Gender stereotypes, self- esteem and students’ performance in science subjects: A case of selected secondary schools in Kawempe Division, Kampala District
The purpose of the study was to establish the relationship between Gender Stereotypes, Self-Esteem and Students’ Performance in Science Subjects in selected Secondary Schools in Kawempe Division. The study was guided by four objectives: to establish the relationship between gender stereotypes and students’ performance in science subjects; to establish the relationship between students’ self-esteem and their performance in science subjects; to establish the relationship between gender stereotypes and students’ self-esteem in science subjects; to determine the gender differences in students’ performance in science subjects. The study used a correlational design and the sample consisted of 150 students selected using simple random sampling technique. Data was collected using a Self-Administered Questionnaire (SAQ) that was filled by senior four students offering science subjects of the year 2011/2012. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 19. Relationships between variables were tested using Pearson product moment correlation coefficient (r). T-test was also used to determine gender differences in student’s performance in science subjects. Results of the study showed that gender stereotypes have no significant relationship with student’s performance. Results also showed that self-esteem has a significant positive relationship with student’s perceived performance(r=.49, p≤0.01). It was also established that there was no significant relationship between gender stereotypes and students’ self-esteem. t- test results showed that there was a significant difference in the actual performance of male and female students (t=5.03, p=0.01). Male students performed better than female students in the science tests given. It was recommended that society including parents, teachers and students themselves should develop positive attitudes towards all students’ abilities and boost self-esteem to perform and excel in sciences. School authorities especially counselors and teachers should be aware of the link between self-esteem and students’ performance in science subjects. Teachers must be trained on the strategies which are related to the self-esteem building and have to observe students and their interactions with peers carefully.