اقبال معکوس یا تغییر محتوا؟ شکاف جنسیتی در مهارت های مربوط به ریاضی در سراسر دوران کودکی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|37857||2010||30 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||18429 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Social Science Research, Volume 39, Issue 4, July 2010, Pages 540–569
Many scholars and policy makers of education have focused significant attention on male advantages in math skills during adolescence, but have often overlooked female advantages in math skills that emerge before school begins. As a way to explain this conflicting pattern, some scholars cite exposure to schooling as a reason why girls experience what some have termed girls’ “reversal of fortunes.” By using first-of-its-kind data I examine math-related skills with proscriptive data from early to late childhood using two nationally-representative data sets. Moving beyond standardized assessments of math skills, this study reconciles these two competing trends using subset measures. Far from a reversal of fortunes, girls excel in math skills that are less complex (i.e. counting, shape recognition) across childhood. Girls’ disadvantages in math emerge with content change—as item complexity increases over time (i.e. multiplication, division, and fractions). In contrast to standardized assessments of cognitive skills, gender gaps in item complexity may be more revealing for understanding the origins and development of gender stratification.
Girls fall behind boys on standardized tests of math skills1 sometime after school begins, what many argue is the origin of gender differences in math (Leahey and Guo, 2001 and Entwisle et al., 1997). However, the opposite pattern is evident in early childhood, girls are found to excel in many math-related skills (for reviews, see Halpern, 2000, Geary, 1998 and Worell and Goodheart, 2006). In an attempt to reconcile these competing patterns, one explanation posits that girls excel in these skills before school begins, but in the transition to school, are exposed to structural and cultural constraints that work against girls’ initial advantage (Sadker and Sadker, 1994). But do girls’ fortunes really reverse? Many scholars of cognitive skills, especially sociologists, rely on standardized measures of math skill that are constructed from multiple subtests (Leahey and Guo, 2001 and Geary, 1998), but if wide variations in subtests of math and math-related trajectories exist, then a singular focus on aggregated math scores obscures these underlying patterns. Subtests may reveal gender gaps that simultaneously converge, diverge and even show parity over time depending on the type of math skill assessed. With more detailed components of global math tests, an apparent reversal of fortunes may simply reflect a shift in math content. Disregarding these more subtle patterns could lead to misplaced conclusions regarding the relationship of girls’ early advantages in math and subsequent adolescent and adult outcomes. To date, a test of the gender reversal hypothesis, requiring a comprehensive view of girls’ transition from “home child” to “school child” and its effect on cognitive skill development, has yet to be undertaken (see Entwisle et al., 1997). This study uses comprehensive data across infancy and childhood to reconcile gender trends before and after school entry.