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Berinderjeet Kaur. (1992, February). Mathematics and the gender gap: The Singapore perspective. Paper presented at the International Seminar on “State-of-the-Art Research in Science and Mathematics Education in Southeast Asia and the Pacific”, Penang, Malaysia.
In the last two decades one major area of mathematics education research has been the investigation of sex-related differences in the learning of mathematics and achievement in-mathematics. However, only a few studies (Kaur, 1987; MOE, 1988 ; Tan, 1990) done to date on Singapore pupils contribute to research in the area of gender and mathematics. As sex differences in mathematics - claimed to be complex and influenced by the interaction of many societal factors - have not been consistent .across countries (Ethington, 1990; Hanna, Kundiger and Larouche, 1990) this paper attempts to review and discuss the research done to date which contributes in one way or another to the area of gender and mathematics in the Singapore context. Kaur ( 1987·) i11 ·her study examined sex differences in mathematical attainment of Singapore students at the 'Ordinary' Level standard. She found that on the whole the boys were superior in performance. MOE (1988) in its study from 1977 to 1987 found that at Primary 3, girls performed better than boys in mathematics but at the PSLE, while girls continued to out-perform boys in the languages, boys did better in mathematics and science. Tan (1990) in his study on secondary school students found no significant sex differences in mathematics achievement, mathematics anxiety and locus of control. Despite the dearth of research in the area gender and mathematics on Singapore pupils it may be claimed that the findings are in agreement with the trend of known results in the corpus of related literature. It is evident that the gender gap in Mathematics achievement does exist in Singapore. However it is not possible to ascertain the relative width of the gap in comparison with other countries in the world as Singapore has not participated in any of the IEA's studies in Mathematics.
This paper was presented at the International Seminar on “State-of-the-Art Research in Science and Mathematics Education in Southeast Asia and the Pacific”, held in Penang, Malaysia from 17-19 Feb 1992
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