Schools’ Strategies for Promoting Girls’ Participation in Mathematics

Smith, Cathy and Golding, Jennie (2018). Schools’ Strategies for Promoting Girls’ Participation in Mathematics. In: Proceedings Of the 42nd Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (Bergqvist, E.; Österholm, M.; Granberg, C. and Sumpter, L. eds.), Umeå, Sweden, 4 pp. 211–218.


Fewer girls than boys in England participate in post-compulsory mathematics. Previous studies have shown the significance to girls of their mathematics lessons and teachers, of cultural constructions of gender and mathematics, of career perceptions A multiple case-study project investigated institutions with unusually high participation by girls in mathematics. Focus groups and lesson observations were used to explore school pedagogy and culture. Common factors were: early preparation for demanding mathematics, a departmental ethos which encouraged student-teacher interactions in and out of lessons, teachers who explicitly and repeatedly confirmed that girls would succeed at mathematics A-level, appreciation of mathematics as opening doors to many careers.

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