Gender Differences in Measures of Satisfaction with School and General and Academic Self-Concept

By Victoria Clay.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The impact of a positive classroom environment on boys and girls is significant to their satisfaction with school life, as well as enhancing academic progress and academic self-concept. Measures of school and classroom environments generally focus on social-emotional components such as: relationships between students and teachers; the student’s sense of connectedness with peers; feelings that learning is interesting for its own sake; a sense of achievement and a sense that learning is connected to opportunities beyond school. While these may be seen as aspects of good teaching they are also aspects identified in the literature as essential for improving educational outcomes for boys. Pedagogical practices which promote academic achievement in concert with the promotion of personal and interpersonal growth is essential for both genders. Yet little is known about quantifiable gender differences in satisfaction with school life and the differential response of males and females to the social-emotional aspects of classroom environment is under researched. This paper presents the findings of the first wave of data collection in a longitudinal study of male and female secondary students in Australia. The study is investigating the impact of targeted boys’ educational interventions at nine secondary schools on gender differences in perceptions of classroom environment, general self-concept and academic self-concept.

Keywords: Gender, Classroom Environment, Self-Concept, Secondary, Quality of School Life

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp.31-40. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 566.319KB).

Victoria Clay

Team Leader, Family Action Centre, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Victoria Clay B.A. Dip.Ed. M. (Ed) Psych Family Action Centre University of Newcastle Victoria initially trained as a primary school teacher and taught in the country areas of NSW. She completed her Master of Psychology (Ed) at the University of Newcastle in 1991 and registered as an educational psychologist in 1993. Victoria joined the Family Action Centre at the University of Newcastle in 2003 and is presently working as a Team Leader, coordinating the Teaching and Learning section of the Centre. Her research interests are around gender differences in social/emotional issues, developing emotional and educational resilience and developing positive school and community partnerships. Victoria is currently researching her PhD and is looking at the connections between gender, pedagogy, classroom environment and self-concept. As a result of her research into boys, families and literacy she has co-authored the Boys and Families: Literacy Strengths Resources and the Resilience Identification Resources.


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