The relationship between gender and mathematical problem-solving among high ability students depends on the attributes of the problem solving questions. This was evident in the present study of 12-year-olds. The children were from predominately White families. Eighty-three males and 76 females were tested in both the fall and the spring on the Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitudes Scales and on the Canadian Test of Basic Skills (CTBS). In the Spring, students were also tested on the GAUSS. Both the CTBS and the GAUSS measure mathematical problem solving. Among high ability students, there were gender differences on the problem-solving scale of the CTBS but not on the GAUSS, even though the GAUSS was independently rated as the more abstract and difficult of the two tests. The present study describes the implications of this for the question of the origin of gender differences in mathematics, and also looked at the relationship between attitudes toward mathematics and mathematical problem-solving performance.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 14, 2004
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