An international study of gender differences in mathematics achievement

Xin Ma
This study examined gender-related issues in mathematics based on achievement data of Populations A and B from The Second International Mathematics Study (SIMS). The purposes of this study, which involved two Canadian educational systems and two Asian educational systems, were 1)to investigate potential interaction effects between gender and educational system in two populations and in two mathematical areas, algebra and geometry; 2) to analyze the variability of mathematics achievement between
more » ... male and female students in each mathematical area within and across educational systems; 3)to compare and contrast situations of gender differences between algebra and geometry within and across educational systems. Factorial design, Hartley's F max test, and box plots were the major statistical approaches used in this study. The results showed that no two-factor interaction effect between gender and educational system in each mathematical area was of statistical significance in either population. Further, there were no statistically significant gender differences in algebra. In geometry, gender differences were statistically significant in Population B. Male students outperformed females from a perspective of across educational systems. Within each educational system, no gender differences in each mathematical area were found to be statistically significant in either population. Therefore, reported gender differences in geometry were more likely to be a general rather than a local phenomenon. The results of investigation on the variability of mathematics achievement illustrated two patterns. One pattern involved British Columbia and Ontario. No significant differences on the achievement variability between males and females were found. In general, the majority of both male and female students in the two Canadian provinces performed equally well in algebra and geometry. For the two populations, within gender gaps were serious, especially for Population B. Another different pattern was found in Hong Kong and Japan. In Pop [...]
doi:10.14288/1.0086253 fatcat:x2mk6wnlnrglnjqiorwiv773ia