Persistent gender inequities in mathematics achievement and expectations in Australia, Canada and the UK

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    We report the general public’s perceptions and those of 15-year-old school students, about aspects of mathematics learning. For the adult sample, survey data were gathered from pedestrians and Facebook users in Australia, Canada and the UK—countries in which English is the dominant language spoken. Participants responded to items about the teaching and learning of mathematics, the gender stereotyping of mathematics and the perceived importance of studying mathematics for future careers. Collection of the data from the pedestrian samples partially overlapped with the period of data gathering via Facebook and coincided loosely with the administration of the Programme for International Student Assessment [PISA] 2012 in the three countries of interest. We examined participants’ views/beliefs by country and by respondent age. We also compared the results of the adult samples with student responses to four PISA 2012 attitudinal items for which the foci were comparable to items administered to the general public. Thus, we were able to compare the responses of three different age groups. While participants considered mathematics to be important for everyone to study, and important for employment, vestiges of traditional gender stereotyped beliefs and expectations were evident, more so among the younger than older respondents.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)261-282
    Number of pages22
    JournalMathematics Education Research Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


    • Age groups
    • Beliefs about mathematics
    • Gender stereotyping
    • International comparisons
    • Programme for International Student Assessment [PISA]
    • Surveys

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