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Do Boarding School Girls Thrive?

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Amanda Gilbert-Hodgson

on 11 December 2013

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Transcript of Do Boarding School Girls Thrive?

Do Boarding School Girls Thrive?
Amanda Gilbert-Hodgson
Research in the Digital Age
University of Vermont
December 3, 2013

Literature review
Boarding schools claim to help students be more social, outgoing, and more immersed in their learning process (Kennedy, 2013).
Literature review: stereotype threat combatants

1. When girls learn from female teachers or coaches with whom they've formed a personal relationships--seeing their female educators as multi-faceted, successful people is important!

2. When girls are a part of a close knit group of girls
Why Boarding Schools?
I suspected that boarding schools have a natural set-up in place that helps combat stereotype threat
Does the social experience of boarding school (i.e. living in dorms with other girls) prepare boarding school girls for success in college by preventing or counteracting stereotype threat?

Does the academic support from teachers, whose lives are closely linked through a boarding environment, prepare girls for success in college by preventing or counteracting stereotype threat?

Do the athletic requirements for girls in boarding schools help prepare students for success in college by preventing or counteracting stereotype threat?

My study looks at whether or not girls thrive in boarding schools, or, more specifically, whether or not the athletic, academic, and residential experience of boarding school life help to counteract the negative effects of stereotype threat for girls, and therefore help girls to be successful.
Literature review
Stereotype threat in two specific areas:
Athletics (Chalabaev, Sarrazin, Boiche & Clement-Guillotin, 2012)
Academics (most notably in math and science) (Shapiro & Williams, 2011)
on-line survey via Survey Monkey (7 subjects)
--both women were emphatic that their female coaches, who served as one woman's teacher, and one woman's dorm parent, played a crucial role in their development as people
Survey results
Survey results
Survey results
--female students get to know their female teachers in a multi-faceted manner--not just as a chemistry or math teacher, but as a coach or dorm parent
--Dorm life exposes girls to peer mentors and provides a close-knit group of girls in a family-like atmosphere
Little to no research on girls in boarding schools
My research directed me to the term-- stereotype threat, which is the theory that girls only live up to the expectations placed on them, and these fall short of the expectations placed on boys (Shapiro & Neurberg, 2007).
(Hugeut & Regner, 2007)
I interviewed two women in face to face interviews, and conducted an on-line survey via Survey Monkey.
My results from both my interviews and my survey, led me to infer that the support systems and programs naturally in place in boarding schools do seem to counteract stereotype threat, and the outcome is very successful, thriving girls and women.
Women who graduated from boarding school between the years of 1999-2011
Women who are attending or did attend college
Women from a variety of different co-ed boarding schools in the Northeast
Women from a variety of different races and socioeconomic backgrounds

face to face interviews (2 subjects)
--both women described their teachers as crucial role models, whom they got to know in a variety of ways i.e. dorm parents, coaches, mothers, choir directors, pet owners etc.
--both women reported that their female dorm parents served as role models, kept track and supported their academic pursuits, and played a large role in helping them stay healthy, connected, and academically successful. Both women felt strongly connected with the girls with whom they lived; both felt empowered by having been a part of this sort of experience.
Questions for further study
*I would be interested in doing this study with only participants from my current school of employment.
*I would like to do a study on boys' experience in boarding school
*Lastly, a study examining racial stereotype threat in boarding schools would be interesting.
*A larger study that breaks down individual experiences based on socioeconomic background (i.e. full pay vs. full financial aid participants)
Survey results
Describe your college experience:
Author contact information:
Amanda Gilbert-Hodgson
Vermont Academy,
Saxtons River, VT
References used in Prezi:
Chalabaev, A. Sarrazin, P., Boiche, J.& Clement-Guillotin, C. (2012). The influence of sex stereotypes and gender roles in participation and performance in sport and exercise: Review and future directions. Psychology of sport and exercise, 14 (2), 136-144
Kennedy, R. (2013). Is boarding school right for your child? Boarding school review, Retrieved from http://www.boardingschoolreview.com/articles/61
Shapiro, J.R., & Neurberg, S. L. (2007). From stereotype threat to stereotype threat: implications of a multi-threat framework for casues, moderators, mediators, consequences, and interventions. Personality and social psychology review, 11(2), 107-130
Shapiro, J.R., & Williams, A.M. (2011). The role of stereotype threats in undermining girls' performance and interest in STEM fields. Sex roles, 66 (3-4), 175-183.
Residential life
Did living in a dorm with other girls, doing the same work, feel like a supportive, empowering environment?
Survey results
100% of subjects answered yes to this question:Did getting to know your female role models (in multiple roles) have a positive effect on your academic, social, and athletic performance in boarding school and college?
Full transcript