Same temperament, different appreciation: Temperament's influence on school achievement depends on student's and teacher's gender and teacher's age

Sari Mullola, Markus Jokela, Mirka Hintsanen, Saija Alatupa, Niklas Ravaja, Liisa Keltikangas-Järvinen*

*Tämän työn vastaava kirjoittaja

Tutkimustuotos: Artikkeli kirjassa/konferenssijulkaisussaChapterScientificvertaisarvioitu


Evidence exists that different genders might be treated in different ways or even unequally in the school context. Boys have been found to be at greater risk to miss out on their teachers' educational attention and guidance. Boys are also more frequently sent for clinical consultations, and later on, they are more likely to drop out. This is apparent also in Finland, where the secondary school students have continuously achieved in the top of the international PISA results. Most interestingly, boys are shown to receive approximately one grade lower grade point average in adolescence than girls. This book chapter, based on the series of studies to be carried out in the large nationally representative Finnish sample, presents the research evidence which emphasizes the significance of student's biologically based innate temperament in relation to individual gender differences in school context and in academic outcomes. Male and female teachers seem to perceive different temperament traits as more supportive for different genders; the same temperament trait might be negative or positive depending whether it refers to a girl or boy student and whether teacher and student are of the same or different gender. Research evidence showed that teachers perceived boys' temperament and educational competence (EC: i.e., cognitive ability, motivation and maturity) more negatively than girls'. However, the differences between genders were not as large when perceived by male teachers, as they were when perceived by females. Males perceived boys more positively and as more capable in EC and in 'teachability' than females. They were also stricter regarding their perceptions of girls' traits. Boys received lower mother language (ML) grades but higher Math grades than girls, independently of teacher-perceived temperament and EC, the gender differences being stronger for ML than for Math. Positive mood predicted ML grades more strongly in boys than in girls and teachers' age was more strongly associated with lower ML grades in boys compared to girls. Inhibition and maturity were stronger predictors of boys' ML grades among older teachers compared to younger teachers. Gender differences in Math grades emerged only when EC, persistence and distractibility were adjusted for. In other words, boys' underlying advantage over girls in Math was suppressed by their less favorable teacher-perceived EC and temperament. On average, girls had higher ML grades than boys, and almost two-thirds (62%) of this difference was accounted for by gender differences in teacher-perceived temperament and EC. Findings and implications are discussed in terms of the need and significance of temperament-conscious teacher training.

OtsikkoPsychology of Gender Differences
KustantajaNova Science Publishers Inc
ISBN (painettu)9781620813911
TilaJulkaistu - 1 elokuuta 2012
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA3 Kirjan osa tai toinen tutkimuskirja


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