Gender-specific support strategies

Lead: TUM


Gender differences in education is an issue that has long preoccupied educational researchers, as well as politicians and educators. In line with historical gender roles, girls still seem to have less interest and motivation in stereotypical "boy subjects" such as physics or computer science and boys seem to be less interested in reading - a stereotypical female domain. These gender-specific differences in motivational-affective factors (e.g., interest, motivation, enjoyment, self-concept) can in turn lead to differences in performance and career choices. A prime example of this is the large difference between the number of men and the number of women who decide to pursue studies in STEM subjects - a domain still dominated by men.

Many primary studies have explored ways to strengthen and promote higher levels of these motivational-affective factors in students through school-based interventions. However, it is still unclear which interventional methods are effective at reducing the gap between male and female motivational-affective factors in stereotypically gendered subjects (e.g., math, science, reading). This meta-analysis will answer the question: Do school-based interventions that target motivational-affective factors in students have differential effects for the stereotypically disadvantaged gender (e.g., males in reading/language arts and females in STEM) and stereotypically non-disadvantaged gender in a given academic domain? Evaluating this will allow us to determine which interventional methods are most effective at closing gender gaps between students, and therefore be a step forward in the effort to help all students thrive and succeed to their full potential.

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