Methods and Appendices

Methods and Appendices 2018-03-17T16:29:50+00:00

Methods

Phase I: Surveys

Phase II: Classroom Observations and Teacher Interviews

Appendices

Appendix A: Student Survey Prompt and Questions

Appendix B: Teacher Survey Prompt and Questions

Appendix C: Student Demographics, School Type, Academic Subject Reported on, and Self-Reported Motivational and Achievement Levels

Appendix D: Student Survey Response Rates by School Type and Demographics

Appendix E: Teacher Survey Responses

Appendix F: Student Codes

Appendix G: Teacher Codes

Appendix H: Phase II School Visit Teacher Interview Protocol

 

Methods

Phase I: Surveys

Settings and Participants

In 2008, Reichert and Hawley (2010) asked more than 1,500 boys and 1,000 teachers in 18 independent schools across several countries to describe lessons that were singularly engaging and powerful for them. From those thousands of responses, the authors were able to develop a set of categories that described what the students and their teachers believed to be the central dimensions of dynamic teaching for boys. Recognizing that there have been no studies about what lessons girls and their teachers find particularly engaging and meaningful, we employed the same survey questions used in the Reichert and Hawley study. We recruited 14 all-girls schools to participate that were representative of different U.S. regions and varying school types. The participating schools include seven independent1, five religiously affiliated independent, and two public schools2 located across the country.

At each school site, approximately 100 students were selected to participate in the study. Our team worked closely with representatives from each school to select a sample of youth in grades 6-12 who were representative of the student body in terms of age, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and academic achievement. Because one public school was a middle school, in one independent school we only including its middle school students to keep balance in our total sample. Our response rate was very large: almost all the teachers, and an average of over 94% of the sampled students participated. All faculty members who taught in grades 6-12 at each school site also were invited to participate in the study. A total of 1,328 students and 560 teachers participated.

Data Sources

Students were asked to complete a one-time, online survey that invited them to respond to the following prompt, which was identical to that used by Reichert and Hawley (2010):

In the box below, please tell us a story of a class experience at this school that stands out as being especially memorable to you. By this, we mean that it was especially interesting, engaging or motivating for you. It might be a particular lesson, unit of study, a choice of text or subject matter, a class activity or exercise, or a project or assignment. It doesn’t have to be an occasion when you achieved well in a subject, but simply one in which you found yourself especially engaged, interested or motivated. When you tell this story, please give as many details as you can in describing what took place. Make your answers as long as you wish. Avoid judging or praising with words like “terrific” or “best”; rather, show what occurred. You do not need to give the name of the teacher, but if it is easier for you to refer directly to the teacher by name, we will remove it later on to maintain confidentiality. We would like you to include the subject and grade level of the experience you are describing.

Students were also asked to identify the following demographic information: their age, grade level, race/ethnicity, years attending an all-girls school, highest level of education completed by parent(s) or guardian(s), their assessment of their own relative level of motivation in school, and their judgment of their relative level of academic achievement.

Teachers were asked to complete a survey with prompts for demographic information similar to what is found in the student survey (See Appendices A and B for the complete survey instrument and questions). The teachers were asked about a lesson that they felt was particularly motivating, engaging and interesting to their class. Additionally, they were asked questions about why they thought the particular lesson they described was effective, how or if the culture of the school was reflected in the lesson, and if they felt that the lesson was particularly pitched to female students (See Appendix B).

Data Analysis

This study included both qualitative and quantitative data. Teachers and students provided the qualitative data in their responses to the online surveys. We also interviewed teachers and observed classes at three of the participating schools. Two of these schools were independent and one was public. Our quantitative data include demographic information about the teachers and students such as (for the teachers) gender and length of time teaching and (for the students) age, grade, race, number of years attending a girls’ school, as well as their self-reported motivational and achievement levels (See Appendices B, and C for these results). We also cross-referenced data from students’ survey responses to their demographics and school type (See appendix D), and from teachers’ responses to their demographics, school type, and subject area (See Appendix E). When it was clear, we also recorded the subject and grade level of the lesson described in each response. We entered all of the data, qualitative and quantitative, into a secure software program called ATLAS.ti. While entering the quantitative information was fairly straightforward, analyzing the qualitative responses was more complicated.

Developing the Codes

As soon as schools began completing the student and teacher surveys, we began the lengthy and iterative process of developing categories of analysis for their responses. We started by having each member of the research team read the same sets of sample responses, and identify emerging themes each saw in what the teachers and students were writing. In this way we developed entirely inductive codes based on the data. After reading and jotting notes on these sample responses, the research team sat together and discussed the emergent themes. We then began to compile a list of codes that would became our first layer of analysis. We did this multiple times with sample sets of data from different schools. As the list of codes grew, we organized them into overarching categories or themes, each designated with a letter. These categories were: A) Relevance (made up of 5 codes); B) About the Teacher (3 codes); C) General School or Classroom Environment (9 codes); D) Qualities of the Lesson (18 codes); E) Components of the Lesson (33 codes); F) Other (9 codes); G) Overarching themes/Main components of the Lesson (28 codes); and, H) Codes related to aspects of Teachers (4 codes). Thus, we had a total of 109 codes across 8 categories (See Appendices F—for student codes—and G—for teacher codes). Indeed, these two Appendices present our entire coding system.

To make sure we did the complexity of the responses justice, any individual student’s or teacher’s response could be coded with anywhere from 1 or 2 to 10 or 12 codes. Our overall goal was to create a coding system that lost as little richness as possible—that reflected as closely as possible all the elements of each response—and, that also captured the overall tone of each response. To ensure that second goal, we coded each student and teacher response for the main focus of their story. These became our “G” codes. The G codes represented what we believed was the most important component or attribute of the lesson the student or teacher described. G codes also were necessary because some of the lengthier responses include references to a large number of classroom activities and other subjects, and we wanted a means to distill the essence of what, in our collective judgment, made that lesson particularly noteworthy to the participant.

In order to clarify our process, here is an example of how we might have code a student’s response. In this example we use codes from all 7 of the categories; in practice, however, very few survey responses actually included all of them. In our imagined response, the student begins by discussing a classroom activity she enjoyed that required her to describe her life and family, so we would apply the “Relevance to Personal Life” code. She mentions that her teacher offered a lot of extra help and is good about always trying to encourage the girls to work together in her classroom. We would therefore use the Teacher category and code “Teacher is Supportive” and also the General Environment Category and code “Cooperative Classroom”. The student goes on to describe the ways this lesson involved students cooperating to solve a problem with little initial input from the teacher. She writes that the students also got into teams and competed against other groups. In the Quality of the Lesson category, we would code the lesson as “Encouraging Cooperation”, and as having a “Constructivist Element.” In the Components of the Lesson category, we would code that there was “Group Work”, a “Game” and “Competition.” The student concludes by talking about how this lesson was particularly great because there were only girls in the classroom, and no one felt self-conscious. Under the Other category we would note that there was a “Comment about Gender and Single-Sex Education.”

After coding all of those aspects of the lesson, we would step back and think about the overall gist of the response. We would ask: What is the central theme of this story? What is it about this lesson that the student felt was most encouraging and motivating? Why did she write about this? Perhaps for this fictional response we would code that the “Cooperative” pieces of the lesson were the most relevant, and we would, therefore, use that as the G code (i.e., the Main Focus of the Response category).

Establishing the eight categories, the 109 codes, and our methods for applying the codes was a lengthy and collaborative process. We repeatedly asked ourselves: Do the codes make sense? Are we missing anything? Are any codes redundant? Are they categorized correctly? As the coding sheets became more comprehensive, we compared our level of agreement in our sample coding. If and when we did not code a participant’s response in the same way as another member of the research team, we discussed how and why. We wrote memos about each code, clearly stating what was and was not included in that code, and how it should be used. We continued revising our code sheets in this way through 21 versions until we were finally satisfied that we had a clear and satisfactorily comprehensive set of codes to use on the data and agreement amongst members of the research team on how to apply them.

We then coded all of the student and teacher responses from the first five schools to complete the surveys, and once again we compared how each member of the research team did so, this time not in order to develop the codes themselves, but to make sure we were in agreement at least 90% of the time. After coding each set of data from the teachers or students at any one school, we also wrote a research memo, jotting down impressions about the overall responses from that school. Once we began consistently coding with 90% agreement or higher, we then went on to code the responses for the other 9 schools in the study. For the few times we disagreed, we discussed our reasoning until we came to agreement.

Once we had coded the 1,328 student and 560 teacher responses using ATLAS.ti, we then ran a basic count of the codes, determining which were used most frequently, and by which students and teachers (analyzing them by school, student grade level, teacher experience, and the other demographic data we had collected). We also cross-tabulated the data in many ways. For example, we compared the responses of high school and middle school students. We looked at what students tended to say about different subjects. We looked at the variations in responses among independent, religiously affiliated, and public-school teachers and students. We looked across subjects to see if there were variations of kinds or styles of lessons that students or teachers found powerful in different subject areas (e.g., in math verses English or history). We compared the responses of new and more experienced teachers. As we found patterns in the data, we would return to certain sets of responses, exploring, for example, which kinds of students found field trips to be important, or whether middle-school or high-school science students wrote more often about hands-on lessons.

Basically, what was most striking to us, was that what made a great lesson did not vary in any statistically significant or important way by type of school, or by the different demographic characteristics of students or teachers. These findings replicated what Reichert and Hawley (2010) found (We describe our findings from these comparisons in our final research report3 (available from Peter Kuriloff, Kuriloff@upenn.edu).

We would like to note that, as with all of our findings, and all of the themes that surfaced in our analysis, the results are intertwined with other themes and other parts of our inquiry. There are few, if any, findings from what the teachers and students told us that stand in isolation. Rather, recurrent topics and observations flow through almost all of the survey responses. While, for the purpose of discussion, we have often isolated one particular type of statement or response at a time, in our final report, and in Teaching Girls, we are careful to point out that the findings overlap and weave together in compelling ways. Therefore, while we do attempt to focus on, and segregate data, we aimed to never lose sight of the connections among the myriad components that our participants asserted must come together to make a lesson, a classroom or a school succeed.

 

Phase II: Classroom Observations and Teacher Interviews

The Schools

In the second phase of the study, we conducted three follow-up case studies of two independent schools and one public school. After an initial round of reading student and teacher survey responses from across the sample, we chose the two independent schools based on our judgment that they reflected the most salient kinds of lessons reflected in the stories across our sample of schools. We chose the public school that was located closest to us in order to facilitate gaining access to the school. During this phase of the study, in each of the three schools we observed classes, interviewed teachers and administrators, and tried to capture the general tone and character of the school (see Appendix H for our interview protocol). In our final report, our objective was to provide readers with lively examples of schools in our sample, and the kinds of lessons that are taught within them.  In the book, we combined our findings to build a composite that exemplified a great school.

School Visit Objectives

The purpose of this part of the study was to explore more deeply some of the effective teaching strategies and activities that had been described in the student and teacher surveys by contextualizing them within the cultures of particular schools. The observations and teacher interviews provided a way for us to view classroom practices in action and to better understand the objectives and thought processes of the teachers who planned and implemented the course curricula, as well as some of the thinking of administrators who supported them. These observations also gave us a sense of the lived experience of students and faculty within these schools.

The three school sites that participated in Phase II of the study were representative of the different schools within our sample according to location, grade level, and types of activities and teaching strategies occurring in them. Before visiting each of the schools, we completed preliminary research on each, to gain a better understanding of their particular environments and cultures. This research included reading each school’s mission statement, and exploring each school’s website in order to learn about the types of academic programs and extracurricular activities they offer. When we visited the schools, we observed full class periods and then interviewed each teacher using an open-ended interview protocol. The interview protocol (see Appendix I) asked teachers to discuss what teaching strategies they found to be most effective on a daily basis, if and how they tailored their lessons for girls, and how the culture of being within their particular all-girls school influenced their teaching practices. We also asked about their experiences of working within their schools. The teachers who we interviewed ranged in years of teaching experience (both in terms of overall experience, and experience in girls’ schools), race/ethnicity, and gender.

We analyzed the data that we collected from each of our school visits by listening to the recordings of the teacher interviews, reading though our observational field notes, and composing post-school-visit memos. We looked to see how the observed classroom practices and teacher explanations aligned with the themes that we had developed in Phase I of the study. We also looked across the data at the three different schools we visited to identify similarities and differences among the schools. In the end, we tried to reflect in our descriptions of our school visits the lively contexts in which the interesting, engaging and motivating lessons described by teachers and students took place.

Conclusion

Our study of more than 1,300 students and more than 500 teachers from 14 schools across the country provided us with a wealth of data about what is occurring in girls’ schools, and what the teachers and students within them find engaging and motivating. In our research report, and our book, we explore in detail our findings from these data. In our discussion of the findings, we use the students’ and teachers’ responses as examples. When we do so, we indicate whether the student is in middle or high school and the type of school she attends (independent, religiously-affiliated or public). For teachers we also indicate the subject they teach. In the book, we used pseudonyms for the respondents, when we quoted them. Of course, we have kept a record of which participant wrote each example. The examples are drawn from all of the 14 schools, and we were easily able to include ones representing the narratives of a range of students and teachers, which reflected different grade levels, subjects, and personal demographics. 

 

Appendix A: Student Survey Prompt and Questions

Student Information

Your age:

Your current grade:

Your school name:

How would you describe your racial or ethnic background?

What broad categories best fit your racial and ethnic background (as described above)?
Please select all that apply:
____ American Indian                                               
____ Alaska Native                                       
____ Asian                                                     
____ Black or African-American
____ Hispanic/Latino
____ Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander
____ White

How many years (including this year) have you attended an all-girls school?

Please indicate the highest level of education completed by your parents or guardians: 1st Guardian
_____ Some high school
_____ High School Graduate
_____ Some college
_____ College graduate
_____ Graduate or Professional Degree

1st Guardian Is: Mother / Father / Other Person

Please indicate the highest level of education completed by your parents or guardians: 2nd Guardian
_____ Some high school
_____ High School Graduate
_____ Some college
_____ College graduate
_____ Graduate or Professional Degree

2nd Guardian is: Mother / Father / Other Person

Please describe your level of motivation at school (motivation refers to how much interest and commitment you feel you have in completing tasks and doing well in school): I am highly motivated; I am well-motivated; I am average; I am somewhat less motivated; I am not motivated at all

Please tell us about your academic achievement in school:  I am a top achiever in school; I am in the middle of the pack academically in school; my academic achievement is below average at my school

Student Narrative Prompt

In the box below, please tell us a story of a class experience at this school that stands out as being especially memorable to you. By this, we mean that it was especially interesting, engaging or motivating for you. It might be a particular lesson, unit of study, a choice of text or subject matter, a class activity or exercise, or a project or assignment. It doesn’t have to be an occasion when you achieved well in a subject, but simply one in which you found yourself especially engaged, interested or motivated. When you tell this story, please give as many details as you can in describing what took place.  Make your answers as long as you wish. Avoid judging or praising with words like “terrific” or “best”; rather, show what occurred. You do not need to give the name of the teacher, but if it is easier for you to refer directly to the teacher by name, we will remove it later on to maintain confidentiality. We would like you to include the subject and grade level of the experience you are describing. (Suggested length: Please write at least one paragraph)

 

Appendix B: Teacher Survey Prompt and Questions

Teacher Information

What is your gender?

What is the name of your school?

How many years (including this year) have you been teaching? 

How many years (including this year) have you been teaching in an all-girls’ school? 

How would you describe your racial or ethnic background?

What broad categories best fit your racial and ethnic background (as described above)? Please select all that apply.
____ American Indian                                               
____ Alaska Native                                       
____ Asian                                                     
____ Black or African-American
____ Hispanic/Latino
____ Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander
____ White

Teacher Narrative Prompt

The task: to narrate clearly and objectively an instructional activity that is especially, perhaps unusually, effective in advancing girls’ learning. You are not being asked to describe or discuss effective teaching generally, or to describe a whole term-long or year-long course of study. The teaching practices sought here are individual projects, assignments, or instances of classroom process in which girls rise to the material under study with heightened attention and energy, resulting – perhaps measurably, perhaps not—in superior work. This is of course a highly subjective appraisal. Nevertheless, teachers are clearly aware of activities and moments when students rise to approach their learning with heightened interest and energy. Teachers tend to register this awareness in the satisfaction of having had an exceptionally good class, series of classes, or perhaps an exceptional moment in class. Students register the experience in the quality of their attention and of their participation. Students carry their interest in a good learning experience outside of the classroom, continue to think and talk about the idea, text, or project with peers and family on their own time. Good practices generate student questions and researches beyond those required in the assigned exercise. 

Part A: Please describe an effective practice you have employed. In narrating your observation, take care to avoid evaluative terms like “wonderful” or “inspired.” Instead, show the qualities that evoke those feelings in you with clear narration of what is said and done in the course of the lesson.  Please include the grade level and subject in which this lesson occurred. (Suggested length: 250-500 words, but do not feel limited to this length).  

Part B: To what do you attribute this lesson’s special effectiveness? (There is no need to be authoritative or “scientific” in this appraisal).

Part C: Do you think the particular culture or environment of your school in any way contributes to the effectiveness of the lesson?  If so, please describe how.

Part D: Is there something about this lesson that you believe is specially pitched to girls’ learning?

Part E: Are there measurable outcomes—or outcomes that might conceivably be measured—that could objectively document the effectiveness of this lesson? 

Please tell us your name if you are willing to be contacted about your answers.  In Phase 2 of the study (next year) we may be interviewing a small number of teachers at your school and, if so, we would like to be able to contact you. This is completely voluntary.

 

Appendix C: Student Demographics, School Type, Academic Subject Reported on, and Self-Reported Motivational and Achievement Levels

Table C1: Characteristics of Students by Demographic, School Type, Subject Reported on, and Self-Reported Motivational and Achievement Levels (n=1,328)

Characteristic

Number

Percent

School Type

 

 

Independent

690

52.0%

Religiously Affiliated

469

35.3%

Public

169

12.7%

Current Grade

 

 

High School (9-12)

802

60.4%

Middle School (6-8)

526

39.6%

Race/Ethnicity

 

 

White or Caucasian, not of Hispanic Origin

746

56.2%

Latina or of Hispanic Origin

185

13.9%

African American

157

11.8%

Other

79

6.0%

Asian American

62

4.7%

Asian or Pacific Islander

45

3.4%

Middle Eastern American

27

2.0%

Asian Indian American

17

1.3%

Afro-Caribbean

6

.5%

American Indian/Alaskan Native

4

.3%

Educational Attainment of Parent/Guardian (highest)

 

 

Graduate or Professional Degree

840

63.3%

College Graduate

352

26.5%

Some College

72

5.4%

High School Graduate

48

3.6%

Some High School

16

1.2%

Years Attending a Single-Sex School

 

 

1 or Less

236

17.8%

2 to 5

682

51.4%

6 or More

410

30.9%

Level of Motivation

 

 

Highly Motivated

468

35.2%

Well Motivated

586

44.1%

Average

214

16.1%

Less Motivated

49

3.7%

Not at All Motivated

11

.8%

Academic Achievement (self-reported)

 

 

Top Achiever

515

38.8%

Middle of the Pack

772

58.1%

Below Average

41

3.1%

Total Survey Respondents

1,328

100%

 

Table C2: Subject Areas Described in Student Narratives (n=1,328)

Class

Number

Percent

History/Social Studiesa

347

26.1%

English/Language Artsb

278

20.9%

Science

254

19.1%

Math

98

7.4%

Foreign Languagec

49

3.7%

Art/Musicd

42

3.2%

Out-of-Class/Field Trip

36

2.7%

Physical Education/Sportse

32

2.4%

Elementary School

20

1.5%

Philosophy/Religion/Ethics

14

1.1%

Computer Science

8

0.6%

Drama

5

0.4%

Debate

1

0.1%

Otherf

35

2.6%

Various

51

3.8%

Unclear/Not Given

58

4.4%

Total Classes Described

1,328

100%

a Includes social science classes such as economics and anthropology, geography, government, civics, art history, humanities.
b Includes creative writing and journalism.
c Includes ancient and modern languages that are not English.
d Includes film and photography.
e Includes dance, yoga, and field day.
f Includes clubs, assembly, homeroom, independent study, speech, after-school activities that are not sports.

 

Appendix D: Student Survey Response Rates by School Type and Demographics

Table D1: Student Characteristics by School Type (n=1,328)

 

Type of School Attended

 

All Schools
in Sample

Independent
Schools

Religiously
Affiliated Schools

Public
Schools

Total

 

52.0%

35.3%

12.7%

Current Grade

High School (9-12)

60.4%

65.2%

54.4%

57.4%

Middle School (6-8)

39.6%

34.8%

45.6%

42.6%

Race/Ethnicity

White or Caucasian,
not of Hispanic Origin

56.2%

66.2%

59.1%

7.1%

Latina or of Hispanic Origin

13.9%

4.1%

15.8%

49.1%

African American

11.8%

11.0%

6.4%

30.2%

Other

6.0%

6.2%

6.6%

3.0%

Asian American

4.7%

4.6%

5.1%

3.6%

Asian or Pacific Islander

3.4%

4.9%

1.9%

1.2%

Middle Eastern American

2.0%

1.4%

2.3%

3.6%

Asian Indian American

1.3%

1.2%

1.9%

0.0%

Afro-Caribbean

.5%

0.1%

0.6%

1.2%

American Indian/Alaskan Native

.3%

0.1%

0.2%

1.2%

Highest Educational Attainment of Parent/Guardian

Graduate or Professional Degree

63.3%

66.5%

72.9%

23.1%

College Graduate

26.5%

26.5%

24.9%

30.8%

Some College

5.4%

4.8%

1.7%

18.3%

High School Graduate

3.6%

2.0%

0.4%

18.9%

Some High School

1.2%

0.1%

0.0%

8.9%

Years Attending a Single-Sex School

1 or Less

17.8%

20.0%

13.6%

20.1%

2 to 5

51.4%

53.9%

38.2%

77.5%

6 or More

30.9%

26.1%

48.2%

2.4%

Level of Motivation (self-reported)

Highly Motivated

35.2%

36.1%

36.9%

27.2%

Well Motivated

44.1%

43.3%

46.7%

40.2%

Average

16.1%

16.5%

12.4%

24.9%

Less Motivated

3.7%

3.3%

3.0%

7.1%

Not at All Motivated

.8%

0.7%

1.1%

0.6%

Academic Achievement (self-reported)

Top Achiever

38.8%

40.6%

40.3%

27.2%

Middle of the Pack

58.1%

57.1%

57.1%

65.1%

Below Average

3.1%

2.3%

2.6%

7.7%

 

Student Narrative Prompt

In the box below, please tell us a story of a class experience at this school that stands out as being especially memorable to you. By this, we mean that it was especially interesting, engaging or motivating for you. It might be a particular lesson, unit of study, a choice of text or subject matter, a class activity or exercise, or a project or assignment. It doesn’t have to be an occasion when you achieved well in a subject, but simply one in which you found yourself especially engaged, interested or motivated. When you tell this story, please give as many details as you can in describing what took place.  Make your answers as long as you wish. Avoid judging or praising with words like “terrific” or “best”; rather, show what occurred. You do not need to give the name of the teacher, but if it is easier for you to refer directly to the teacher by name, we will remove it later on to maintain confidentiality. We would like you to include the subject and grade level of the experience you are describing. (Suggested length: Please write at least one paragraph)

 

Appendix E: Teacher Survey Responses

Table E1: Demographics of Respondents to Teacher Survey (n=560)

Characteristic

Number

Percent

School Type

 

 

Independent

310

55.4%

Religiously Affiliated

179

32.0%

Public

71

12.7%

Gender

 

 

Female

416

74.3%

Male

144

25.7%

Race/Ethnicity

 

 

White or Caucasian, not of Hispanic Origin

439

78.4%

Latina or of Hispanic Origin

45

8.0%

African American

26

4.6%

Asian American

14

2.5%

Other

16

2.9%

Asian or Pacific Islander

9

1.6%

Asian Indian American

6

1.1%

Afro-Caribbean

3

0.5%

Middle Eastern American

2

0.4%

American Indian/Alaskan Native

0

0.0%

Number of Years Teaching

 

 

1-2

27

4.8%

3-6

91

16.3%

7-15

195

34.8%

16-24

141

25.2%

25 or More

106

18.9%

Number of Years Teaching at a Girls’ School

 

 

1-2

101

18.0%

3-6

159

28.4%

7-15

192

34.3%

16-24

56

10.0%

25 or More

52

9.3%

Grade Level Taught

 

 

Middle School only

134

23.9%

High School only

305

54.5%

Middle and High School

18

3.2%

Unclear/Not Given

103

18.4%

Total Survey Respondents

560

100%

 

Table E2: Classes Described by Teachers (n=510)

Class

Number

Percent

English/Language Artsa

81

14.5%

Science

76

13.6%

Foreign Languagesb

72

12.9%

Math

76

13.6%

History/Social Studiesc

73

13.0%

Unclear/Not Given

66

11.8%

Art/Musicd

39

7.0%

Physical Education/Sportse

31

5.5%

Otherf

20

3.6%

Philosophy/Religion/Ethics

9

1.6%

Drama

8

1.4%

Various

5

0.9%

Computer Science

4

0.7%

Total Classes Described

560

100%

a Includes creative writing and journalism.
b Includes ancient and modern languages that are not English.
c Includes social science classes such as economics, anthropology, and psychology; geography, government, civics, art history, humanities.
d Includes film and photography.
e Includes dance, yoga, and field day.
f Includes clubs, assembly, homeroom, independent study, speech, after-school activities that are not sports, library skills, and academic support.

 

Appendix F: Student Codes

A. Relevance

A1 Relevance to – Personal Life (related to Family, Friends, Life Experiences)
A2 Relevance to –School (relevant to the school mission, history, issues)
A3 Relevance to – Social Justice / controversial topics
A4 Relevance to – Women and Girls
A5 Relevance to – Current Events/World Events/Global

B. Teacher – Style, Approach, Relationships

B1 Positive student-teacher relationship/Lesson or activity builds student-teacher relationships
B2 Teacher’s deep knowledge; Teacher enthusiasm and passion; Teacher personality/style (teacher enjoys teaching/kids, teacher’s personality mattered)
B3 Teacher is particularly supportive, available or encouraging to the student(s)

C. Environment of School/Classroom

C1 Co-ed
C2 Collaborative room
C3 Competitive Environment
C4 Confidence-building
C5 General school environment comment
C6 High Expectations—demanding, challenging
C7 Non-competitive
C8 Physical school environment
C9 Risk/Comfortable with risk/creating safe environment

D. Qualities of Lesson

D1 Building on student enthusiasm
D2 Challenging (student says it is difficult or demanding or challenging)
D3 Clarity (from teacher) Lesson/project is well-structured, clearly presented, explicated successfully with methods
D4 Collaborative, Bonding, Friendship-developing and/or developing interpersonal connections (through entire class working together or effective group/pairs work).
D5 Confidence-building/ feeling a sense of accomplishment (learning much) and/or pride – student very specifically talks about confidence being built and/or feeling pride.
D6 Connections (integrating curriculum across subjects, connections to other courses and materials)
D7 Constructivist, inquiry-based
D8 Fun/Delightful/Celebratory/Pleasurable
D9 Hands on lessons (manipulating things/tactile)
D10 Individualized instruction
D11 Learning styles (the lesson aligns with student’s learning style)
D12  Non-class experiences
D13 Ownership through taking charge of learning – Student felt in control of learning, and/or sought out more info on her own
D14 Physically active (gets the heart rate up)
D15 Requiring deep thought or reflection – meditation or personal reflection, including journaling or reflective writing
D16 Teacher directed lessons (lecture; teacher centered)
D17 Time and Work managed well
D18 Topic is particularly interesting to student – they have clear personal investment in the
topic, not just an interest in this particularly good lesson.

E. Student Work/Activities/Components of the Lesson

E1 Acting something out/Role Play/ Learning through movement (students act out what the
lesson is about—e.g., vocabulary)
E2 Alternative assessment – either not a test or not a traditional grade
E3 Choices/making decisions in lesson
E4 Competition as part of lesson
E5 Creativity – Building, Drawing, Acting, Creating something
E6 Debating
E7 Discussion
E8 Essay Writing / Research Paper
E9 Field trips
E10 Games
E11Group or Pairs Work and/or Collaboration and class bonding
E12 Independent Research
E13 Movie watching
E14 Multi-modal project
E15 Non-gender stereotypical activity (when kids say something about gender related to activities “i.e. we did boy things; building, cars, mouse trap racing etc.)
E16 Outside/motivational speaker
E17 Presenting/Performing for classmates
E18 Presenting/Performing for larger/other audiences beyond class
E19 Real life application
E20 Service-Learning
E21 Simulations
E22Teacher does demonstrations for students
E23Teaching Classmates
E24 Technology used in lesson/activity/project
E25 Quizzes/exams—traditional
E26 Writing a speech/public speaking
E27 Acting
E28 Writer’s Workshop
E29 Lit Circles
E30 Public Speaking/Making a speech
E31Making a movie
E32 Memory Devices or help/mnemonic
E33 Particular book, reading, movie or work of art is central to the lesson

F. Other Codes for Students

F1 General statements about gender or single-sex education
F2 Great example
F3 Great story/Quotation
F4 Lesson profoundly changed their life/how they think/was part of a personal journey
F5 Lessons/things the girl did not like – negative comments
F6 Personal recognition/reward/punishment – Student talks about grades, recognition, awards, etc. from teacher/others
F7 Poor teaching
F8 Teacher’s negative style
F9 Tangential comments/non-responsive

G. Overachieving themes/Main component of lesson

G1Class Discussion
G2 Clear lesson, beginning/middle/end, perhaps multi-modal teaching; carefully designed lesson/well organized or managed.
G3 Collaborative environment or activity; class bonding and/or interpersonal connections key
G4 Constructivist Lesson/Activity
G5 Creativity (building, drawing, being allowed to create something and use imagination)
G6 Debate
G7 Game(s)
G8 Hands on
G9 Multi-modal project
G10 Non-class experience (field trip, non-classroom event, speaker, etc.)
G11 Other
G12a Personal Relevance
G12b Affected the student’s life in a major way/changed her way of thinking, identity, etc.
G13 Research/term paper
G14 Role-play/acting something out
G15 Simulation
G16 Teacher is key to the quality of the lesson
G17 Technology-based lesson (the main component of what the teacher and/or students do revolves around using sophisticated tech)
G18 Topic/lesson is particularly interesting to student(s)
G19 Challenging
G20 Confidence-building
G21 Connection to world/current events
G22 Learning style
G23 Memory help; study skill development
G24 Motivated by grades or other external rewards
G25 Multi-modal lesson
G26 Pride
G27 School and/or class climate/environment
G28 Teacher/guest-speaker led

H. Teacher-is-key subcodes used for surveys coded with G16

H1 Teacher’s pedagogy
H2 Teacher’s passion and knowledge
H3 Teacher’s personality/style
H4 Teacher’s individual academic support

 

Appendix G: Teacher Codes

A. Relevance of Lesson

A1 Relevance to – Students’ Personal Lives
A2 Relevance to –School
A3 Relevance to – Social Justice/ Controversial topics
A4 Relevance to – Women and Girls
A5 Relevance to – Current Events/World Events/Global

B. Teacher’s Actions

B1Teacher/Student Relationship is Important/Lesson or activity builds relationships
B2 Teacher is facilitator (teacher explicitly states that s/he is a facilitator)
B3 Teacher mentions the importance of their support, availability or encouragement

C. Environment of School/Classroom

C1 Creating Collaborative environment
C2 Creating Competitive Environment
C3 Creating Non-competitive environment  
C4 Fostering confidence /empowerment (students in charge of learning environment)
C5 General school environment comment
C6 Having high expectations
C7 Physical school environment
C8 Coed/boys present in class or lesson

D. Qualities of the Lesson

D1 Building on student enthusiasm
D2 Challenging
D3 Clarity and careful sequence of lessons – building complexity 
D4 Collaborative, Bonding, Friendship-developing and/or developing interpersonal connections (through entire class working together or effective group/pairs work).
D5 Connections (integrating curriculum across subjects, connections to other courses and materials)
D6 Constructivist/inquiry-based learning
D7-Encouraging risk-taking
D8-Fostering confidence /empowerment (students in charge of learning environment; students feel sense of accomplishment/pride)
D9- Fun/Delightful/Celebratory/Pleasurable
D10- Having high expectations
D11 -Individualized instruction
D12- Learning styles (the lesson aligns with students’ learning style)
D13 Non-class experiences (lessons)
D14 Ownership through taking charge of learning
D15 Physically active (activities that get the heart rate up)
D16 Requiring deep thought or reflection – meditation or personal reflection, including journaling or reflective writing
D17 Teacher directed (lecture, teacher centered)
D18 Time and Work managed well
D19 Topic is particularly interesting to student

E. Components of the Lesson

E1 Acting something out/ Role Play/ Learning through movement (acting out as lesson)
E2 Alternative assessment – not a test or not a traditional grade/peer assessment
E3 Choices/making decisions in lesson
E4 Competition as part of lesson
E5 Creativity – Building, Drawing, Photography, Creative Writing, Creating something
E6 Debating
E7 Discussion
E8 Essay Writing / Research Paper
E9 Games
E10 Group or Pairs Work and/or Collaboration
E11 Hands-on
E12 Independent research
E13 Movie watching
E14 Multi-modal Lesson (teacher using multiple modes to convey her material)
E15 Multi-modal project (students engage in project that contains different dimensions)
E16 Non-gender stereotypical activity (building, cars, mouse trap racing etc.)
E17 Presenting/Performing for classmates
E18 Presenting/Performing for larger/other audiences beyond class
E19 Real life application (applying something they learned in class outside of class or taking an abstract concept and applying it in reality).
E20 Reverse Classroom (students learn independently first, and then follow up in class)
E21 Sharing with/involving family
E22 Simulations
E23 Students teaching Classmates
E24 Teacher demonstrates for students
E25 Technology-based lesson/sophisticated use of tech
E26 Tests & quizzes—traditional assessments
E27 Acting
E28 Outside/motivational speaker
E29 Public Speaking/Making a speech
E30 Writer’s Workshop
E31 Lit Circles
E32 Making a movie
E33 Memory Devices or help/mnemonic
E34 Particular book, reading, movie or work of art is central to the lesson

F. Other Codes for Teachers

F1 Great example
F2 How girls learn statement
F3 NCLB shadow
F4 Negative comments
F5 Parents, communicating with
F6 Statements about gender
F7 Tangential comments/non-responsive
F8 Using feedback from teachers and students
F9 Lesson profoundly changed students’ lives such as how they think and/or was part of a personal journey

G. Overachieving themes/Main component of lesson

G1 Class Discussion
G2 Clear lesson, beginning/middle/end, multi-modal teaching.
G3 Collaborative environment or activity; class bonding and/or interpersonal connections key
G4 Constructivist Lesson/Activity
G5 Creativity
G6 Debate
G7 Game(s)
G8 Hands on
G9 Multi-modal project
G10 Non-class experience (field trip, non-classroom event, speaker, etc.)
G11 Other
G12a  Personal Relevance
G12b Affected the student’s life in a major way/changed her way of thinking, identity, etc.
G13 Research/term paper
G14 Role-play/acting something out
G15 Simulation
G16 Teacher is key to the quality of the   lesson
G17 Technology-based lesson
G18 Topic/lesson is particularly interesting to student(s)

 

Appendix H: Phase II School Visit Teacher Interview Protocol

  1. What strategies do you find to be the most effective with your students?
    1. Probe and follow up on this – has it changed over time? Are different things effective with different students, different ages, different classes?
  2. What is effective on a day-to-day basis with the girls?
  3. Where did you learn that technique/develop that project/get that idea, etc? Are you mentored by other teachers? Do you observe other teachers? Does the school promote certain types of teaching and learning? If so, how?
  4. Describe your school. What are the students like? What is the environment like? What are the best things about the school? What challenges does the school have?
  5. In our survey of the students these themes LIST came up again and again.  Do you agree? Does that make sense?


1 Independent schools are schools owned and managed by boards of directors or governors that are solely responsible for their operations, governance and maintenance.  They are not dependent upon state or local government for financing. Their budgets come from a combination of tuition, fundraising and in some cases endowments. The religiously affiliated schools in our sample also are considered independent. While they may receive funds and be associated with a local church or religious denomination, they do not receive funds from public sources and are not included in diocesan school systems.

2 The number of public schools in our sample is relatively small for two reasons. First, there are very few public, single gender schools in the country. Second, conducting research in public districts requires additional IRB approval beyond that from a university. Our requests for IRB approval from the school districts were met with varying success. Final approvals took much longer than those from independent or religiously affiliated schools. In addition, once we had approval, navigating each public school in order to obtain a sample of students with parental permission, finding appropriate computer rooms, and setting up logistics sometimes proved insurmountable. In the end, we were glad we were able to include two urban public girls’ schools in the study.

3 Kuriloff, Andrus, Jacobs and Cox (2014). Teaching Girls in the 21st Century: Findings of the National Study on Effective Practices for Engaging Girls’ Learning. Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, PA.