The issue of gender in mathematical education is a huge subject in its own right, which we cannot fully do justice to here. Here are a selection of organizations, links to further resources, initiatives and articles.
IOWME is an international network of individuals and groups who share a commitment to achieving equity in education and who are interested in the links between gender and the teaching and learning of mathematics.
Launched in 2015, Choose Maths is a five-year national program that will turn around public perception of mathematics and statistics as a career choice for girls and young women.
The Fourth European Girls' Mathematical Olympiad is taking place in Minksy, Belarus, 14-20 April 2015. The First European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad took place in Cambridge, England in 2012, organised jointly by Murray Edwards College (formerly New Hall, one of the three Cambridge Colleges originally founded for women) and the UK Mathematics Trust. The two following olympiads took place in Antalya, Turkey (2014) and Luxembourg (2013).
The competition was inspired by the China Girls’ Math Olympiad and issimilar in style to the International Mathematical Olympiad, with two tests taken on consecutive days. Participating countries send teams consisting of their strongest four high-school-age, female mathematicians.
The Programme for International Student Assessment is a triennial international survey which aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students.
A list of resources for students and educators in the mathematical sciences, maintained by the Association for Women in Mathematics can be found here.
ScienceGrrl is a group of UK women scientisits who are passionate about celebrating women in science and passing on their love of science to the next generation. ScienceGrrl began in the 2012 Twitter storm surrounding the video used to launch the EU's Science: It's a Girls Thing campaign, which unfortunately didn't feature any real science. They have a lively and active organisation and it is well worth exploring their website.
WISE’s mission is to increase the gender balance in the UK’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) workforce, pushing the presence of female employees from 13% as it stands now, to 30% by 2020. Their services are designed to build and sustain the pipeline of female talent in STEM from classroom to boardroom, boosting the talent pool to drive economic growth.
WISE, which has nearly 30 years experience of inspiring girls to pursue STEM subjects, now incorporates the UKRC, which had a contract from the Government from 2004-12 to increase opportunities for women in science, engineering and technology through support services to business, education and women returners.
“One of the reasons why it is very difficult to change the number of women in mathematics is, that in many countries we are very few to begin with, e.g. in northern Europe. This immediately makes young women aware that they are different, if they pursue a mathematics career. In social psychology, “Stereotype threat” is considered as one of the consequences of being “the odd one out”. We have to take this seriously both within ourselves and when we teach."
Set up by a group of academic psychologists working in his field, the website contains a variety of resources.
> Are boys and girls equally prepared for life? Pisa products (2014) “The bottom line: The gender gaps in mathematics performance has largely remained stable over successive PISA assessments – which is not a good sign, considering that PISA results also show that both boys and girls can perform at the highest levels. More troubling, still, is the fact that the gender gap extends to students’ attitudes towards learning mathematics, which has repercussions in life well beyond school. Shrinking these gender gaps requires a concerted effort by parents and educators to challenge and eliminate gender stereotypes and bolster girls’ beliefs in themselves.”
> Do Girls Really Experience More Anxiety in Mathematics? by Thomas Goetz et al, (August 2013) Two studies examining gender differences in gender anxiety. Implications for educational practices and the assessment of anxiety are discussed.
> Teaching Mathematics With Women in Mind by Jessica M. Deshler and Elizabeth A. Burroughs, (October, 2013) On teaching mathematics and looking at how gender bias affects the classroom environment.
> Female teachers’ math anxiety affects girls’ math achievement by Sian Beilock et al, PNAS 2009)
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