The Gender Paradox in School Mathematics
Current quantitative gender and mathematics research exists as separate ability and postsecondary access studies, each drawing different conclusions. But if gender, achievement and enrollment (measurable proxies) are modeled together it will be possible to investigate possible associations. Using 106,473 standardized Grades 3, 6 and 9 Ontario student test responses from a single cohort, likelihood of enrolling in Grade 9 academic mathematics was modeled against elementary achievement and gender in a binary response model. Males achieved higher, (0.028≤d≤0.118), and occupied both achievement extremes in greater numbers, (1.04≤VR≤1.10), while females were 1.5 times more likely to enroll in academic courses. These paradoxical results are discussed in relation to the utility of achievement and enrollment as research metrics in gender and mathematics research.
La recherche quantitative actuelle sur la différence en mathématiques entre les filles et les garçons se déroule sur deux plans distincts, un portant sur les habiletés et l’autre sur l’accès aux études secondaires, et les deux arrivent à des conclusions différentes. En modélisant ensemble le sexe, le rendement et les inscriptions (passerelles mesurables), il est possible d’étudier des associations possibles. Puisant dans 106 473 réponses aux examens normalisés d’une seule cohorte d’élèves en 3e, 6e et 9e années en Ontario, nous avons modelé, dans un modèle de réponse binaire, la probabilité de s’inscrire à des cours de mathématiques théoriques en 9e année en relation avec le sexe et le rendement à l’école élémentaire. Le rendement des garçons était supérieur (0.028≤d≤0.118) et leurs réponses se situaient aux deux pôles de rendement plus souvent (1.04≤VR≤1.10), alors que les filles s’inscrivaient aux cours académiques 1,5 fois plus souvent que les garçons. Nous discutons de ces résultats paradoxaux par rapport à l’utilité du rendement et de l’inscription comme mesures dans la recherche portant sur la différence en mathématiques entre les filles et les garçons.
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