Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Women's self -efficacy perceptions in mathematics and science: Investigating USC -MESA students
by Hong, Rebecca Cheng-Shun, Ed.D., University of Southern California, 2009, 161; 3355458
Abstract (Summary)

This study is an investigation into female high school seniors in the USC-MESA program and how the role of self-efficacy perceptions in mathematics and science relates to their college major choice. Bandura’s theory on self-efficacy provides the backdrop for this study. This study is qualitative and takes an ethnographic approach incorporating 23 interviews, 2 focus groups, 49.5 hours of observation, and document analysis. Results show that female high school seniors participating in the USC-MESA program demonstrate a strong self-efficacy perception in mathematics and science through their academic choices and pursuits in high school and beyond. This finding confirms a linear approach in understanding how courses taken in high school contribute to the trajectory of college academic choices. It also challenges the theory of self-efficacy in math and science to examine historically underrepresented populations in the field and the external factors that play a key role in their persistence to pursue STEM fields in college and beyond.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jun, Alexander
Commitee: Tobey, Patricia, Venegas, Kristan
School: University of Southern California
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 70/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mathematics education, Science education, Higher education
Keywords: MESA program, Mathematics, Science, Self-efficacy, University of Southern California, Women
Publication Number: 3355458
ISBN: 978-1-109-14057-6
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