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Topic: [ncsm-members] Girls' Math Skills May Fall Short Of Boys' b/c Male Impulsiveness
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
[ncsm-members] Girls' Math Skills May Fall Short Of Boys' b/c Male Impulsiveness
Posted: Aug 5, 2012 4:23 PM
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From Huff Post Science - - Saturday, August 4, 2012.

Girls' Math Skills May Fall Short Of Boys' Because Of Male Impulsiveness

By:, staff

From an early age, boys tend to take a more impulsive approach to
math problems in the classroom, which might help them get ahead of
girls in the long-run, suggests the latest study to touch on the
gender gap in math.

The research claims girls may tend to favor a slow and accurate
approach - often computing an answer by counting - while boys may
take a faster, but more error-prone tack, calling out an answer from
memory. The difference in strategies seems to benefit girls early in
elementary school but swings in favor of boys by middle school.

"In our study, we found that boys were more likely to call out
answers than girls, even though they were less accurate early in
school," Drew Bailey, who led the study, said in a statement. "Over
time, though, this practice at remembering answers may have allowed
boys to surpass girls in accuracy." [Cool Math Games - See ]

The University of Missouri study followed 300 students from first
grade to sixth grade. During those first two years, the boys called
out more answers in class than the girls but also had more wrong
answers. Girls were more often right, but answered fewer questions
and responded more slowly, according to the university. By sixth
grade, the boys were still answering more problems than the girls and
were also getting more correct.

Several recent studies have argued that gender differences in math
performance have more to do with culture than aptitude - see ].
Research published last year found that certain countries - generally
ones with more gender equality, better teachers and fewer students
living in poverty - showed a smaller gap between males and females in
math and some had no gap at all. [See ]

Other research has pointed to inherent gender biases in the
classroom. One such study found that high school math teachers tended
to rate girls' math abilities lower than those of male students, even
when the girls' grades and test scores were comparable to boys. [See ]

Gender issues aside, the researchers of the Missouri study - which
was published in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology - had
some advice for parents based on the findings. "Parents can give
their children an advantage by making them comfortable with numbers
and basic math before they start grade school, so that the children
will have fewer trepidations about calling out answers," David Geary,
a co-author of the study, said in a statement.
NOTE: There are three other interesting websites indicated at the end
of the article:

. 10 Ways to Keep Your Mind Sharp -

. 10 Facts Every Parent Should Know about Their Teen's Brain -

. 5 Seriously Mind-Boggling Math Facts -

Additional note -- if the website does not open by clicking on the
URLs above, then copy and paste to open.

Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
625 Wham Drive
Mail Code 4610
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610
Phone: (618) 453-4241 [O]
(618) 457-8903 [H]
Fax: (618) 453-4244

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