Gender, student confidence and communicative styles at university: the views of lecturers in history and psychology

Robson, J., Francis, B. and Read, B. (2004) Gender, student confidence and communicative styles at university: the views of lecturers in history and psychology. Studies in Higher Education, 29(1), pp. 7-23. (doi: 10.1080/1234567032000164840)

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Abstract

This study examines the perceptions of 100 university lecturers in history and psychology regarding the impact of gender on their students' achievement. Qualitative data were gathered from semi‐structured interviews and analysed according to discipline and gender of respondent. Key findings were that most respondents (with the exception of most female history lecturers) did not believe gender had an impact on essay writing style but that it did have an impact on other aspects of undergraduate achievement. Twice as many psychology lecturers as history lecturers believed that women had superior language abilities, and over twice as many women as men believed that confidence affected student performance. Gender differences in communicative style and approach to study were also noted by many respondents. Educational practices (teaching and assessment methods, as well as the gender imbalance of many university departments) were highlighted as impacting particularly on the performance of women. The authors suggest that subject and gender perspectives are interacting here in ways that may affect student experience and performance across the university curriculum.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Read, Dr Barbara
Authors: Robson, J., Francis, B., and Read, B.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Journal Name:Studies in Higher Education
ISSN:0307-5079
ISSN (Online):1470-174X
Published Online:16 April 2008

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