Abstract
| In this talk I will report the status of gender differences of boys’ and girls’
participation, performance, and attitude towards Mathematics in schools in the
last decade or so. Analyses of enrollments, assessment and survey data have
found that most boys and girls value the usefulness and importance of
Mathematics, with no gender difference in this regard. Also similarly between
boys and girls, the proportion of students who like learning Mathematics is
decreasing with school year levels. However, boys are 25\% more confident than
girls about their self-perceived ability to learn Mathematics, boys enjoy
learning Mathematics more than girls, and boys are more likely to choose
advanced Mathematics subjects. Boys have also achieved higher average scores in
Mathematics tests than girls. On the other hand, girls have persistently
achieved higher average scores than boys in reading assessments, by a much
larger advantage than that boys have in Mathematics performance. The gender
difference in performance is marginal as compared to the difference in
performance due to disparities of students’ social economic backgrounds, yet the
gender difference in performance of Mathematics has been persistent in all year
levels and over time where data is available. Participation in Mathematics of
students in the last year of schooling is stagnant, despite more and more boys
and girls are completing high schools every year in the last decade or so.
Furthermore, participation in Advanced Mathematics has been leaking at an annual
rate of 0.62\% for boys and 0.66\% for girls between 2006 and 2016. |