Girls and Maths

At a time when so much time and effort is exerted into getting better academic results from the boys, I wonder if we’re doing enough, if anything at all, to make maths more appealing to girls.

A study to be presented at an education conference in Melbourne this month shows girls performing poorly compared with boys in areas of high achievement and enrolment trends in year 12 maths subjects.

Its findings show a clear pattern of male dominance among the Victorian students who achieved the top 2 per cent of the study score results in each of the maths subjects between 2007 and 2009. //

Boys were heavily over-represented among the top scorers, relative to their enrolment proportions in each maths subject.

Sure, boys may be wired to excel in maths, but should that stop us from rethinking the way we teach it to girls?

I love teaching maths.  As a Grade 4 teacher, I teach all general subjects, yet maths is my favourite.  I find that there is so much scope for teaching the subject in a creative fashion rather than rote memory skills and algorithms, which can be boring and off-putting to many.  In class we become top-secret spies, prisoners, fashion designers and architects.  Sometimes the class don’t even realise it’s a maths lesson!

A creative approach to maths, especially in the early years, is just the tonic to make the subject more exciting and accessible – especially to girls.


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