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Title: Effect of classroom interaction and gender on mathematics performance and attitudes toward mathematics of secondary pupils in Mozambique
Authors: Fridjhon, Peter
Cassy, Bhangy
Keywords: Gênero
Ensino secundário
Ensino da matemática
Política Nacional de Educação
Issue Date: 13-Sep-2002
Publisher: University of the Witwatersrand
Abstract: In Mozambique, the main aim of the National Education policy is to promote, among others, gender equity in the access to all levels of education. However, there are more females than males, who do not benefit from this aim. This gender discrepancy increases over the education levels, and particularly in mathematics and its related fields. Mathematics is taught as a compulsory subject at the beginning of primary school to the lower secondary school and it becomes an optional subject at the beginning of the upper secondary school. Although pupils are encouraged to take mathematics until the end of secondary schooling they tend to choose social studies, perceiving it as apparently easier. An associated problem arises because mathematics is the basis of Engineering and Applied Sciences fields, in which few females participate. This is subsequently reflected in the number of new entries to universities, leading to their virtual exclusion from the technical and scientific professions in the country. The present investigation involved 1221 secondary pupils (531 boys and 690 girls) of grades 9 and 10 and their mathematics teachers from co-educational schools in Maputo City. Applying both quantitative and qualitative methods, it explored possible gender differences in the patterns of mathematics classroom interactions, pupils’ performance and attitudes toward mathematics and if these differences could be related to the gender discrepancies in the participation in courses requiring more advanced mathematics. Albeit gender differences are small, they exist but by themselves are not large enough to justify the gender disparities in participation. Teachers’ attitudes were found to contribute to the gender differences observed. Other school and socio-cultural factors might play a role in creating or reducing these gender differences. It is imperative that any strategy designed to produce gender equity in mathematics and related fields should focus not only on encouraging more female pupils to take mathematics, but also to promote classroom active learning (student-centred approaches), and by recruiting more female educators. A more qualitative study should also be done to explore potential causes of the observed gender differences by analyzing classroom interactions, teachers’s guide and pupils’ textbooks for possible gender bias.
Appears in Collections:Teses de Doutoramento - BCE

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