Sex role stereotypic attitudes of secondary mathematics students in single-sex and coeducational schools

Year: 1997

Author: Norton, Stephen, Rennie, Leonie

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

There has been continuing interest in the potential of single-sex schools to cater for the needs of students. Attitude toward mathematics has been considered an important factor in influencing participation and success in mathematics. This study uses a cross sectional survey design to examine the attitudes of students in single-sex and coeducational schools all grades in secondary school. The Fennema-Sherman Mathematics as a Male Domain Scale was used to examine the attitudes of secondary school boys and girls from grades 8 to12 in single-sex and coeducational schools. The strong ceiling effect necessitated a qualitative analysis of the data. There were clear attitude differences between girls and boys, with girls being less stereotyped in their perceptions than boys. There were also differences relating to the school environment with girls in single-sex schools being less stereotyped than girls in the coeducational schools.