Encyclopedia of Science Education

2015 Edition
| Editors: Richard Gunstone

Achievement Differences and Gender

  • Lara Perez-Felkner
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-2150-0_349

Achievement Differences and Gender

It has been asserted that achievement differences in certain fields – the sciences in particular – can be explained by innate differences in boys’ and girls’ ability, specifically their representation among those with the highest ability in mathematics. Although some research evidence supports this hypothesis, scholars have also argued against this claim. For example, a meta-analysis of US state assessments found that female and male 2nd through 11th grade students did not significantly differ in mathematics performance, but limitations in these data did not allow for analyses of the areas in which extant research finds that gender differences may be more likely to emerge – complex problem solving and advanced mathematics (Hyde et al. 2008). If not ability, what does explain variation in male and female secondary school students’ selection into scientific disciplines, in postsecondary and beyond?

Importantly, extensive research suggests that gendered...

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  1. Eccles J (2011) Gendered educational and occupational choices: applying the Eccles et al. model of achievement-related choices. Int J Behav Dev 35(3):195–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  3. Perez-Felkner L, McDonald S-K, Schneider B, Grogan E (2012) Female and male adolescents’ subjective orientations to mathematics and their influence on postsecondary majors. Dev Psychol 48:1658–1673CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of EducationFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA