Education

You can't be what you can't see

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Science  04 May 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6388, pp. 504-505
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6388.504-e

Identity-based motivation theory, which explains how people's identities motivate them, is relevant in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education because the STEM professoriate traditionally leans male. Most research on this topic focuses on student achievement outcomes. Solanki and Xu instead examined the relationship between instructor gender and student nonperformance outcomes, such as behavioral engagement, academic self-efficacy, interest, and utility value. Pre- and post-experience surveys from STEM gateway courses were analyzed, revealing a reduction in the gap between female and male students' course engagement and attitudes toward a STEM subject when a course was taught by a female instructor. Additionally, both female and male students were found to respond to instructor gender. Future studies should focus on understanding the variables underlying these behaviors.

Am. Educ. Res. J. 10.3102/0002831218759034 (2018).

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