Dissertation Abstract

The Acquisition of Academic Self-Efficacy Beliefs of Adolescent Girls With Respect To Mathematics and English: A Socio-Cultural View

Publication Number:  AAT3053407
Author:  Luse, Kimberly Ann
School:  University of Cincinnati
Date:  2002
Pages:  110
Subject:  Educational Psychology, Language Arts, Mathematics Education

This qualitative case study gathered data from six adolescent females and two middle school teachers to examine the issue of academic self-efficacy beliefs with respect to the subject areas of mathematics and English. The teachers and students were all from the same suburban middle school, and the teachers were the math and English instructors for the girls in this study. As such, the teachers were able to provide valuable insight into the responses of the girls for additional clarification.

The students were selected for inclusion in this study based on the following criteria: Two of the girls were average in both subject areas, two were average in English and above average in math, and the final two were average in math and above average in English. The responses of the girls were analyzed to discover if any trends appeared that would illuminate the academic self-efficacy beliefs of the girls, as well as the actual academic performance of the girls. All of the interviews were conducted in a private, face-to-face manner, and all data was then analyzed qualitatively.

The four most relevant trends that the data revealed were chaotic classrooms, teacher attitudes, gender inequity and issues of self-esteem and academic self-efficacy. Each area is addressed individually in the study, and analyzed through the theoretical framework provided by Dr. Albert Bandura as well as others that serve as experts in the area of self-efficacy. The role of society is also taken into consideration with direction provided by the work of Myra and David Sadker. The findings are presented with direct support from the interviewees in the form of quotes and journal entries.

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