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ERIC Number: ED431602
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Apr-22
Pages: 34
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Examining Gender Differences in Mathematics Achievement on the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).
Fierros, Edward Garcia
The Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) offers a unique opportunity to examine some of the issues related to gender differences in mathematics achievement in an international context. TIMSS report of 8th grade mathematics achievement revealed few significant differences in mean achievement by gender; differences that did exist, however, tended to favor males. The TIMSS report of students in their final year of secondary school found significant gender differences favoring males in mathematics literacy (i.e., application of mathematics to everyday problems), and even greater differences favoring males in advanced mathematics. Previous cross-national studies, including TIMSS, have examined gender differences in secondary school mathematics achievement overall and by content area, but few have looked at gender differences in mathematics achievement by levels of achievement or according to the processes for problem solving involved in different mathematical tasks. In Part I of the study, TIMSS performance data were analyzed by gender for low-, middle-, and high-performers to determine if differences are related to overall achievement levels. Part 2 examined TIMSS performance data by gender and by cognitive demand to see if the processes for solving problems in mathematical tasks differ for males and females. Part 3 of the study examined TIMSS achievement data by gender and by item format to decide if performance differs for males and females by the type of item (i.e., multiple choice, short answer, or extended response). The study observed few differences in mathematics performance between 8th grade males and females by ability level. Larger gender differences developed in the 12th grade mathematics literacy assessment and even larger gender differences were observed in advanced mathematics. In the 12th grade, high-performing males (i.e., top 25%) tended to outperform females in a majority of the countries. In general, 12th grade males outperformed females on problem solving and multiple-choice items in both the mathematics literacy and advanced mathematics assessments. An examination of gender differences in mathematics performance by item format found few differences at the 8th grade level but larger differences in all three item formats in the 12th grade mathematics literacy and advanced mathematics assessments. Contains 62 references and 20 tables. (Author/WRM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study