Gender and learning: Comparing two theories

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Abstract

The research domain of gender and learning seems to develop in two different areas. In one area learning is investigated by using general theories on learning and instruction. In the second area, gender plays a central role in the theoretical frameworks. The present article compares two theories from these areas using a general perspective and a gender perspective. By doing this, we intend to combine knowledge resulting from the two distinct areas and possibly take the research domain of gender and learning a step further. The theories in the comparison concern Vermunt's learning conceptions (1996) and Baxter Magolda's ways of knowing and patterns of reasoning (1992). It turns out that a number of relations seems to exist on a conceptual level between these two theories, but the relations could not be confirmed empirically. In the discussion, the results are elaborated upon and possible future research is suggested.

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