Jack Quann
Jack Quann

17.20 9 Oct 2020


Share this article


Irish girls as young as nine are perceived as being not as good at maths subjects as boys, despite their abilities.

That is according to one of the authors of a new report, which draws on the 'Growing Up in Ireland' study.

It found that gender stereotyping is resulting in girls' performance at maths being significantly underestimated by teachers and parents from primary school onwards.

A study of 8,000 pupils in Ireland found that the perception that girls are not as good as boys is occurring at all levels of achievement, with the gap widest for high-performing girls.

Dr Pat O'Connor is one of the authors of the research.

She told Lunchtime Live the findings raise concerns for girls' subsequent maths performance and - ultimately - their future employment.

She said: "I think it's important to remind people that the study involves just under 9,000 nine-year-old children.

"And it involves interviews both with them, their parents and their teachers - as well as an assessment of these children's scores on standardised maths tests.

"So basically even those children - those girls who scored above average on these internationally recognised standardised maths tests - those girls were not seen by their parents and their teachers as above average.

"So that even though the children were excellent, they weren't seen as such.

"And it's important to recognise that in this case you're dealing really with stereotypes.

"I mean in Ireland, maths is a marker of intelligence".

'Unhelpful to girls'

"In a way the irony of course is that telling children not only that it's a marker of intelligence - but also implicitly seeing girls as not quite as intelligent as boys, and seeing them as likely to be not as good at maths - seeing maths as the boys subject, we're conveying a message which is unhelpful to girls in terms of their own perceptions of their intelligence.

"And certainly is very unlikely to lead to them choosing, for example, science, technology, engineering and maths which requires a competence at maths".

"In a way then when they come to 18, everybody says 'Oh well we need girls to do STEM subjects and technology, engineering and maths - why aren't you doing them?'

"But the girls - even as young as nine - they've got the message that even if they're excellent at maths, their parents and their teachers won't see themselves in this way.

"So they choose subjects and courses in college which are playing to their feminine strengths - good with people - jobs which are likely to be paid less, and maybe less personally satisfying.

"So really we do need to rethink our attitude".

Girls 'as young as nine' perceived as not being as good at maths

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

    

Main image by Mario Aranda from Pixabay

Share this article


Read more about

Boys Dr Pat O'Connor Girls Good At Maths Growing Up In Ireland Intelligence Perception STEM Subjects Study

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

The Home Show With Sinead Ryan

The Home Show With Sinead Ryan

09:00-10:00

Share

Up next

DOWN TO BUSINESS WITH BOBBY KE...

DOWN TO BUSINESS WITH BOBBY KERR

10:00-12:00

Share

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCR...

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCREA

12:00-13:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

13:00-17:00

Share

TECH TALK WITH JESSICA KELLY

TECH TALK WITH JESSICA KELLY

17:00-18:00

Share

SCREENTIME WITH JOHN FARDY

SCREENTIME WITH JOHN FARDY

18:00-19:00

Share

Race to the White House

Race to the White House

19:00-20:00

Share

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

20:00-21:00

Share

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWST...

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWSTALK

21:00-22:00

Share

BEST OF THE PAT KENNY SHOW

BEST OF THE PAT KENNY SHOW

22:00-23:00

Share

THE HOME SHOW WITH SINEAD RYAN

THE HOME SHOW WITH SINEAD RYAN

23:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-07:00

Share

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWST...

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWSTALK

07:00-08:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST WITH SUSAN...

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST WITH SUSAN KEOGH

08:00-09:00

Share

ALIVE AND KICKING WITH CLARE M...

ALIVE AND KICKING WITH CLARE MCKENNA

09:00-10:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on