Gender issues in mathematics: an Ontario perspective

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    In many developed countries, including Canada, it is often perceived that gender issues in mathematics have been solved and are no longer a relevant and timely issue. In this article, I challenge this perception by providing an overview of gender issues in mathematics in three domains-achievement, attitude, and participation-from the elementary school level to the university level. My analysis of several sources of data from Ontario is compared to a meta-analysis of research involving data from culturally similar countries to Canada, for example, Australia, United Kingdom. The data primarily arise from large-scale mathematics assessments, for example, PISA and EQAO, and national statistics databases, for example, Statistics Canada and National Center for Education Statistics. Counter to the aforementioned perception, this analysis indicates that gender issues still exist in mathematics in developed countries, including Canada. The gender gap is particularly wide in terms of students attitudes and participation: Males have substantially more positive attitudes toward mathematics and higher levels of participation in non-mandatory levels of mathematics than do females. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of the findings and suggestions of possible steps that may be taken to help ameliorate the current situation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)59 - 72
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Teaching and Learning
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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