The Gender Reading Gap in Japan

By Mary Ann Zehr — April 14, 2009 1 min read
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Bill Costello, who specializes in teaching parents and teachers strategies for educating boys, has published a column at about his observation of a reading gap between boys and girls in Japan. Boys are outperforming girls in Japan in math, according to the 2006 Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA. But at the same time, Japanese girls are outperforming boys in reading, he writes. And the reading gender gap is more than 50 percent greater than the math gender gap, he notes.

Costello is concerned that the reading gender gap, of girls outperforming boys, is a problem all over the world, not just in Japan.

He urges the Japanese education ministry to take action on both the math and reading gaps.

There’s been a lot written about math gender gaps, though researchers still debate the size of those disparities and what might be causing them. But I haven’t seen much published about reading gender gaps.

Readers, do you find girls to be more motivated readers than boys in your classes? What strategies have you discovered to draw more boys into reading?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.