Surveying gender differences in Canadian school literacy
Student survey results from Canada's first, national, large-scale assessment of school literacy are analysed for explanations of gender differences in reading and writing skills found in this and other recent Canadian large-scale assessments. Using findings from the 1994 Council of Ministers of Education, Canada School Achievement Indicators Programme, we explore English-Canadian adolescents' literacy preferences, attitudes and practices. Five models derived from recent literacy education and related educational research are posited as potential explanations for female superiority in literacy test results: 'division of family labour', 'character-personification', 'classroom interaction', 'assessment bias' and 'identification with genre'. The assumptions underlying these models are examined in light of the Council of Ministers of Education's study.