Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

Sub-Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Rhonda Jeffries

Abstract

Through this mixed methods ethnographic case study, the subject of gender stereotypes for middle school students, and its relationship to academic performance was investigated. Specifically, the research focused on Albert Bandura’s (1977) Social Learning Theory, gender stereotypes, and how educational institutions, peer relationships, and parental influences may dictate gender norms as they relate to academic success. It also attempted to evaluate the relationship between the issue of gender stereotypes and current experiences in a rural American middle school that led to the recurring issue of the educational gender gap and the underperformance of male students. The purpose of the study sought to examine how gender stereotypes develop for students at Small-town Middle School, to describe what specific factors have the strongest influence on how these students see themselves, and to examine the relationship between these stereotypes and academic success in school. Using a mixed methods survey design, the researcher gathered data from a cohort of eighth grade students in order to examine the formation and propagation of gender stereotypes that led to differing academic outcomes for male and female students.

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