ERIC Number: ED188887
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Nov-30
Reference Count: 0
Why Women Avoid the Study of Mathematics: A Longitudinal Study. Final Report.
Brush, Lorelei R.
The goals of this study were to trace the development of students' desire to participate in mathematics or to avoid it whenever possible, and to examine closely differences between boys and girls in reasons for enrollment or avoidance. To trace this decision-making process, information was collected from nearly 2,000 students. In the 1976-77 school year, these students were enrolled in the sixth, ninth, and twelfth grades, and the younger two groups were followed through the 1977-78 and 1978-79 school years. A wide variety of topics were covered with students in search for the reasons they used to decide about taking more courses in mathematics. Studied were the background factors of socioeconomic status and ability; students' attitudes toward mathematics as an easy, creative, enjoyable, and useful field; and students' interpretation of the clues given by their social milieu concerning the appropriateness of their studying mathematics. All students were given a yearly questionnaire, and, in addition, a number of girls were interviewed. Among the conclusions reached were: (1) Students have reasonably ambitious plans to continue their study of mathematics; (2) Boys plan to study more mathematics than girls; and (3) There is a clear decline in students' liking and enjoyment of mathematics over time. (Author/MK)
Descriptors: Attitudes, Bias, Decision Making, Elective Courses, Elementary Secondary Education, Females, Grade 12, Grade 6, Grade 9, Longitudinal Studies, Mathematics Anxiety, Mathematics Education, Program Attitudes, Sex Differences, Sex Role, Sex Stereotypes, Student Attitudes, Surveys, Womens Education
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Abt Associates, Inc., Cambridge, MA.
Identifiers: Mathematics Education Research