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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Imprimir: 1072-8325
ISSN On-line: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.2011002386
pages 325-355

PROMOTING MATHEMATICAL AND COMPUTER SELF-CONCEPT AMONG FEMALE COLLEGE STUDENTS: IS THERE A ROLE OF SINGLE-SEX SECONDARY EDUCATION?

Linda J. Sax
Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095-1521, USA
Casey A. Shapiro
Center for Educational Assessment, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095-1521, USA
M. Kevin Eagan
Higher Education Research Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095-1521, USA

RESUMO

At a time when women remain significantly underrepresented in many science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields in college and in the workforce, it is important to consider how educational environments contribute to women's beliefs about their STEM-related skills and abilities. This study examines how one strategy−single-sex secondary education−correlates with mathematical and computer self-concept among women entering college. The study uses multilevel modeling to address secondary school-level effects in a national sample of college-going women. The analyses suggest that all-girls secondary schools−whether independent or Catholic-affiliated−produce graduates who enter college marginally more confident in their mathematical and computer skills than women from equivalent backgrounds who attend coeducational schools. For the most part, the small predictive power of school gender remains significant even after accounting for the confounding role of student background characteristics, school-level features, and peer contexts within each school. This examination comes at a time of renewed national interest in the value and appropriateness of single-sex education, especially as changes to Title IX have expanded the opportunities to establish single-sex classes and activities.


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