Posted by: drbrucepk | October 18, 2008

Girls and Math

I read a few months ago about a study that was published in the journal Science. The study showed that girls’ achievements in math were equal to boys in all grade levels from second grade through eleventh grade. This was presented as something astounding and in contradiction to common knowledge.

However, obviously I’m not in touch with common knowledge as Janet Hyde, a researcher from the University of Wisconsin – Madison said that parents and teachers persist in believing that boys are better than girls in math. Here’s an interesting article about the woman who played in The Wonder Years and her book on math for girls.
I have to say, as a teacher who has taught math at the upper elementary and middle school levels for many years, that I’m surprised that there is anyone left who still believes this. My last 8th grade math class just happened to be all girls; their results on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills ranked all of them above the 90th percentile, and two of them in the 96th percentile. This is not unusual; my personal experience with math students has always been that girls are just as capable as boys, and I have never had a girl say that she couldn’t do math because she was a girl. Where do people come up with these stereotypes, and how could teachers buy into them?

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Responses

  1. Girls are special!


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