 2010. environmental events. Socially valued pursuits in the academic domain are heavily influenced by a student’s gender.. Children are more likely to develop skills valued by society and those they believe they are able to master. Self-regulatory skills do not develop or function in a vacuum.ch2 27. and peers. are encouraged more than girls to undertake and do well at math. the relative influence of each of these three factors on the others varies. During the school years. 1997). More recently. course selection. Before examining the various forms of social influence on students’ self-regulated learning. course selection. 1997. the gender gap in math and life science achievement has reduced (Hyde et al. boys believe they are better able to succeed (Britner & Pajares. They may. & Wigfield.. these conceptions are promoted by parents. Twenge. Only in the late school years have boys tended to outperform girls.Downloaded By: Florida Atlantic University At: 16:02 28 Jul 2017. there are vast gender differences in their academic achievement. Both the physical and social environments can support or hinder students’ self-directed learning. and behavior patterns (Bandura. Many of these social influences covary with students’ gender. The person contribution consists of cognitive. 2006. for example. As they age. The behavioral component refers to actual performance and achievement. children still typically develop gender stereotypic conceptions about academic subjects. 1999). 1986). Environmental factors refer to a range of social influences as well as to the physical environment. Social influences that impede or promote children’s development of self-regulated learning and self-efficacy beliefs abound. chapter27. even when boys and girls demonstrate the same level of math achievement. females tend to perform more poorly than when this is not the case (Else-Quest. self-efficacy beliefs. they self-select other environments or create their own. Spencer. GENDER DIFFERENCES IN SELF-REGULATED LEARNING AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT Although there are few differences in girls’ and boys’ academic abilities. These students do not passively accept the prevailing environment. and career choices are largely the product of motivational factors resulting . Lanza. 2006). students who have developed strong beliefs in their self-regulatory capabilities are likely to persevere at difficult tasks even when not successful initially and even when there are environmental or social impediments. for example. 2008). girls increasingly believe that boys are better at science and math and their beliefs in their competence in these domains declines (Britner & Pajares. 2002). particularly at the higher levels of math achievement. teachers. Caprara et al. & Linn. and biological processes encompassing self-regulatory factors. For: 9780203839010. Consequently. seek the company of other students who share their goals. Steele. Hyde. THE INFLUENCE OF GENDER ON STUDENTS’ SELF-REGULATED LEARNING 427 action through self-reactive influence is a core feature of the agentic approach to self-regulation (Bandura. 10. In the past. however. gender differences in the self-regulation of academic learning and performance are reviewed. It has been amply demonstrated that persistent gender differences in achievement. 1998). self-directed learning is conceptualized within the triadic model of reciprocal interaction involving person factors. and. and career choices. & Quinn. In situations where math is more strongly linked to the male gender role. affective. and social outcome expectations. there has been little difference in girls’ and boys’ math performance during the early school years. Boys. Jacobs. These gender stereotypic conceptions and self-beliefs impact on performance. The model is dynamic in that over time and in different contexts. Despite this gender gap reduction in math and life science achievement.

One of the major ways in which gender influences learning and performance is through the differing self-efficacy beliefs held by males and females for academic tasks and self-regulated learning. Perceived competence. self-efficacy beliefs are pivotal for effective self-directed learning and performance. Barbaranelli. Britner and Pajares (2001) found that girls’ success at science was not matched by higher science self-efficacy beliefs than boys. From the early school years. the extent to which they persevere at mastering the task in the face of failure or limited success. Hackett and Betz (1989) showed that self-efficacy beliefs were more predictive of choice of college majors than math aptitude or anxiety associated with math. and careers selected and are strong predictors of math and science performance (Britner & Pajares. However.4324/9780203839010. Indeed. These beliefs are not simply a reflection of past performance. particularly perceived self-efficacy. Pajares & Schunk. 2005). 1997). is a central motivational factor strongly related to academic outcomes. Girls in grades 5 to 8 typically achieve higher science grades than do boys. the next section begins with a discussion of self-efficacy beliefs followed by a consideration of the processes associated with self-regulated learning. Consistent with this view. This mismatch between self-efficacy beliefs and performance is likely. gender differences in self-efficacy beliefs are apparent. The more confident students are about their capabilities. The poor performance of women related more to their lower self-efficacy beliefs for solving the problems than to math anxiety. For: 9780203839010. Guay. Senecal. 2006). 2001. to negatively impact on girls’ achievement in science. Pajares and Miller (1994) have shown that self-efficacy for solving math problems was highly predictive of math achievement. The importance of self-efficacy beliefs carries through to the selection of college majors.efficacy is considered first as it is the key motivational construct of self-regulated learning and influences adoption of goals. perceived self-efficacy is a better predictor than academic achievement for students’ gender-linked occupational preferences (Bandura. . Thus. 1989. rather. Strong efficacy beliefs are important for future achievement as the more students believe they are capable of mastering a particular activity the more effort they expend in learning about it and the more they persevere when they encounter difficulties. 2006). 2001). 10. Therefore. Larose. Caprara. chapter27. and decision choices (Zimmerman & Cleary. use of self-regulatory processes. & Pastorelli. Self-efficacy beliefs influence students’ persistence to master academic pursuits. This is because students’ appraisals of their ability to succeed at particular activities influence the amount of effort they expend at the task. they are derived from multiple sources of information and are influenced by gender. Ratelle. Self.Downloaded By: Florida Atlantic University At: 16:02 28 Jul 2017. Hackett & Betz. It therefore is apparent that the poorer performance of females on math and science tasks and their reluctance to select science-based college majors is largely a result of their lower judgments about their own capabilities than their actual capabilities. & Harvey. THE INFLUENCE OF GENDER ON SELF-EFFICACY BELIEFS IN THE ACADEMIC DOMAIN Self-efficacy beliefs are better predictors of academic success than objective assessments of ability or students’ past performance. the less their performances are likely to be undermined by anxiety (Bandura. from the social cognitive theory perspective.ch2 428 KAY BUSSEY from societal influences that promote traditional gender stereotypes. over time. and their ability to use self-regulatory skills (Zimmerman & Cleary. math self-concept or the perceived usefulness of math. women performed worse than men on math problem solving tasks and also held lower problem solving self-efficacy beliefs. 2006. courses chosen.

Students synthesize information from these sources to construct their self-efficacy beliefs. While ridicule and censure can undermine the mastery of skills. girls are particularly vulnerable to negative appraisals of their competence in male-dominated domains. students have less access to everyday female models to select as a standard against which to measure their self-improvement and to maintain their self-efficacy beliefs when difficulties are encountered. students’ self-efficacy beliefs are influenced by models’ performances on related activities particularly if the model is similar to them with about the same or a slightly higher ability (Bandura. Girls often do not value success at math and science and such successes are not always highly prized by peers. verbal persuasion. 1997). It is the cognitive appraisal of the success or failure that determines whether self-efficacy beliefs are boosted or reduced. If students are successful at a task. Students who are told that they have the ability to master new concepts are more likely to persevere in the face of limited success. The same level of performance can be viewed differently by different students (Lopez. the greater the impact on students’ self-efficacy beliefs. In the academic domain. When there are only a few females who enter male-dominated domains. 2006). THE INFLUENCE OF GENDER ON STUDENTS’ SELF-REGULATED LEARNING 429 SOURCES OF SELF-EFFICACY BELIEFS In view of the importance of self-efficacy for influencing achievement. attributions for success or failure. It is therefore understandable that girls and women come to believe that science and math are not suitable pursuits for them and they do not develop strong self-efficacy beliefs in these domains. encouragement is important to mobilize effort to master complex concepts and to build self-efficacy beliefs. Personal dedication is often needed to master difficult concepts and it is easy to give in to competing demands if one doubts one’s capability for success or if that success is not valued. and physiological states. it is not often that women are portrayed in the role of scientist in television news and dramas or as authorities in television commercials. The credibility of the person providing the feedback is . 10. Such undermining influences can serve to reduce the persistence required to master skills related to math and science.1997. students do not always interpret success and failure in the same way. For: 9780203839010. and social comparisons with other students’ performances. It is essential to realistically support students’ academic endeavors. The judgment will depend on a variety of cognitive appraisals involving personal and social factors such as effort expended on the task. particularly when they are provided with encouragement to deal with the stress of failure. 1997). encouragement must be appropriate. chapter27. Mastery experiences are posited as the most important source for forming self-efficacy beliefs and there is considerable empirical support for this (see Bandura. However. Bandura (1997) has argued that verbal persuasion is most effectively used in conjunction with mastery experiences. They can both boost or undermine self-efficacy beliefs. 1987). However. constructive. With verbal persuasion. This is particularly so for students in the early school years where guided mastery has been shown to raise girls’ math self-efficacy beliefs so that they are comparable to those of boys (Schunk & Lilly.Downloaded By: Florida Atlantic University At: 16:02 28 Jul 2017. Schunk. & Gore. Therefore. vicarious experiences. The more credible the source. 1984) and to heighten both boys’ and girls’ academic and self-regulatory self-efficacy beliefs (Usher & Pajares. that these persuasions can be positive and negative. there has been substantial research into the sources of self-efficacy beliefs.ch2 27. can influence students that they possess the necessary skills to perform well at a specific activity. Although vicarious experience is not as influential as mastery experience in influencing self- efficacy beliefs. Gender is an important basis of similarity between model and observer. however.4324/9780203839010. Bandura (1997) proposes that self-efficacy beliefs are formed from four sources: mastery experiences. particularly credible others. and informative. It is noteworthy. others. Brown. they tend to increase their self-efficacy beliefs whereas failure leads to lower self-efficacy beliefs. Lent.

the increased strength of these two forms of influence on females’ self-efficacy beliefs was evident mainly in male- dominated fields (Anderson & Betz. and is not stressed when he performs math tasks. CONSTRUCTING SELF-EFFICACY BELIEFS Students derive their self-efficacy beliefs through integrating their cognitive appraisals of information from the four sources of self-efficacy beliefs (mastery experiences. Negative mood states and anxiety can interfere with performance thereby lowering self-efficacy beliefs. whereas in other situations some are more powerful than others. Therefore. 2000). teachers can help alleviate the negative interpretation of anxiety and its consequent deleterious impact on girls’ self-efficacy beliefs. 2002). Lent et al. For: 9780203839010. and peers. verbal persuasion. Hampton. In such fields it is apparent that females need more than task mastery to strengthen their self-efficacy beliefs. This is particularly the case for female students in traditional male dominated fields. 10. Although many students may fit this profile. By highlighting accomplished female role models and providing mentoring for girls. This interdependence between the sources is illustrated by the case of a male student who is an “A” student in math. Zeldin & Pajares. correlations between the different sources are typically positive and strong (Anderson & Betz. Brown. they often ascribe their success to external factors such as luck or ease of the test rather than to their own ability (Dweck. Zeldin & Pajares. researchers have investigated the differential influence of these four sources on the self-efficacy beliefs of male and female students (Anderson & Betz. however. Lent. 2000). Comments that focus students on areas where they have performed successfully.4324/9780203839010. A certain degree of arousal can be beneficial in the performance of complex tasks and activities. experience. This is particularly so for girls after successful math and science performance. thereby enabling them to better judge their own capabilities. and mood. The final source of self-efficacy beliefs is provided by physiological states such as anxiety. Students’ confidence is more likely to be boosted the less stress and anxiety they experience when they perform a particular activity. Although the sources provide different experiences and information for students to draw on in forming their self-efficacy beliefs. 2004). physiological states) discussed above. receives encouragement and praise for his high math achievement from family. even when they are highly successful. The more positive and the more structured the verbal encouragement. They require support and encouragement from others to boost their confidence whereas boys are prone to spontaneously boost and even over-estimate their ability (Watt. vicarious. 1996. 2001. 1996.ch2 430 KAY BUSSEY important. & Gore. 1998. 1998. Klassen. 2000). 2006). Therefore. stress. there are some for whom there is less concordance among the sources influencing the formation of self- efficacy beliefs. It has been shown that when women do well at tasks that do not fit gender stereotypic conceptions. It has been shown that girls report experiencing higher levels of science anxiety than boys and that they are prone to interpret this as reflecting their lack of competence at science (Britner & Pajares. It has been shown that in some situations all four sources influence self-efficacy beliefs. teachers. 2001. Zeldin & Pajares. Hampton. Lopez. it is the interpretation of the physiological states that can be debilitating or enhancing. are likely to build self-efficacy beliefs. He is from a family of high achievers.. Global comments are usually less effective than specific ones that direct students to focus on skills they have mastered and those they need to master. 2001. . the more it can help to focus the student on the specific task they need to master.Downloaded By: Florida Atlantic University At: 16:02 28 Jul 2017. chapter27. 2010. In some studies it has been shown that vicarious experiences and verbal persuasion are stronger influences on female than male students’ self-efficacy beliefs. so too is the manner in which the information is conveyed.

As for the formation of academic self-efficacy beliefs. The expansion of resources available on the Internet means that students need to regulate the pace. & Martinez-Pons. Apart from self-regulatory efficacy beliefs. 10.ch2 27. Many students have difficulty continually applying their knowledge in the face of failure. 2006). seeing a less competent female student master math tasks may boost the self-efficacy beliefs of females more than seeing a highly competent male master them. Bandura. and self-reaction. Zimmerman. it is necessary to consider how these sources differentially impact the formation of self-efficacy beliefs of males and females. The more that academic domains are gender stereotyped the more students monitor their performance in gender differentiated ways. and age (Britner & Pajares. For example. From the social cognitive theory perspective. and competing activities. For: 9780203839010. particularly self-regulatory processes. at a specific level they may record the number of pages completed in a workbook or at a more general level they may abstract that they perform better in some subjects than in others (Schunk. and place of learning particularly as this learning is not restricted to the classroom or even attending school. THE INFLUENCE OF GENDER ON STUDENTS’ SELF-REGULATED LEARNING 431 females need additional vicarious experience and verbal persuasion to boost their self-efficacy beliefs in male dominated fields. and the self-regulatory strategies guiding performance. they increasingly monitor their academic performance on a number of dimensions. . the gender linkage of the activity about which the student is developing self-efficacy beliefs is important.. The first step in self-regulation is to monitor one’s performance. To strengthen students’ self-efficacy beliefs so that they are able to achieve at their optimal level. judgmental processes. chapter27. For example. timing. 1983. 1992). Self-regulatory efficacy is of increasing importance as the nature of educational instruction undergoes significant change with greater reliance on technology (Caprara et al. When considering the influence of these four sources on gender differences in self-efficacy beliefs. These beliefs can be undermined or supported depending on the students’ environment. 2000). This is important since the influence of self-efficacy beliefs extends to other aspects of self-directed learning and performance. Strong belief in one’s self-regulatory academic efficacy raises achievement by increasing academic aspirations (Zimmerman. stressors. 2008). Usher and Pajares (2006) confirmed that overall the sources predicted both academic self-efficacy and self-regulatory efficacy and that for girls social persuasion was a particularly strong source informing both their academic and self-regulatory efficacy beliefs.Downloaded By: Florida Atlantic University At: 16:02 28 Jul 2017. an important distinction is made between possessing self-regulatory knowledge and being able to apply such knowledge. learning strategies used. self-regulation involves three major components: self-observation. students require the ability to set goals and to monitor and regulate their own conduct (Schunk & Pajares. This further highlights the tendency for girls to rely more on the opinions of others than on their own appraisals of their competence to boost their self-efficacy beliefs. as are the characteristics of the model and the person providing the persuasion in terms of such factors as their expertise.4324/9780203839010. THE INFLUENCE OF SELF-EFFICACY BELIEFS ON SELF-REGULATED LEARNING AND PERFORMANCE Self-regulated learning refers to the goals set. while a competent person who provides encouragement to a student might be a credible source for boosting efficacy beliefs. gender. As students age. 2002). there are gender differences in the influence of the four self-efficacy sources on self-regulatory efficacy. either the imposed environment they find themselves in or the self-selected or created environment. From the social cognitive theory perspective.

chapter27. The more efficacious students were quicker to discard faulty strategies and rework problems they had previously not been able to solve (Schunk. the greater the potential for students to draw on this wide ranging information to develop their personal standards. It will be shown later that many of the social influences affecting students’ development of personal standards in the academic domain convey messages that are consistent with traditional gender roles. Zimmerman and Martinez-Pons (1988) showed that the more students used self-regulated learning strategies. 1983). however. They interact with peers who express views about the acceptability of certain levels of achievement. they need to be able to self-judge it against their personal standards. Those who make self-judgments which are based on goals and social comparative criteria show higher self-efficacy and greater decisional skill on a math task than students not making such self-judgments (Schunk. There is concern. In addition. This works alongside the social reactions of others in the regulation of performance in the academic domain. For: 9780203839010. Students are exposed to familial roles and occupational pursuits that are highly organized by gender (Bussey & Bandura. In addition. The personal standards that students develop are informed by their varied direct and vicarious experiences and the evaluative reactions of others. For boys. students’ judgments of their performance against their personal standards provide the basis for self-evaluative influence. 2010). 2006).ch2 432 KAY BUSSEY For students to react evaluatively to their own performance. the more they were able to self-judge their performance on tasks before they were graded. 1983). particularly in math and science. and occupational choice on the basis of gender. Students self-reflect on their experiences and form their own standards which are not just a replica of others’ standards or those that are imposed.4324/9780203839010. it is both the matching of performance to standards and the evaluative reaction arising from this matching that are necessary for the motivation and regulation of performance (Bussey & Bandura. From the social cognitive theory viewpoint. The more diverse the models and experiences students are exposed to and the greater acceptance by others of those who diverge from traditional gender roles. Students’ self-judgments of their academic achievement serve a variety of functions. the sanctions for boys who adopt non-traditional roles remain more negative than for girls. there is still less acceptability of high achieving females. the range of non- traditional models and experiences is far more restricted. Boys are less likely to develop personal standards associated with performing well at subjects related to these occupations or to monitor their behavior along dimensions relevant to these fields. some girls develop personal standards that value such activities despite the negative sanctions associated with girl’s achievement in these non-traditional fields. 10. students who were better able to judge their own performance were more efficacious about their math capabilities than students who were less able to self-judge their performance. the low status. The lack of male models in these fields. and comparatively low monetary incentives contribute to most boys not developing an interest in these occupations. Most importantly. about the absence of male teachers in the early school years and in the caring occupations such as nursing (Watt. This is possibly because of the higher status and prestige associated with the male-dominated fields and the need for the involvement of more people whether male or female in math and science. Although there is increasing leeway in academic choices for males and females. 1999). 1999). However. In some situations these two forms of influence work in concert with . Self-reactive regulation plays a critical role in academic achievement (Zimmerman & Cleary. It is interesting to note that less research has focused on the underrepresentation of boys in non-traditional gender fields. course selection. however.Downloaded By: Florida Atlantic University At: 16:02 28 Jul 2017. Students react self-approvingly when they meet their personal standards and with self-censure when they do not.

. math. Students were more likely to enroll in science. for females to pursue non-traditional academic careers. and money are linked to academic accomplishment (Bandura. It is thus evident that although self-efficacy beliefs influence course selection and facilitate mastery experiences. the more likely they were to select them as majors four years later. Further. there will be little increase in the number of women entering and becoming leaders in them. students develop outcome expectations for academic achievement and course selection based on their gender. and engineering majors if they held high efficacy beliefs about their performance in these fields and if they anticipated positive outcomes for pursuing the major. REGULATION OF ACADEMIC LEARNING AND PERFORMANCE THROUGH SOCIAL REACTIONS From the social cognitive theory perspective. as shown above. Anticipated positive outcomes included girls’ beliefs that such courses would enhance their future job opportunities and anticipated negative outcomes related to the extent to which these careers might impact on their social life. and engineering. 2002. Therefore.4324/9780203839010. power. For girls in non-traditional majors who believed they had the ability to succeed. but also to the anticipated social outcomes associated with academic performance. The importance of social reactions to performance accomplishments is illustrated by Nauta and Epperson’s (2003) longitudinal study. It is the interplay between social and personal sources that influences students’ conceptions and subsequent self-regulation of their performance in the academic domain. Consequently. It was shown that the more high school girls’ anticipated positive outcomes for engaging in science. 10. including social approval. 1994).Downloaded By: Florida Atlantic University At: 16:02 28 Jul 2017. Outcome expectations anticipated for academic accomplishments relate not only to course grades. For: 9780203839010. self-evaluative outcomes serve an important motivational function in students’ self-regulated learning. 1994).ch2 27. Until the masculinized culture associated with occupations in the physical and technological sciences becomes more gender neutral. math. those who held higher positive outcome expectations for these fields believed more strongly that they would become leaders in their field. Others’ responses to accomplishments are typically moderated by the student’s gender. Lent. outcome expectations also contribute to the choice of career path and the extent to which students persevere in the mastery of relevant skills. those who believed they would be leaders in their field anticipated more positive outcomes for their achievement. most attention has been given to self-outcome expectations which derive from self-evaluation of performance based on personal standards of accomplishment. In the field of self-regulated learning. self and other outcome expectations are important regulators in the academic domain. chapter27. . Further. outcome expectations played an important role in them remaining in these majors. THE INFLUENCE OF GENDER ON STUDENTS’ SELF-REGULATED LEARNING 433 each other and at other times they work against each other. Among those students who selected these male-dominated majors. approval from family and friends as well as the possibility of work-life balance are important considerations in selecting and persevering with non-traditional majors. Anticipated outcomes from others for learning achievements in the academic domain and future career aspirations are also important regulators of self-directed learning (Eccles & Wigfield. & Hackett. Social reactions of others and monetary incentives feature strongly in students’ career choices and the self-efficacy and interest they develop for different academic domains (Lent et al. Extrinsic incentives. 1986). Brown. Females report many social impediments to remaining in and becoming leaders in male-dominated occupations.

aspirational goals about future career choices. 1993). This too is frequently gender based. Freedman-Doan. These modes of influence on self-directed learning and performance associated with academic achievement are examined next for three major sources of social influence: parents.4324/9780203839010. children learn which areas of achievement are appropriate for boys and for girls. mothers direct children’s play by their comments. enactive experience. The major ways in which social influences affect gender differentiation in self-beliefs in the achievement domain are through modeling. 10. children are exposed to fathers typically assuming the dominant role in the family. “Girls play with dolls” or “Boys play with trucks” (Bussey & Bandura. peers. These social influences are particularly sensitive to a student’s gender. fathers typically spend more time away from the home and less time on household activities.Downloaded By: Florida Atlantic University At: 16:02 28 Jul 2017. this has a significant impact on their future career aspirations. Parents also explicitly inform children about expected behavior and activities based on their gender. Parents use all three modes of social influence when interacting with their sons and daughters. children’s expectations align with their parents’ views. Eccles. Direct instruction is used as a way to inform children of those activities they are expected to engage in and those they are to avoid. As children age. They influence the formation of self-efficacy beliefs about academic achievement and self-regulatory efficacy beliefs as well as subjects chosen for study. Even though there was no difference in boys’ and girls’ interest or achievement in science. Frome. and teachers. Over time. they used more scientific terms when they communicated with their sons than with their daughters. 1999). Apart from mothers and fathers modeling different activities around the house. For: 9780203839010. Children learn that mothers and fathers are involved in different types of paid work and that the work of males is more highly valued. Through observing peer and family models in their immediate environment and in the mass media. It is therefore apparent that parents convey messages to their children that promote traditional gender conduct across a range of domains including academic achievement. However. Through interaction with their children. The social reactions that children receive for engaging in different types of academic activities are often based on gender. 1999). Enactive experience relies on children discerning the outcomes from their engagement in achievement domains. From an early age. As discussed elsewhere these different modes of influence vary depending on the child’s age and the extent to which the activities are organized around gender (Bussey & Bandura. parents convey messages about the appropriateness of various activities based on their gender. children in most families are exposed to parents modeling divergent activities. and outcomes expected for certain achievement levels. and direct instruction (Bussey & Bandura. Jacobs. this gender- based direction extends to academic pursuits. and teachers all exert a strong social influence on students’ self-regulated learning and performance. 2003). Girls’ diminished views of their math competence reduces the likelihood they will continue their math study.ch2 434 KAY BUSSEY Social Influences on Students’ Self-Regulated Learning and Performance Parents. Parents hold beliefs about their children’s abilities based on their gender. The more a society is structured around gender. peers. These messages . and Yoon (2000) found that parents tend to overestimate the math competence of their sons and underestimate that of their daughters. 1999). Parental influences. the more parents’ in- teractional patterns with their children affirm gender stereotypes (Baker & Jones. Although both parents may work. fathers’ instructional talk to their sons and daughters did not differ when they were discussing life science and non-science tasks (Tenenbaum & Leaper. chapter27. During the early years. when fathers instructed their children about a physical science task.

Women scientists who have successfully navigated science and technological careers have . As shown earlier. However. They did not want to be viewed as bragging about their achievements and therefore downplayed them. & Crouter. they excel in a more diverse range of academic domains. When parents raise their daughters in less gender stereotypic ways. these beliefs and expectations impact on students’ academic achievement. The more time children spend with the peer group. how parents cultivated these beliefs. however. whereas girls are more likely to engage in play with dolls and domestic equipment associated with domestic and care-giving roles (Leaper & Friedman. 2005). McHale. Particularly during middle childhood and adolescence there is strong pressure from the peer group to conform to norms which are highly gender differentiated. boys are more likely to be involved in gaming that fosters the development of spatial skills and is often highly competitive and aggressive. 2001). For many of these women. It is therefore apparent that peers can both support and undermine children’s math and science self efficacy. and video games that promote math and science related skills and competencies. and technology. Zeldin and Pajares (2000) have shown through the personal stories of women who have successful careers in math. 2007). From middle childhood and during adolescence. Girls who outperform other girls in the math and science fields are often viewed as ‘different’ and are more likely to be sanctioned by the peer group. Because of the extensive gender segregation. In these gender segregated peer groups. It is noteworthy. Although many parents provide messages in line with traditional gender stereotypes. that the electronic era has ushered in greater gender equalization in the use of technology.4324/9780203839010. not all parents do. the peer group plays an increasingly important role in children’s academic achievement. science. their expectations for achievement in science were greater 6 months later than for girls who received less encouragement and support (Stake & Nickens.Downloaded By: Florida Atlantic University At: 16:02 28 Jul 2017. Girls and boys are using mobile phones and social networking sites. Bell (1989) showed that many gifted girls believed that one of the barriers to their academic achievement was concern about the peer group reaction. the encouragement they received from their parents and watching their mothers engage in technological activities were important influences on their math and science self-efficacy beliefs. Parents are also influential in the development of their daughters’ self-efficacy beliefs in gender non-traditional academic domains. In these same-gender cultures there is significant pressure from peers to conform to gender norms. Children spend increasing amounts of time with their peers and also use the peer group to evaluate their competencies. most of these comparisons occur within same gender groups. Girls. but not boys. boys and girls engage in different play activities. 10. do better academically when they are raised by parents who espouse gender-egalitarian views (Updegraff. 1996). Boys are more likely to be involved in activities such as construction play. Peers exert an important influence on children’s self-regulated learning and performance. The segregation of the genders that begins from about the third year of life and increases steadily through the childhood years provides children with markedly different experi- ences depending on their gender. when girls received encouragement and support from their peers for engaging in science. chapter27. sports. Peer influences. the more gender-typed their behavior (Martin & Fabes. THE INFLUENCE OF GENDER ON STUDENTS’ SELF-REGULATED LEARNING 435 affect children’s self-efficacy beliefs and self and other expectations about their academic achievement (Bussey & Bandura. For: 9780203839010. 1999). which foster the development of different skills. However. Verbal persuasion and vicarious experiences were influential in shaping and maintaining women’s self-efficacy in these male- dominated domains by helping them mobilize the necessary confidence to face and overcome academic and social obstacles.ch2 27.

Downloaded By: Florida Atlantic University At: 16:02 28 Jul 2017. 10. Consequently. Many teachers hold gender stereotypic conceptions about boys’ and girls’ abilities which influence their interactions with their students and consequently the self-beliefs that students develop about their own competencies (Jussim. Girls’ weaker self-efficacy beliefs in these domains are mainly the result of a lack of encouragement for their achievement rather than of their ability (Bussey & Bandura. For some boys. These girls self-selected into groups such as math and science clubs to associate with and receive support from girls with similar interests. this trajectory of girls’ academic self-efficacy beliefs reducing across the school years. like the other agents of social influence. how they instruct students. & Perry. Teachers influence student motivation by the manner in which they interact with their students and the way in which they issue praise and criticism. they were able to develop their confidence and competence in traditional male-dominated fields in a supportive and encouraging environment. and their evaluative comments. For: 9780203839010. 2008). Kaczala. & Madon. they select college majors and occupations that are not reliant on math and science. 1998). Of course. and Meece (1982) found that the most academically capable girls received the least amount of praise. Because the undermining of girls’ beliefs in their academic capabilities increases through the school years. The instruction provided by teachers is important for increasing not only students’ knowledge and skills. chapter27. 1996). This heightened attention by teachers towards boys sends a message that they are more valued students than girls and serves to enhance boys’ self-efficacy and undermine that of girls (Eccles. 1987). but also their academic motivation (Kunter et al. Teachers. Jovanovic. They highlighted the importance of forming peer subgroups at school that supported their interests. As shown earlier. regardless of their level of academic achievement (Altermatt. This is particularly worrisome as a strong sense of personal agency is increasingly necessary as society moves into the computer era.4324/9780203839010. Teacher influences. they self-select out of advanced courses in math and science. academic achievement is viewed as the antithesis to masculinity. Teachers interact in the classroom more with boys. 1999).ch2 436 KAY BUSSEY provided interesting insights into their peer group experiences (Zeldin & Pajares. Such devaluation typically leads to lower self-efficacy beliefs for academic performance and self-regulatory capabilities with the consequence that college is less of an option for these students. Some girls and women are able to self-regulate their academic pursuits in the science and technology domains and maintain high self-efficacy beliefs for their performance. 2002). This new form of computer based life long learning is self-directed and involves not only knowledge and skills to self-regulate learning but also the necessary competence beliefs to take charge of the learning process. although common. Boys are also affected by peer group influences associated with their academic achievement. 2000). convey messages about academic achievement to their students by what they model. & Hudley. 1996). 1998). The lack of self-efficacy in these domains further reduces girls’ interest in these subject areas. Boys receive more praise and more criticism from teachers than do girls.. This further undermines girls’ academic self-efficacy beliefs (Dweck. Taylor. This is often the case for African American and Latino adolescent boys who devalue academic achievement (Graham. Parson. Eccles. By creating their own peer group environments. Eccles. Teachers are more inclined to attribute boys’ academic failure to lack of effort and girls’ academic failure to lack of ability. females are particularly responsive to vicarious experiences and verbal persuasion in establishing and maintaining their self-efficacy beliefs to . is not inevitable. In fact. Not only do these negatively based practices undermine their self-efficacy beliefs in these domains but it undermines their personal agency to take charge of their educational and occupational advancement (Ancis & Phillips.

4324/9780203839010.ch2 27. It is therefore essential that interventions aimed at boosting girls’ self-efficacy in traditional male-dominated domains begin in the early school years. & Holt. Girls’ self-efficacy beliefs for math and science begin to drop relative to their actual performance during the middle school years (Britner &Pajares. Bigler (1995) showed that when teachers did not structure classroom activities based on gender. and career paths of males and females. Albert. women recalled the importance of encouragement they received from their teachers for performing well in math and science. Hasper. Therefore. As there is increasing reliance on technology and computers. mastery experiences alone were shown to be insufficient to bolster self-efficacy beliefs (Britner & Pajares. children’s gender stereotyping was decreased some four weeks later in comparison to students whose teachers did structure activities on the basis of gender. In Zeldin and Pajares’ (2000) qualitative study. thereby reducing their self-efficacy beliefs. IMPLICATIONS FOR EDUCATIONAL PRACTICE It is evident from the research reviewed in this chapter that gender stereotyping rather than ability contributes most to the different academic performances. Female science teachers. It was shown that low self-efficacy beliefs for math and science can diminish both males’ and females’ aspirations for careers involving math and science (Luzzo. for example. for girls in male-dominated academic fields. Teachers can play a further role in students’ development of self-regulatory skills by teaching them how to monitor and self- judge their performance in ways that are less influenced by gender stereotypes. The many social influences that uphold gender stereotyping influence the self-beliefs which guide and regulate students’ learning and performance. While societal gender stereotyping remains. it is necessary that both boys and girls are supported in their mastery of activities associated with the other gender. While there is widespread societal persistence of gender stereotypes. 2006). It is the interpretation of the performance that determines if self-efficacy beliefs are increased or undermined. Social networking sites are changing the nature and extent of face-to-face social interaction.Downloaded By: Florida Atlantic University At: 16:02 28 Jul 2017. It is therefore important for teachers to structure the learning experiences of their students’ in ways that facilitate the acquisition of skills while minimizing failures. 1987). 1986). THE INFLUENCE OF GENDER ON STUDENTS’ SELF-REGULATED LEARNING 437 perform in male-dominated domains. teachers can do much to influence children’s academic self-development in non stereotyped ways that promotes gender equity and ultimately the optimal development of both boys’ and girls’ capabilities. 1999). In the future. self-efficacy to master and self-regulate performance in the science and technology area are of great importance not only for occupational roles but for everyday life. course selection. Gender stereotyping was also attenuated when teachers assigned boys and girls to the same activities (Carpenter. For: 9780203839010. When students do fail it is important to help children interpret their failure so that they do not attribute it to lack of ability. girls have stronger math self-efficacy beliefs (Eccles. Bibby. it will be important for all forms of self-improvement . technological skills are necessary not only in the workplace but for social interaction. These diminished self-efficacy beliefs have a negative influence on girls’ later achievement in math and science and the extent to which they pursue careers that draw on these areas of academic achievement. In classrooms where teachers emphasize the importance of math and highlight its usefulness. Huston. 2006). have been shown to increase girls’ interest in science careers. & Martinelli. Although research has consistently found that mastery experiences are the most effective sources for building self-efficacy beliefs. They can also highlight the usefulness of math and science in the future careers and lives of girls. chapter27. Teachers can also reduce the gender bias in schools by the way in which they organize classroom activities. 10.

for example. UNESCO. 2005). engineering. chapter27. In highly gender segregated societies. and math fields. it is important that the research similarly broadens in scope. they could serve as role models to increase girls’ participation in the educational system. technology. To enable gender equity in such situations it is necessary to effect . develop skills to use it. and most importantly. Although such careers are usually of a higher status than most female occupations. In Afghanistan. the more marked are the gender stereotypes. subject selection.ch2 438 KAY BUSSEY that people are efficacious in the technology fields as the virtual world will provide increasing opportunities for self-directed learning and social interaction. however. the lack of social acceptance for pursuing such careers can undermine girls’ math and science self-efficacy beliefs and their subsequent performance in these fields. but whether they are able to access the school system. in highly traditional and gender segregated societies such as sub-Saharan Africa there is concern about too few women in the teaching profession (United Nations Educational. Increasingly. On the other hand. learning will be self-regulated via the internet and the capacity for self-regulated learning will become more important in the future than it has been in the past. 2006). the issue is not which academic domains girls pursue. It has been suggested (UNESCO. Scientific and Cultural Organization.Downloaded By: Florida Atlantic University At: 16:02 28 Jul 2017. In a society that has become increasingly reliant on technology and computers even for social communication. While in Western industrialized countries there is concern over the shrinking numbers of men in school teaching positions and the feminization of the profession (Foster & Newman. In these societies many women do not have access to education as they are relegated to domestic and agricultural work and child care. Factors that prevent gender equity in academic achievement. the power imbalance is more marked than in gender egalitarian societies. FUTURE RESEARCH DIRECTIONS Most of the research reported in this chapter relies on studies conducted in Western industrialized countries. As the population concentration shifts to developing and Asian countries. In most countries women have less power and status than men. the degree of imbalance between the genders and the content of gender stereotypes varies across cultures. The more the society is gender segregated. 10. girls in Western cultures face different obstacles when they choose a career in math and science. For: 9780203839010. These boys confront societal attitudes regarding the acceptability of joining a lower status occupation primarily populated by women. develop the confidence in their ability to use it. CONCLUSION It has been shown that low self-efficacy and limited use of self-regulatory skills are likely to impede girls’ advancement in the science. It is therefore apparent that the overrepresentation of one gender in a particular career is more the result of cultural factors than intrinsic differences between the genders. 2006) that by sponsoring the education of women in these communities and enabling them to pursue careers such as teaching. girls will be disadvantaged if they are not provided with such technology. Just as the social and economic obstacles confronting women in sub-Saharan Africa are difficult to overcome so too are the obstacles faced by males in Western cultures wishing to join highly feminized occupations such as teaching. and career choice vary across gender and across cultures. This would promote parents’ beliefs in the value of educating girls and it may also increase the low retention rates of girls who already attend school. Girls continue to have less access to computers than boys and are less encouraged to use them.4324/9780203839010.

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