Teachers' and boys' and girls' perceptions of competence in the primary school: the importance of physical competence

J Granleese, I Turner, K Trew
British Journal of Educational Psychology 1989, 59: 31-7
Research into the role of teachers in maintaining self-concepts which reflect gender stereotypes has been hampered by the lack of parallel multidimensional instruments. The development of the Teachers' Rating Scale of the Child's Competence (TRSCC) and the Perceived Competence Scale for Children (PCSC) (Harter, 1982) answers this problem. Thirty-six boys and 38 girls of mean ages 10 years 8 months (SD = 3.6 months) and 10 years 9 months (SD = 3.3 months) respectively completed the PCSC while their teachers (N = 12) completed the TRSCC. It was found that: (1) teachers' mean ratings of boys' competence did not significantly differ from their ratings of girls' competence; (2) teachers' ratings demonstrated significant differences between boys and girls in the pattern of interrelationships of the domains of competence; (3) teachers' perceptions and pupils' self-perceptions in the patterns of interrelationships amongst the domains of competence showed similar patterns for teachers and boys, and almost similar patterns for teachers and girls; (4) teachers were more important for girls' self-perceived competence than for boys' self-perceived competence; (5) both teachers and pupils use perceived physical competence as a construct associated with significantly differentiating between boys and girls in other domains of competence. These findings have pedagogical implications for the treatment of girls.

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