Study Shows Elementary School Teachers’ Unconscious Biases Contribute to Gender Gap in Math

Oct 25, 2016 | Gilbert

When children are young, math scores are generally equal across the sexes, with girls often having the higher scores when a disparity exists. Yet by the time those same children reach high school and college, girls are taking fewer and less-challenging math classes, with the result being that fewer women are entering into STEM and other math-based careers. A recent study conducted by Edith Sand and Victor Lavy at Tel Aviv University reveals that unconscious biases among elementary school teachers may be contributing to this disparity.

 

The study looked at 3000 6th grade students in Israel, who were given a math test which was graded by their regular teachers - teachers who knew the identity, and gender, of the test-takers. Then those same tests were re-graded by independent teachers who did not know the sexes of the test-takers. The results showed that the teachers who did not know the students were more likely to have given the girls grades equal or higher to that of the boys, while the teachers familiar with the students gave the girls lower test scores than they deserved.

 

Those same students were followed by the researchers until they reached high school, and the study found that the girls who had unfairly been given lower grades in elementary school were less likely to take challenging math courses in high school, and most did not intend to pursue higher education in math fields. The conclusion was that when girls are told that they are not good at math, they tend to take that conclusion to heart and give up on math-based fields, despite the fact that many of them originally had higher actual grades than their male counterparts.

 

When given the right tools to succeed, all children - both male and female - can accomplish incredible things. And while parents cannot control every influence over their child’s education, they can ensure that she is getting the individualized attention she needs to have confidence in her abilities. At Mathnasium, we offer Math help for Kindergarten through Grade 12 and are geared towards each student’s individual needs. We work with your child’s current curriculum to fill in the gaps and to give your child a safe, comfortable space to ask questions and to focus on problem areas. We provide homework help as well as test assistance.

 

The Mathnasium Method offers Math instruction for elementary and Middle school Math, PreAlgebra and Algebra, Geometry, Precalculus as well as Calculus, information for parents, and simple tools and methods that can ensure that any child is on par with their peers. To give your child a helping hand to overcome societal challenges, provide them the confidence that comes with individualized learning with the Mathnasium certified instructors at Mathnasium of Gilbert; contact us today at (480) 782 - 7987 to discover how we can help your child to reach their goals and reach their potential in Math!

Math tutors near

Could not find Center, try again