A gender comparison of contextualised study behaviour in higher education

Meyer, J. H. F.; Dunne, T. T. and Richardson, John T. E. (1994). A gender comparison of contextualised study behaviour in higher education. Higher Education, 27(4) pp. 469–485.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01384905


The present study examines the manifestation of structural differences in the manner in which men and women students perceive and engage the content and context of learning. These differences are explored, and shown to be consistent, within a hierarchy of progressively more complex conceptual models of student learning. Conclusions are that structural gender variation differences emerge in terms of deep/strategic rather than surface, forms of learning behaviour: men students distinctively manifest and qualify deep/strategic learning behaviour in terms of operation and comprehension learning styles, while women students integrate these styles in a manifestation of style versatility that is clearly organised and not achievement motivated. An apparently separate female trait is distinguishable in terms of comprehension learning style and achievement motivation. It is argued that gender differences constitute a potentially important and neglected source of variation in student learning which, when detected in context, can and should be explicitly managed by academic practitioners.

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