Gender and Academic Achievement in Math: An Examination of the Math Performance Data on Seven to Nine Year Olds in Trinidad and Tobago
Keywords:Academic Achievement, Gender Analysis, Mathematics, Primary School Students, Sex Differences, Trinidad and Tobago
AbstractThere is a general concern in Trinidad and Tobago and the wider English-speaking Caribbean about the gender differential in performance on regional and national examinations. Previous studies had shown boys not performing as well as girls. Utilizing scores from the math component of the Continuous Assessment Programme (CAP), this study investigated whether the trend was evident among the younger primary school students. The final sample comprised 1,682 students in Standard 1, Standard 2, and Standard 3 (age group 7-9 years). Total scores, Zscores, scores for students attempting all items, and composite scores for the low-level and high-level items were computed. The proportion of boys and girls in the upperÂ (z greater than or equal to 1.00) and lower (z less than or equal to -1.00) tails of the distrubution were examined, as was the gender differential in the number of students omitting test items. Overall, girls scored higher than boys, more boys than girls omitted items, and a significantly greater proportion of boys were in the lower tail of the distribution. The Hindu schools were the exception to this general finding. The non-response to items could be addressed by schools teaching test-taking skills. However, more important may be the underlying reasons for the phenomenon, and the implications for boys' future academic achievement and employment opportunities.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).