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Vol. 20 (2006 Spring)

Teachers' Perceptions of "smart" girls: What does it mean for developing girls and young women into leaders?

  • Jacqueline E. Jacobs
June 21, 2017


Based on two studies, one of girls and young women in middle schools and high schools (n=802) and a random sample of their teachers (n=41), there is evidence that girls and young women are confident in their views of themselves as "smart" and do not see any differences in how they are treated by their peers or teachers for being "smart". The evidence from the teachers supports these perceptions and provides a glimpse at what characteristics/behaviors teachers perceive as identifying girls and young women as "smart." This evidence suggests that there is confidence among girls and young women relative to being "smart" which may well provide a basis for the development of skills which are needed to ensure girls and young women become leaders in our society.