New Directions for Research on the Role of Parents and Teachers in the Development of Gender-Related Math Attitudes: Response to Commentaries
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We frame our response to the commentaries by Cheryan (2011), Lane (2011), and Shapiro and Williams (2011), in terms of two broad points made by Lane (2011). First, we agree that the various constructs that we termed “math attitudes”—including math-gender stereotypes, math anxiety, math self-concepts, and achievement motivation in math—are in fact distinct (Gunderson et al. 2011b). Nevertheless, we argue that investigating common mechanisms underlying the transmission of these constructs from adults to children is a productive approach because it can lead to general interventions to boost children’s performance and dispositions toward math. Second, we argue that research on the development of gender-related math attitudes exists at the intersection of multiple research areas, including research on attitudes (broadly defined), math, gender, social learning, and child development, and that drawing on well-developed theories in these areas can lead to novel research questions and predictions. The three excellent commentaries broaden the scope of our article on gender-related math attitudes to include the transmission of implicit attitudes from adults to children, stereotype threat, and gender roles in math-related careers (Cheryan 2011; Gunderson et al. 2011b; Lane 2011; Shapiro and Williams 2011).
KeywordsMath attitudes Gender stereotypes Math anxiety Parents Teachers Math
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