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

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The impact of a positive classroom environment on students is significant to the emotional well-being of students, as well as enhancing academic progress and academic self-concept. There are many ways of categorising the social-emotional components of classrooms and of learning. Generally these can be grouped to include: 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. Pedagogical practices which promote the facilitation of academic achievement in concert with the promotion of personal and interpersonal achievement is essential for both genders. However the differential response of males and females to the social-emotional aspects of classroom environment is under researched. This paper will report on a longitudinal study of male and female secondary students in Australia. The study surveyed the students’ perceptions of classroom environment, as well as their opinions of their general self-concept and academic self-concept. This study of nine secondary schools found that there were significant gender differences in satisfaction with school and academic self-concept both across schools and between year of schooling. Implications for pedagogical practices for male and female students and the development of positive classroom environments will be discussed in light of the findings.


Keywords: Gender, Classroom Environment, Self-Concept, Secondary
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: , , Gender Differences in Measures of Satisfaction with School and General and Academic Self-Concept


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.

Ref: L08P0549