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Research into Girls' achievement in Maths

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by kiwichick69, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. <font face="Calibri">Can you help me? I&rsquo;ve been asked to conduct a research project into gender grouping and girls&rsquo; achievement in maths. Our girls are achieving at a much lower level, which appears to be a worldwide trend. For this last year, we have been trialling gender grouping. Has anyone done this before and conducted any research surveys/questionnaires? I would love to hear from you as I don&rsquo;t really know where to start.</font> Regards Kiwichick
  2. alabaster

    alabaster New commenter

    If you try a google search you will find there has been a fair bit of research and you will probably be able to find the articles (you may need access to academic journals to read the full text)
  3. thanks for your response. i've done several google searches and haven't found what i want. hoping to find examples of questionnaires for parrents, teachers, kids ... .
  4. Put this into google:
    single sex (maths OR mathematics OR math) research
    You should get quite a few good results on the first page alone. Including this one on the NCETM website which looks quite interesting at first glance.
  5. Tandy

    Tandy New commenter


    There is such a huge amount of research around about this topic, though no real concensus.

    There are several factors to consider. There are basically four types of school settings:
    Single Gender School, Male
    Single Gender School, Female
    Mixed Gender School, Mixed Gender Classes
    Mixed Gender School, Single Gender Classes

    In general, the opinion (and evidence fairly strongly supports) is that for females single gender schooling is advantageous, for boys mixed gender. For both, mixed gender schools with single gender classes is advantageous.

    However, this sweeping statement needs to come with some health warnings:

    There is very strong evidence to suggest that the single gender school advantage is only true when these schools are highly selective and that for females in particular, low prior attainment removes the advantages of single gender schooling at that they are better placed in mixed gender.

    Also, you refer to worldwide trends, but it is crucial to understand that the impact of single or mixed gender systems is directly influenced by cultural and societal structures and norms.

    The OECD report Equally Prepared for Life gives makes some interesting observations.
  6. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

  7. Colleen_Young

    Colleen_Young Occasional commenter

    That's an important link given by Pirhana there - your research would be incomplete without looking at Carol Dweck's work.
  8. Colleen_Young

    Colleen_Young Occasional commenter

    I want an edit button - Piranha.
  9. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    it may be coming!
  10. pinkkaz

    pinkkaz New commenter

    Hiya Kiwichick - I did a Masters assignment on that very topic. Whereas I don't pretend to be an authority you may find the references list of interest, even if my essay isn't! PM me your email address if you want me to send it to you.

    Just for the record though, girls (in England) are not achieving at a "much lower level", although they do in general seem to have more "maths anxiety". In fact, they are pretty much on a par with boys (boys get very slightly more of the highest grades at GCSE and Further Maths), but take-up at A-level is extremely poor compared to boys for a multitude of reasons. Anyway, I'll send it on if you want it.
    Gender grouping in my opinion would definitely help confidence...
  11. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Hi Kiwichick. I've taught in Boys, Girls and mixed schools - and, in fact in New Zealand. While one teacher's experiences can only be anecdotal, I've found that girls do better (and not just in maths) when they don't have boys around - the main reason being that, in general boys are often noisier and less focused.

    One other observation I have made is that the social interaction is much more important for girls. Although having a good rapport with the class is always helpful, boys are much more tolerant of poorly socialised teachers. However, for girls of all abilities and ages, having a teacher who they like is much more important to their success.

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