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Gender stereotyping in parents and teachers perceptions of boys and girls mathematics performance in Ireland
McCoy, Selina; Byrne, Delma; O'Connor, Pat
This paper is concerned with the underlying question of what shapes the assessment of children’s mathematical ability: focusing particularly on parents’ and teachers’ perceptions of that ability in the context of children’s attainment (measured using standardised mathematics tests). We suggest that such perceptions may reflect the impact of gender stereotypes: overestimating boys’ and underestimating girls’ achievements in the area. The influence of the children’s own interests, attitudes and behaviour on these gender stereotypical perceptions are also explored. The paper draws on the Growing Up in Ireland study, providing rich data on children, their families and school contexts. The results show that as early as nine years old, girls’ performance at mathematics is being underestimated by teachers and primary care givers alike relative to boys’. While teacher (and parent) judgments reflect children’s attitudes towards school and academic self-concept, as well as their actual performance, there remains a notable gender differential in judgements. The findings raise concerns for girls’ subsequent mathematics performance and for their academic self-concept in a society where mathematics is highly valued as an indicator of intelligence. Importantly, in the context of the move towards teacher-assessed grading in many education systems during the COVID-19 pandemic, understanding, and challenging, gender-stereotyping by both parents and teachers becomes critically important. ACCEPTED non-peer-reviewed
Keyword(s): mathematics; children
Publication Date:
Type: Report
Peer-Reviewed: No
Language(s): English
Institution: University of Limerick
Publisher(s): Geary Institute, UCD
First Indexed: 2020-10-11 06:25:08 Last Updated: 2020-10-11 06:25:08