Saturday, 2 October 2010

Studies on the Gender Problem in Math

Several new reports on the reasons for the limited numbers of women in mathematics... Here are an eclectic collection of issues that ought to be good reading for teachers, and parents of female students.
Mostly they differ by who they blame:
Blame the teachers...
This first one has been around for awhile, and points to the need to provide strong math teachers for elementary students.
Believing Stereotype Undermines Girls' Math Performance: Elementary School Women Teachers Transfer Their Fear of Doing Math to Girls, Study Finds (Jan. 26, 2010) —

Blame the Parents: "Dads have a major impact on the degree of interest their daughters develop in math. That's one of the findings of a long-term University of Michigan study that has traced the sources of the continuing gender gap in math and science performance."

Blame the culture... "Girls around the world are not worse at math than boys, even though boys are more confident in their math abilities, and girls from countries where gender equity is more prevalent are more likely to perform better on mathematics assessment tests, according to a new analysis of international research."

I am reminded of an old Earth Day Poster from Walt Kelly,
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