Held Back by Stereotypes

By Katie Ash — July 29, 2008 1 min read
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This story from the Associated Press is one part good and one part not-so-hot news for educators about girls and math. According to the article, girls and boys score equally well on math tests in every grade from 2nd through 11th, but the stereotype that boys are better at the subject still persists in the mindset of teachers and parents, which can have devastating effects on motivation levels for girls.

The stereotype that boys are better at math has been fueled, at least in part, by suggestions of biological differences in the way little boys and little girls learn.

Regardless of the numbers, operating under a stereotype that holds half the population back can only have negative effects. We can only hope that, as the research continues to show equality between girls and boys, the mindset will change as well.

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