Gender Differences in Mathematics Achievement and Confidence in the Learning of Mathematics in Grades Eight and Nine of a Montana Community
This thesis reviews past research on gender differences in mathematics achievement and attitudes toward mathematics. The review is divided into three categories: gender differences that have been found in mathematics, possible causes of those gender differences, and ways to eliminate the gender differences. A small community in Montana was tested for gender differences in mathematics achievement and confidence in the learning of mathematics. The subjects consisted of 55 females and 56 males in grades eight and nine. The subjects’ scores on the Fennema-Sherman Confidence in the Learning of Mathematics Scale and the CTBS Mathematics Achievement Test were compared to each other and to other research results. No significant (a =.05) gender differences in mathematics achievement or in confidence in learning mathematics were found in the sample, and a positive correlation between the two variables existed. The results from this particular small town contradict past studies that show a gender difference in favor of males in the field of mathematics.