Girls in the UK have similar reasons to boys for intending to study mathematics post-16 thanks to the support and encouragement they receive
This paper focuses on the aspirations of 13- and 15-year-olds to continue with mathematics after the age of 16 and the association with perceptions of their mathematics education during the academic year 2008/9. A quantitative analysis was undertaken on the views of 12,176 UK students, obtained through surveys, with qualitative case studies on two of these students lending support to the quantitative findings. This paper also places a focus on a sub-set of 1,476 London students. The analysis indicates that girls and boys with high mathematics aspirations had similar responses towards their mathematics teachers and lessons, and had comparable extrinsic mathematics motivation. However, girls, regardless of mathematics aspirations, were less likely than boys to be encouraged by their families and others within their social circles to study mathematics post-16. Many of the London findings are similar to those we found across the UK, although girls within London schools with high mathematics aspirations perceived their mathematics education to be more equitable. Low aspiring girls across the UK and in London still reported less support and encouragement, and described their mathematics education less favourably than did boys.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 15, 2016
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