The University of Newcastle, Australia

STEM Education

Girls in Maths

Girls in Math core project team

Girls in Math core project team: Associate Professor Elena Prieto-Rodrigues, Laureate Professor Jenny Gore, Dr Leannr Fray and Felicia Jaremus.

What influences girls’ subject choices at school? Are girls interested in careers that require high level mathematics?

The Girls in Mathematics research project, funded in honour of a woman dedicated to sharing her passion for mathematics with girls, is answering these questions and more.

Inspired by the University's Aspirations Longitudinal Study research team, John Bowers (MCom 1975, BCom 1970) funded a project to specifically examine the factors that influence girls’ decisions to study maths. The gift to research was made in memory of his late wife Margaret Bowers (nee MacLeod – Grad Dip Ed. 1968, BA 1968), a dedicated teacher of mathematics to girls.

This project explored girls’ mathematics-related educational and occupational aspirations. Using Year 12 subject selection data, quantitative data from the Aspirations Longitudinal Study, and interviews with students, parents, and mathematics teachers this project examined the complex relationship between gender and school mathematics participation. The project contributes robust evidence towards understanding girls’ underrepresentation in mathematics, demonstrating how gender biases continue to impact upon boys’ and girls’ relationships with mathematics.

For further information please contact Felicia Jaremus.

Publications:

Senior secondary student participation in STEM: Beyond national statistics

Grouped out of STEM degrees: the overlooked mathematics ‘glass ceiling’ in NSW secondary schools

Girls are still being ‘counted out’: Teacher expectations of high-level mathematics students

Reports:

Girls in Mathematics: Final report 

Girls in Mathematics: Extension report

Media:

Inspired to Support Girls in Maths

'Easy' HSC subjects growing, one in four girls no longer doing maths

High school students are selecting ‘easier’ subjects to get higher scores

Two-thirds of NSW students grouped out of STEM degrees

Other projects:

Coding & STEM for schools

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