TY - JOUR

T1 - Educational standardization and gender differences in mathematics achievement

T2 - A comparative study

AU - Ayalon, Hanna

AU - Livneh, Idit

PY - 2013/3

Y1 - 2013/3

N2 - We argue that between-country variations in the gender gap in mathematics are related to the level of educational system standardization. In countries with standardized educational systems both genders are exposed to similar knowledge and are motivated to invest in studying mathematics, which leads to similar achievements. We hypothesize that national examinations and between-teacher uniformity in covering major mathematics topics are associated with a smaller gender gap in a country. Based on Trends of International Mathematical and Science Study (TIMSS) 2003, we use multilevel regression models to compare the link of these two factors to the gender gap in 32 countries, controlling for various country characteristics. The use of national examinations and less between-teacher instructional variation prove major factors in reducing the advantage of boys over girls in mathematics scores and in the odds of excelling. Factors representing gender stratification, often analyzed in comparative gender-gap research in mathematics, are at most marginal in respect of the gap.

AB - We argue that between-country variations in the gender gap in mathematics are related to the level of educational system standardization. In countries with standardized educational systems both genders are exposed to similar knowledge and are motivated to invest in studying mathematics, which leads to similar achievements. We hypothesize that national examinations and between-teacher uniformity in covering major mathematics topics are associated with a smaller gender gap in a country. Based on Trends of International Mathematical and Science Study (TIMSS) 2003, we use multilevel regression models to compare the link of these two factors to the gender gap in 32 countries, controlling for various country characteristics. The use of national examinations and less between-teacher instructional variation prove major factors in reducing the advantage of boys over girls in mathematics scores and in the odds of excelling. Factors representing gender stratification, often analyzed in comparative gender-gap research in mathematics, are at most marginal in respect of the gap.

KW - Between-teacher instructional variation

KW - Economic development

KW - Gender stratification

KW - Hierarchical analysis

KW - National examinations

KW - TIMSS

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84872652149&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2012.10.001

DO - 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2012.10.001

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AN - SCOPUS:84872652149

SN - 0049-089X

VL - 42

SP - 432

EP - 445

JO - Social Science Research

JF - Social Science Research

IS - 2

ER -