A new report says self-confidence instilled by parents and teachers is more important than their initial interest:
From Science Daily:
New research by a team that includes vocational psychologists at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) indicates that the self-confidence instilled by parents and teachers is more important for young girls learning math and science than their initial interest.
While interest is certainly a factor in getting older girls to study and pursue a career in these disciplines, more attention should be given to building confidence in their abilities early in their education, says UWM Distinguished Professor Nadya Fouad. She is one of the authors of a three-year study aimed at identifying supports and barriers that steer girls toward or away from science and math during their education.
“The relationship between confidence and interest is close,” says Fouad. “If they feel they can do it, it feeds their interest.”
Complete story in Science Daily: