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ERIC Number: ED558093
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 182
Abstractor: ERIC
ISBN: 978-9-2642-3002-6
The ABC of Gender Equality in Education: Aptitude, Behaviour, Confidence
OECD Publishing
Over the past century, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries have made significant progress in narrowing or closing long-standing gender gaps in many areas of education and employment, including educational attainment, pay and labour market participation. But new gender gaps in education are opening. Young men are significantly more likely than young women to be less engaged with school and have low skills and poor academic achievement. They are also more likely to leave school early, often with no qualifications. This book tries to determine why 15-year-old boys are more likely than girls, on average, to fail to attain a baseline level of proficiency in reading, mathematics and science, and why high-performing 15-year-old girls still underachieve in areas such as mathematics, science and problem solving when compared to high-performing boys. In 2012, 14% of boys and 9% of girls surveyed by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) exercise did not attain the PISA baseline level of proficiency in any of the three core subjects. On the other hand, in the top-performing economies in PISA, such as Shanghai-China, Singapore, Hong Kong-China and Chinese Taipei, girls perform on a par with their male classmates in mathematics and attain higher scores in mathematics than boys in most other countries and economies around the world. As the evidence in the report makes clear, gender disparities in performance do not stem from innate differences in aptitude, but rather from students' attitudes towards learning and their behaviour in school, from how they choose to spend their leisure time, and from the confidence they have--or do not have--in their own abilities as students. In fact, the report shows that the gender gap in literacy proficiency narrows considerably--and even disappears in some countries--among young men and women in their late teens and 20s. Giving boys and girls an equal opportunity to realise their potential demands the involvement of parents, who can encourage their sons and daughters to read; teachers, who can encourage more independent problem solving among their students; and students themselves, who can spend a few more of their after-school hours "unplugged". Following an Executive Summary and a Reader's Guide, this book is organized into the following chapters: (1) Emerging gender gaps in education; (2) Tackling underperformance among boys; (3) Girls' lack of self-confidence; (4) Expectations and reality for school-leavers; (5) How family, school and society affect boys' and girls' performance at school; and (6) Policies and practices to help boys and girls fulfil their potential. The following are appended: (1) What some countries are doing to promote gender equality in education; and (2) List of tables available online. Individual chapters contain references. [This report is the product of a collaborative effort between the countries participating in PISA and the OECD Secretariat. [This report was drafted by Francesca Borgonovi and Marilyn Achiron, with contributions from Giannina Rech and Angelica Salvi del Pero. Andreas Schleicher, Michael Davidson, Yuri Belfali, Monika Queisser, Francesco Avvisati and Joel Rapp provided valuable feedback at various stages of the report. François Keslair, Louise Caron, Lorena Ortega Ferrand, Célia Braga-Schich, Sophie Limoges, Alfonso Echazarra, Daniel Salinas, Miki Tadakazu, Juliet Evans, Claire Chetcuti, Elisabeth Villoutreix and Louise Binn provided statistical, editorial and administrative support. The development of the report was steered by the PISA Governing Board, which is chaired by Lorna Bertrand (United Kingdom).]
OECD Publishing. 2, rue Andre Pascal, F-75775 Paris Cedex 16, France. Tel: +33-145-24-8200; Fax: +33-145-24-8500; Web site:
Publication Type: Books; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education; Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Program for International Student Assessment