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Eurasian Society of Educational Research
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mathematics education gender stereotyping elementary students beliefs

Elementary Students’ Views on the Gendering of Mathematics

Helen Forgasz , Zvia Markovits

Gender differences in mathematics learning outcomes are still evident in many countries participating in large scale international testing, as well as.


Gender differences in mathematics learning outcomes are still evident in many countries participating in large scale international testing, as well as in national testing in Israel, the context in which the study reported here was conducted. The participants were 281 students from three Israeli elementary schools and were in grades 4 and 6. The students completed a questionnaire with items based on a selection of variables included in explanatory models for gender differences in mathematics. It was found that many students held gendered beliefs related to mathematics learning, particularly when the questions asked related to themselves or to significant others in their lives (parents and teachers); the views of the majority of students were gender neutral. When presented with two photographs -a man, and a woman- and asked who was the one more likely to work with mathematics, it was clear that the students’ choices and explanations echoed perceptions of mathematics as a male domain.

Keywords: Mathematics education, gender stereotyping, elementary students, beliefs

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