Advertisement

Gender Difference in Teachers’ Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching in the Context of Single-Sex Classrooms

  • Ramzi F. Haroun
  • Dicky Ng
  • Faisal A. Abdelfattah
  • Misfer S. AlSalouli
Article

Abstract

This study examines gender differences of teachers on their mathematical knowledge for teaching in the context of single-sex classrooms in Saudi Arabia. A translated version of the Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT) instrument (Learning Mathematics for Teaching [LMT], 2008) in Number and Operation Content Knowledge (CK) and Knowledge of Content and Student (KCS) scales were administered to 197 teachers (146 male and 51 female). Two-sample t test and multiple regression were conducted to compare the two groups and test the effect of teacher background variables. Female teachers significantly scored better than their male counterpart. Gender, years of teaching experience, and specialization significantly predicted teachers’ content knowledge, F(3, 187) = 13.180, explaining 41.8 % of the variance. Only gender and specialization significantly predicted teachers’ knowledge of content and student, F(2, 191) = 6.335, explaining 24.9 % of the variance. Further comparing items in the MKT instrument where female teachers outperformed male teachers confirmed that female teachers were better in attending to the content knowledge in the context of student’s learning.

Keywords

Content knowledge Gender differences Knowledge of content and student Mathematical knowledge for teaching Pedagogical content knowledge Saudi Arabia 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was conducted as part of the research group: (Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics in Elementary School) with the support of the Excellence Research Center of Science and Mathematics Education—King Saud University.

References

  1. Adams, R. (2005). PISA 2003 technical report. Paris, France: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.Google Scholar
  2. An, S., Kulm, G. & Wu, Z. (2004). The pedagogical content knowledge of middle school, mathematics teachers in China and the U.S. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 7(2), 145–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson-Levitt, K. (2012). Translating as nudging teachers toward “best practice”. ZDM, 44(3), 445–448.Google Scholar
  4. Ball, D. L. (1990). The mathematical understandings that prospective teachers bring to teacher education. The Elementary School Journal, 90(4), 449–466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ball, D.L. & Bass, H. (2003). Toward a practice-based theory of mathematical knowledge for teaching. Paper presented at the Annual meeting of the Canadian Mathematics Education Study Group, Edmonton, AB.Google Scholar
  6. Ball, D. L., Lubienski, S. & Mewborn, D. S. (2001). Research on teaching mathematics: The unsolved problem of teachers’ mathematical knowledge. In V. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of research on teaching (4th ed., pp. 433–456). Washington, DC: American Educational Research.Google Scholar
  7. Ball, D. L., Thames, M. H. & Phelps, G. (2008). Content knowledge for teaching: What makes it special? Journal of Teacher Education, 59(5), 389–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Blömeke, S. & Delaney, S. (2012). Assessment of teacher knowledge across countries: A review of the state of research. ZDM, 44(3), 223–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Blömeke, S., Suhl, U. & Kaiser, G. (2011). Teacher education effectiveness: Quality and equity of future primary teachers’ mathematics and mathematics pedagogical content knowledge. Journal of Teacher Education, 62(2), 154–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Burton, L. (1990). Gender and mathematics: An international perspective. London, England: Cassell.Google Scholar
  11. Cai, J. (2005). U.S. and Chinese teachers’ constructing, knowing, and evaluating representations to teach mathematics. Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 7(2), 135–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Carr, M., Jessup, D.L. & Fuller, D. (1999). Gender differences in first-grade mathematics strategy use: Parent and teacher contributions. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 30(1), 20–46.Google Scholar
  13. Chudgar, A. & Sankar, V. (2008). The relationship between teacher gender and student achievement: Evidence from five Indian states. Compare, 38(5), 627–642.Google Scholar
  14. Cole, Y. (2012). Assessing elemental validity: The transfer and use of mathematical knowledge for teaching measures in Ghana. ZDM, 44(3), 415–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dee, T. S. (2006). The why chromosome: How a teacher’s gender affects boys and girls. Education Next, 4, 69–75.Google Scholar
  16. Delaney, S. (2012). A validation study of the use of mathematical knowledge for teaching measures in Ireland. ZDM, 44(3), 427–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Delaney, S., Ball, D. L., Hill, H. C., Schilling, S. G. & Zopf, D. (2008). “Mathematical knowledge for teaching”: Adapting U.S. measures for use in Ireland. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 11(3), 171–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dodeen, H., Abdelfattah, F., Shumrani, S. & Hilal, M. A. (2012). The effects of teachers’ qualifications, practices, and perceptions on student achievement in TIMSS mathematics: A comparison of two countries. International Journal of Testing12(1), 61–77.Google Scholar
  19. Fauskanger, J., Jakobsen, A., Mosvold, R. & Bjuland, R. (2012). Analysis of psychometric properties as part of an iterative adaptation process of MKT items for use in other countries. ZDM, 44(3), 387–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gonzales, P., Williams, T., Jocelyn, L., Roey, S., Kastberg, D. & Brenwald, S. (2008). Highlights from TIMSS 2007. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/2009001.pdf
  21. Greene, B. A., DeBacker, T. K., Ravindran, B. & Krows, A. J. (1999). Goals, values, and beliefs as predictors of achievement and effort in high school mathematics classes. Sex Roles40(5-6), 421–458.Google Scholar
  22. Halai, A. (2011). Equality or equity: Gender awareness issues in secondary schools in Pakistan. International Journal of Educational Development, 31(1), 44–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hamdan, A. (2005). Women and Education in Saudi Arabia: Challenges and Achievements. International Education Journal6(1), 42–64.Google Scholar
  24. Helbig, M. (2012). Boys do not benefit from male teachers in their reading and mathematics skills: Empirical evidence from 21 European Union and OECD countries. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 33(5), 661–677.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hill, H. C., Ball, D. L. & Schilling, S. G. (2008). Unpacking “pedagogical content knowledge”. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 39(4), 372–400.Google Scholar
  26. Hill, H. C., Rowan, B. & Ball, D. L. (2005). Effects of teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching on student achievement. American Education Research Journal, 42(2), 371–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hill, H. C., Sleep, L., Lewis, J. M. & Ball, D. L. (2007). Assessing teachers’ mathematical knowledge: What knowledge matters and what evidence counts. Second Handbook of Research on Mathematics Teaching and Learning, 1, 111–156.Google Scholar
  28. Krieg, J.M. (2005). Student gender and teacher gender: What is the impact on high stakes test scores? Current Issues in Education, 8(9). Retrieved from http://cie.ed.asu.edu/volume8/number9/
  29. Kwon, M., Thames, M. H. & Pang, J. (2012). To change or not to change: Adapting mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT) measures for use in Korea. ZDM, 44(3), 371–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Learning Mathematics for Teaching (2008). Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT) measures: Mathematics released items 2008. Retrieved from http://sitemaker.umich.edu/lmt/files/LMT_sample_items.pdf
  31. Lindberg, S. M., Hyde, J. S., Petersen, J. L. & Linn, M. C. (2010). New trends in gender and mathematics performance: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 136(6), 1123–1135.Google Scholar
  32. Lee, V. E. & Lockheed, M. E. (1990). The effects of single-sex schooling on achievement and attitudes in Nigeria. Comparative Education Review, 34(2), 209–231.Google Scholar
  33. Ma, L. (1999). Knowing and teaching elementary mathematics: Teachers’ understanding of fundamental mathematics in China and the United States. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  34. Mallam, W. A. (1993). Impact of school-type and sex of the teacher on female students’ attitudes toward mathematics in Nigerian secondary schools. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 24(2), 223–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mosvold, R. & Fauskanger, J. (2009). Challenges of translating and adapting the MKT measures for Norway. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.Google Scholar
  36. Mwamwenda, T. S. & Mwamwenda, B. B. (1989). Teacher characteristics and pupils’ academic achievement in Botswana primary education. International Journal of Educational Development, 9(1), 31–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ng, D. (2011). Indonesian primary teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching geometry: Implications for educational policy and teacher preparation programs. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 39(2), 151–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Ng, D. (2012). Using the MKT measures to reveal Indonesian teachers’ mathematical knowledge: Challenges and potentials. ZDM, 44(3), 401–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Schoenfeld, A. H. (2010). How and why do teachers explain things the way they do? In M.K. Stein & L. Kucan (Eds.), Instructional explanations in the disciplines (pp. 83–106). New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar
  40. Schullo, S.A. & Alperson, B.L. (1998, April). Low SES Algebra 1 students and their teachers: Individual and a bi-directional investigation of their relationship and implicit beliefs of ability with final grades. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED424289.pdf
  41. Seegers, G. & Boekaerts, M. (1996). Gender-related differences in self-referenced cognitions in relation to mathematics. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 27, 215–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Shulman, L. S. (1986). Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15(2), 4–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Stigler, J. W. & Hiebert, J. (1999). The teaching gap: Best ideas from the world’s teachers for improving education in the classroom. New York, NY: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  44. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (2000). Increasing the number of women teachers in rural schools: A synthesis of country case studies: South Asia. Bangkok, Thailand: Author.Google Scholar
  45. Warwick, D. P. & Haroona, J. (1994). Teacher gender and student achievement in Pakistan. Comparative Education Review, 38(3), 377–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Warwick, D. P. & Jatoi, H. (1994). Teacher gender and student achievement in Pakistan. Comparative Education Review, 38(3), 377–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wiseman, A. W., Sadaawi, A. & Alromi, N. H. (2008, September). Educational indicators and national development in Saudi Arabia. Paper presented at the 3rd IEA International Research Conference, Taipei City, Taiwan.Google Scholar
  48. Zahrani, Y. A. & Jones, K. (2013). Pre-service primary mathematics teachers’ opportunities to learn about school mathematics topics. Research in Mathematics Education, 15(2), 191–192. doi: 10.1080/14794802.2013.797751.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ramzi F. Haroun
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dicky Ng
    • 2
    • 3
  • Faisal A. Abdelfattah
    • 2
    • 3
  • Misfer S. AlSalouli
    • 2
  1. 1.Princes Nora bint Abdul Rahman UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.The Excellence Research Center of Science and Mathematics EducationKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.Qatar UniversityDohaQatar

Personalised recommendations