For teachers and parents who are concerned about girls' negative attitudes and
expectations in the study of mathematics, who want to improve and increase girls'
performance and learning in math, we offer an annotated bibliography of articles and
studies designed to give teachers and parents insight into the ways in which they can
improve girls' attitudes and performance in math.
In Part I, Students' Attitudes and Beliefs, many articles suggest that girls have negative
attitudes and expectations for their performance in math; however, as can be seen from Part
II, Teachers' Attitudes, and Part III, Parents' Attitudes, parents' and teachers' attitudes,
expectations, and actions with regard to girls' performance in math affect  and have the
potential to improve  girls' expectations, attitudes, and performance in math. Teachers'
teaching style, such as their use of cooperative rather than competitive learning, also plays a
pivotal role in girls' relationship with math. Information about the impact of teaching style
on girls' attitudes and performance in math will be found in Part IV.
The four parts of this annotated bibliography include articles which give teachers and
parents practical ideas that they can use to improve girls' attitudes, selfexpectations, and
performance in math.
I. Students' Attitudes and Beliefs
 American association of University Women, Washington, DC, "Shortchanging
Girls, Shortchanging America: A Call to Action." AAUW Initiative for Educational
Equity, American Association of University Women, Washington, DC, 1992.
(To order by mail, write to: American Association of University Women Sales Office,
P.O. Box 251, Annapolis Junctions, MD 207010251.)
This paper shows that girls' selfesteem, confidence in their abilities, expectations for life,
interest in challenging courses and rewarding careers, and pursuits in math and science
decline as they get older. Teachers may contribute to girls' problems by giving them less
attention or a lower quality of attention during class; therefore, teachers must be careful not
to limit girls' potential in math and science by using genderbiased practices. Especially
during math instruction, teachers must be sure to call on girls for answers to questions, and
to give them praise when appropriate.
 Gill, Judith, "Shedding Some New Light on Old Truths: Student Attitudes to
School in Terms of Year Level and Gender," paper presented at the Annual Meeting of
the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA., April 49, 1994.
(To order by mail, write to ERIC Document Service, 7420 Fullerton Rd., Suite 110,
Springfield, VA. 221532852.)
This article indicates that middle school and high school girls have positive attitudes toward
school but negative attitudes toward mathematics. It focuses on the gendering  the
separation of boys and girls  of Australian schools through the study of 7th, 8th, and 10th
graders in coeducational programs as well as girlsonly schools. Despite some authors'
belief that separating boys and girls for math improves girls' attitudes towards math, the
results indicate that even when girls are taught in all girl schools, they still have negative
attitudes toward math. With regard to teachers, the paper suggests that separating boys and
girls during math instruction does not improve girls' negative attitudes toward math.
 Hanson, Katherine, "Teaching Mathematics Effectively and Equitably to
Females." Trends and Issues No. 17, Columbia University, New York, N.Y.
Teachers College; Education Development Center, Inc., Newton, MA. Center for Equity
and Cultural Diversity. 1992.
(To order by mail, write to ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education, Institute for
Urban and Minority Education, Box 40, Teachers College, Columbia University, New
York, N.Y. 10027.)
An exploration of girls' learning styles, attitudes, and behaviors in math classes that also
shows the importance of analyzing the curriculum and attitudes of teachers when attempting
to understand girls' relation to math. The article attempts to discover ways to increase girls'
interest and achievement in math. It concludes with 15 practical recommendations for the
improvement of math education for girls.
 Pettitt, Lisa, "Middle School Students' Perception of Math and Science Abilities
and Related Careers," paper presented at the 61st Biennial Meeting of the Society for
Research in Child Development, Indianapolis, IN, March 30April 2, 1995.
(To order by mail, write to: Lisa M. Pettitt, Dept. of Psychology, University of
Denver, 2155 South Race St., Denver, CO 80208.)
According to this paper, middle school students do not recognize the subjects that they
must study in order to have specific careers. In a survey of 162 students about their career
aspirations and their feelings about sex stereotypes in certain professional fields, students
responded that society accepts many different careers for women and men. However, they
tended to choose sexstereotyped careers when filling out the survey. Girls felt that they
would be capable of becoming doctors or veterinarians, but they did not want to have
sciencerelated careers as adults. Boys stated the opposite. Neither the boys nor the girls
recognized the relation between the study of math and science and their future career
aspirations. Because this study indicates that girls may not realize that their preferred future
careers can require course work in science and math, it seems prudent for math and science
teachers to discuss with students the many professional fields that require math and
science.
 Stipek, Deborah, Granlinski, Heidi, "Gender Differences in Children's
AchievementRelated Beliefs and Emotional Responses to Success and Failure in
Mathematics," Journal of Educational Psychology , v. 83 n. 3 pp. 36171,
September 1991.
This article indicates that girls have lower expectations for themselves in math than boys,
and that girls believe they do not have mathematical ability.When girls do poorly in math,
they attribute their poor performance to their inability to do math. This study explores the
beliefs of thirdgraders and junior high school students (male and female). It shows that
girls' beliefs begin early in their education and persist into junior high school (and probably
beyond). Therefore, starting at the elementary school level, teachers need to 1) encourage
girls to have higher expectations for themselves in math, and 2) offer girls alternative,
positive explanations of their math performance.
 Swetman, Daniel, "Rural Elementary Students' Attitudes toward Mathematics,"
Rural Educator , v. 16 n. 3 pp. 2022, 31 Spring 1995.
This article shows that girls' positive attitudes towards mathematics decline as they grow
older. Initially girls have more positive attitudes towards math than boys do, but as they
continue in school, girls' attitudes become more negative. In order to improve girls'
performance in math, teachers need to facilitate positive attitudes in girls towards math.
II. Teachers' Attitudes
 Clewell, Beatrice and Anderson, Bernice, "Women of Color in Mathematics,
Science and Engineering: A Review of the Literature," Center for Women Policy
Studies, Washington, DC., 1991.
(To order by mail, write to: Center for Women Policy Studies, 2000 P Street, NW,
Site 508, Washington, DC. 20036.)
This article highlights the barriers middle school girls of color face in math, science, and
engineering classes. Barriers include teachers, parents, and society's impact on girls' 1)
attitudes and perceptions, 2) achievement and performance, 3) course enrollment and
participation, and 4) career interests and aspirations. This review is particularly important
because women/girls of color are often studied with regard either to gender or ethnicity, but
rarely considering both, as in this study. Teachers must help girls of color bring down the
barriers they face by encouraging them to 1) have positive attitudes about themselves in
math, 2) enroll and participate in math and science classes, and 3) explore careers in math
and science.
 Gutbezahl, Jennifer, "How Negative Expectancies and Attitudes Undermine
Females' Math Confidence and Performance: A Review of the Literature," Information
Analysis General, 1995.
(To order by mail, write to: ERIC Document Service, 7420 Fullerton Rd., Suite 110,
Springfield, VA. 221532852.)
According to this paper, parents' and teachers' expectations for girls in math have an
enormous impact on girls performance in math. Girls internalize their teachers' and parents'
negative expectations, which become selffulfilling prophecies. Because girls believe that
they cannot achieve in math, they do not achieve in math. Their poor performance
reinforces parents and teachers' negative expectations and feeds the cycle of negative
expectations and lack of achievement. Clearly, teachers' and parents' expectations for girls'
performance in math must be raised if girls are to have the opportunity to achieve in
math.
 Leach, Lisa, "Sexism in the Classroom: A SelfQuiz for Teachers," Science
Scope , v. 17, n. 6, pp. 5459, March 1994.
This article shows teachers' critical role in girls' success in math and science. It suggests
that girls' low participation and their negative attitudes towards math and science are greatly
affected by teachers' attitudes. The author provides a self sexismquiz teachers can take in
order to identify specific classroom attitudes towards girls that may affect their instruction
in class.
 Schwartz, Wendy and Hanson, Katherine, "Equal Mathematics Education for
Female Students," Educational Developmental Center, Inc., Newton, MA. Center for
Equity and Cultural Diversity. 1992.
(To order by mail, write to: ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education, Institute for
Urban and Minority Education, Box 40, Teachers College, Columbia University, New
York, NY 10027.)
This paper indicates that teachers must consider girls' mental and physical development and
the effect of their own attitudes and behaviors on girls' participation and performance in
math. When girls begin to physically mature, they focus more on their bodies and less on
their intellectual abilities or themselves as people. As a result, their selfesteem decreases.
Girls' learning style is more cooperatively based and therefore does not mesh with the
independent, noncollaborative thinking encouraged in most classrooms. Finally, this paper
states that teachers unconsciously pay more attention to male students than to female
students. It suggests that teachers must consider girls' developmental issues as they interact
with them, by drawing female students' attention away from their bodies and focusing it on
their intellectual abilities, especially in math. Teachers should pose more cooperative tasks
during math instruction in order to support girls' learning style. Finally, teachers must
constantly evaluate their behavior toward male and female students to insure that the
attention they give students is not genderbiased.
III. Parents' Attitudes
 BlevinsKnabe, Belinda, and MusunMiller, Linda, "Parental Beliefs about the
Development of Preschool children's Number Skills," paper presented at the Biennial
Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Seattle, WA, April 1820,
1991.
(To order by mail, write to:ERIC Document Service, 7420 Fullerton Rd., Suite 110,
Springfield, VA. 221532853.)
This paper indicates that parents' belief in girls' math ability affects girls' belief in their
own math ability. A study was completed with parents of 4 and 5yearold children about
their children's number skills. Parents of boys indicated that their sons would be able to
solve all math tasks sooner than parents of girls indicated that their daughters would be able
to solve math tasks. The parents' beliefs about the girls could clearly be detrimental to their
daughters' beliefs about math and their performance in math. Teachers, then, must
encourage parents of girls to have higher expectations for their daughters.
 Campbell, Patricia, "Math, Science, and Your Daughter: What Can Parents
Do?" Encouraging Girls in Math and Science Series, Women's Educational Equity Act
Program (ED), Washington, DC. 1992.
(To order by mail, write to: WEEA Publishing Center, EDC, 55 Chapel Street, Suite
268, Newton, MA 02160.)
According to this brochure, parents play a crucial role in their daughters' math and science
education. In its six sections, the brochure describes ways that parents can encourage their
daughters in math and science. It suggests that parents talk to their daughters about the
importance of math and its necessity in certain careers. In another section, the brochure
encourages parents to foster positive attitudes in their daughters toward math and science.
This publication would be a useful tool for teachers to use to inform parents of their ability
to improve girls' attitudes and participation in math and science classes.
IV. Teaching Style
 Bono, Deborah, "The Impact of Cooperative Learning on Suzy and Janie's
Attitudes about Math," Research Report in Virginia, 1991.
(To order by mail, write to: ERIC Document Service, 7420 Fullerton Rd., Suite 110,
Springfield, VA. 221532852.)
The importance of this article lies in its statement that girls would enjoy math, increase their
time on math tasks, and have positive emotional reactions to math if math were taught in a
cooperative setting. The study explores the impact of cooperative learning on two sixth
grade girls (one AfroAmerican, one EuroAmerican). The results show that the two girls
had more positive attitudes about math when it was taught in a cooperative setting. During
math instruction, then, teachers need to use cooperative learning techniques in order to
foster positive attitudes toward math in their female students.
 Campbell, Patricia, "What Works and What Doesn't? Ways to Evaluate Programs
for Girls in Math and Science Series," Women's Educational Equity Act Program
(ED), Washington, DC. 1992.
(To order by mail, write to: WEEA Publishing Center, EDC, 55 Chapel Street, Suite
268, Newton, MA 02160.)
This brochure helps teachers evaluate their math and science programs with regard to
success with girls. Seven sections suggest how programs should be evaluated, what
questions should be asked of participants in the program, and what variables should be
examined in pre and postparticipation tests. Some of these variables include 1) attitudes
toward math and science, 2) math and science courses girls are planning to take, 3) career
interests, 4) math and science activities girls do voluntarily, and 5) girls' knowledge of
women in science. The brochure is a useful tool for teachers because it allows them to
evaluate the success of their math instruction and classroom environment for girls' attitudes
and participation in math and mathrelated fields.
 Daniels, Roberta, and Lamb, Julie, "Changing Gifted Girls' Attitudes towards
Mathematics," paper presented at the Rural Education Symposium of the American
Council of Rural Special Education and the National Rural Small Schools Consortium,
Tucson, AZ, March 1822, 1990.
(To order by mail, write to: ERIC Document Service, 7420 Fullerton Rd., Suite 110,
Springfield, VA., 221532852.)
How to help gifted girls achieve even greater heights in math. A program was initiated with
academically gifted 47th grade girls that included activities which 1) improved selfesteem,
2) developed positive attitudes toward math, 3) dealt with problemsolving skills, 4)
encouraged girls to become involved in math activities outside school, and 5) explored
careers in math. After the program was over, it was found that the girls who had gone
through it scored significantly higher on math aptitude tests. The program helps girls deal
with emotional and developmental issues as well as improving their attitudes and
performance in math. Until such a program is implemented in schools, teachers can
improve gifted girls' performance in math by working with them on problemsolving skills
during math instruction. Teachers can also 1) encourage girls to participate in math
activities after school (such as math clubs) or outside of school (math or science fairs), and
2) discuss with girls their option of choosing careers in math.
 Diamond, Judy, "Sex differences in Science Museums; A Review,"
Curator , v. 37, n. 1, pp. 1724, March 1994.
This article indicates that girls need to learn math in a cooperative
atmosphere and that they need to have more math and sciencerelated experiences , since
they have fewer such experiences than boys. It also states that girls are cooperative
learners in math, rather than competitive learners. In order to encourage girls' performance
in math, math teachers should consider a more cooperative approach (group learning) to
math as well a curriculum that gives girls more experiences in math.
 Eccles, Jacquelynne et al., "Age and Gender Differences in Children's Self and
Task Perceptions during Elementary School," Child Development , v. 64, n.
3, pp. 83047, June 1993.
Even at a very young age, boys and girls feel more or less competent in certain subjects.
According to this study of 1st, 2nd, and 4th graders, boys tend to feel more competent in
sports and math, whereas girls feel more competent in reading and music. Clearly, teachers
need to raise girls' feelings of competence in math. However, teachers could also
incorporate reading and music into math lessons (or incorporate math into reading and
music lessons ); this would show girls that math is present in subjects in which they
already feel competent.
 Fraser, Barry, "Research Implications for Science and Mathematics Teachers.
Volume 1. Key Centre Monograph Number 5," Curtin Univ. of Tech., Perth
(Australia). National Key Centre for Science and Mathematics. Australian Dept. of
Education, Canberra. 1993.
(To order by mail, write to: National Key Centre for School Science and Mathematics,
Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U 1987, Perth, Western Australia,
Australia.)
This paper gives examples of the strategies successful teachers use to make their math
classroom environments conducive to math achievement among girls. One chapter hails the
benefits of encouraging students, especially female students, to write (i.e. write about their
thinking process when solving a math problem) in math classes. Others explore issues such
as girls' attitudes towards math and future careers, student and teacher relationships in math
and science classes, and gender equality in science classes. The paper provides teachers
with strategies, such as the use of writing in math classes, to improve their classroom
environments so that girls will be comfortable and encouraged to do math.
 Li, Anita, Adamson, Georgina, "Gifted Secondary Students' Preferred Learning
Style: Cooperative, Competitive, or Individualistic?" Journal of Education of the
Gifted , v. 16, n. 1, pp. 4654, Fall 1992.
This article shows the crucial impact that the orientation of a math classroom has on female
students' involvement in and enthusiasm for math. Gifted senior high school girls prefer
working in noncompetitive, individually oriented math classes, while boys prefer working
in competitive, individually oriented math classes. If math classes were individually
oriented but less competitive, girls would be more enthusiastic about math.
 McSheffrey, K., "Mathematics Experiences of Women and Girls: A Narrative
Inquiry," Master's Thesis, Queen's University, 1992.
(To order by mail, write to: ERIC Documents service, 7420 Fullerton RD., Suite 110,
Springfield, VA. 221532852.)
This work suggests that teachers' ability to connect math to reallife situations affects
female students' math experience. The narratives of 7 women and 15 girls about math
experiences in school are examined. Many of the subjects cite 1) the influence of teachers'
behaviors on students (teachers who made students feel important, cared for, etc...), 2) the
influence of parents (their support or lack of support), 3) personal decisions regarding
attitudes towards math, and 4) the attitudes of boys toward girls. Many of the stories
emphasize how teachers made students feel in the classroom. Many of the women and girls
state that their best math teachers were the teachers who made connections between math
and reallife situations.
 Orenstein, Fran, "Utilization of Teacher Workshops to Enhance Early Exposure to
Gender Equity and Mathematics Education for Young Girls in Preschool Settings,"
Ed. D. Practicum, Nova University, 1993.
(To order by mail, write to: ERIC Document Service, 7420 Fullerton Rd., Suite 110,
Springfield, VA. 221532852.)
In order to prevent genderbiased behavior in the classroom, teachers must first be aware of
it. This program, used with 20 preschool teachers, attempted not only to increase teachers'
knowledge of gender equity, but also to encourage them to apply their knowledge in their
classrooms. After the teachers participated in the program, they were more aware of
genderbiased behavior in their classrooms and could begin to eliminate it and to create
classroom environments in which boys and girls would have an equal opportunity to learn
math.
 Peel, Tina et al., "SQUARE ONE TV: The Comprehensive and ProblemSolving
Study. Final Report," paper presented at the Biennial Meeting at the Society for
Research in Child Development, Seattle, WA, April 1820, 1991.
(To order by mail, write to: ERIC Document Service, 7420 Fullerton Rd., Suite 110,
Springfield, VA. 221532852.)
For teachers who like to use TV programs as part of their math classes, this study shows
that Square One TV can improve boys' and girls' problemsolving skills and encourage
them to have positive feelings toward math. The paper indicates that Square One
encourages problemsolving skills in such a manner that children are able to transfer the
skills to new problems. Success with the problems on the show elicited feelings of
happiness, gladness, and pride in the students.
 Sanders, Jo, "Lifting the Barriers. 600 Strategies that Really Work To Increase
Girls' Participation in Science, Mathematics and Computers," Nonclassroom guides,
1994.
(To order by mail, write to: J Sanders, P.O. Box 483, Port Washington, NY
11050.)
This article gives teachers strategies for encouraging girls to be excited and involved in
mathematics, science, and computers. In the Computer Equity Expert Project, 200 math,
science, and computer teachers created 8 strategies to increase girls' participation in math:
1) focusing specifically on girls, 2) designing activities, 3) emphasizing usefulness, 4)
highlighting the social aspect, 5) watching language for sex stereotypes, 6) eliminating
biased practices, 7) spreading the word and 8) doing it all next year. The author
recommends that these strategies be used in classrooms, extracurricular activities,
educational policies, and outreach efforts.
 Telese, James, "Effects of Alternative Assessment from the Student's View,"
paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association,
Atlanta, GA, April 1216, 1993.
(To order by mail, write to: ERIC Document Service, 7420 Fullerton Rd., Suite 110,
Springfield, VA. 221532852.)
According to this article, teachers' use of alternative assessment improves elementary and
middle school girls' involvement in math classrooms. While in this study math ability, per
se, did not change, the girls' attitudes towards classroom activities in math did improve
over the year in which alternative assessment and nontraditional activities were used.
Alternative assessment techniques and nontraditional activities appear to be ways to
improve girls' participation and attitudes in math classes.
 Williams, Audrey, "Class, Race and Gender in American Education," paper
presented at the 33rd Annual Meeting of the College Reading Association, Philadelphia,
PA, November 35, 1989.
(To order by mail, write to: ERIC Document Service, 7420 Fullerton Rd., Suite 110,
Springfield, VA. 221532852.)
This paper indicates that societal attitudes about race, class, and gender affect standardized
tests and the traditional tools used to measure success in school. It highlights the fact that
girls' grades in math and English decline as they get older, yet boys' grades improve. It
also shows that Whites tend to perform better on the SATs than AfroAmericans. The paper
suggests that standardized tests should not be used before the third grade because they are
culturally and genderbiased. If teachers use standardized tests or tests in general, they
should examine them to be sure that the wording of questions does not include societal
attitudes or stereotypes about class, race, or gender. If such attitudes or stereotypes are
present in the wording of questions (or otherwise), teachers should discontinue the use of
such tests in their classes. Teachers must carefully examine standardized and regular,
everyday tests in order to insure that their students are not being subjected to culturally or
genderbiased tests.
