Gender balancing the curriculum: Attitudes, knowledge of feminist issues, and self -efficacy of female undergraduates

Mary Brennan Mulvihill, Fordham University

Abstract

This study tested whether it would be feasible to improve attitudes toward women, knowledge of feminist issues, and self-efficacy by gender balancing the curriculum and including same sex role models in the management classes of an undergraduate business school. Subjects participated in an experiment which took place over the course of a college semester. The experiment consisted of a pretest, posttest, and a gender balanced Management Curriculum.^ Subjects in the study were 86 female undergraduate business students in eight management classes in a private, Catholic, metropolitan area university in the Northeast. Four of the classes were randomly assigned to the experimental treatment and four to the control treatment. Two classes in each group had female professors and two had male professors. The curriculum was gender balanced by incorporating into the program readings and case studies which highlighted women in business in positions of power and authority with decision-making responsibilities, by having female role models as teachers and guest speakers, and through the use of videos highlighting women with successful business careers.^ Subjects in both the experimental and control classes were pretested during the second week of classes on the three dependent variables: attitudes toward women, knowledge of feminist issues, and self-efficacy. The questionnaires were distributed to the subjects during class time. The same process was followed at the end of the semester when the subjects were retested using the same questionnaires.^ Results of the statistical analysis revealed that attitudes toward women and self-efficacy among female students could be improved significantly by gender balancing the curriculum and including female role models in a management course in an undergraduate business school. However, the study failed to support the hypothesis that knowledge of feminist issues could be improved by such modification, but indicated the consciousness was raised in the area. ^

Subject Area

Womens studies|Business education|Curriculum development|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Mulvihill, Mary Brennan, "Gender balancing the curriculum: Attitudes, knowledge of feminist issues, and self -efficacy of female undergraduates" (1994). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9511239.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9511239

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