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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Teacher’s beliefs, gender differences, and mathematics Li, Qing


The major focus of this study is to explore, using the 1990 British Columbia Mathematics Assessment data at the Grade 7 level, gender differences in mathematics teachers' beliefs. As well, this study compared these differences to gender differences of students' beliefs found in the same data. The theoretical rationale for this study is based on a model devised by this researcher, namely the Modified Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) Research Model, which is the combination of the Cognitively Guided Instruction Research Model (Fennema, Carpenter, and Peterson, 1989) and the Autonomous Learning Behavior (ALB) Model (Fennema & Peterson, 1985). Two way ANOVA as well as planned comparisons (t-test) were used to investigate gender differences within and across a random sample of two status groups (teachers and students). The analysis of the data suggested several conclusions. First, male and female teachers are more similar than different with respect to their beliefs regarding the importance and difficulty of selected mathematics topics. And, Numbers and Operations was the only topic under study in which male and female teachers differed significantly. Male teachers rated Numbers and Operations more important than female teachers. Second, gender differences existed only in students' beliefs about the difficulty of Geometry, and Numbers and Operations. Female students, compared to male students, believe Geometry and Numbers and Operations more difficult. Third, the findings of this study show that the gender differences within each status group are similar. In addition, significant gender difference was found only in overall male's and female's (regardless of their status) beliefs about the importance of Numbers and Operations. Males rated Numbers and Operations significantly more important than females. Further research which directly investigates gender differences in teachers' beliefs and students' beliefs is suggested, as well as further research into relationships between gender differences in teachers' and students' beliefs.

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