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Journal Article: Different, Not Better: Gender Differences in Mathematics Learning and Achievement

Journal Article » Different, Not Better: Gender Differences in Mathematics Learning and Achievement


Education, Sex differences, Mathematics/Achievements, Student, Mathematics teachers/Duties, Learning, Psychology of/Conceptual learning


Geist, Eugene A.; King, Margaret


2008, March


This article reviews the assessment data, literature and research on gender differences in mathematics. The question of whether boys are better at mathematics has been an issue in education for the past 5 years. The assumption is that there is a biological difference between boys and girls that make boys predisposed to do better in mathematics. Data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress disputes this assumption. The NAEP shows a gap of only 2 points between girls and boys and that has developed only in the last decade. This article reviews the literature and research on differences in boys and girls and concludes that there are differences in the way boys and girls learn and process mathematics and that this difference is not being taken into account by our educational system. Suggestions for individualizing the curriculum to meet the needs of both boys and girls in the mathematics classroom are included. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.