Thursday, July 14, 2016

Fewer high school students,especially females, express confidence in math abilities

A new study released today (July 14, 2016) explores how the nation’s students perceive their math and science abilities as they move through high school.

The National Center for Education Statistics, in the Institute of Education Sciences, released the report, which uses data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009. Students were asked in 2009, when they were freshman, and in 2012, when most were juniors, about their confidence in their ability to do math and science coursework and perceptions of them as a “math person” or a “science person.” Results are broken down by male and female students. Among the findings:

•    The percentage of female students who were confident they could “do an excellent job on assignments” in math decreased from 73.9 percent in 2009 to 71.0 percent in 2012;

•    The percentage of female students who were confident that they could do an excellent job on science assignments increased from 67.1 percent in 2009 to 72.0 percent in 2012; and

•    The percentage of both female and male students who thought others considered them to be a “math person” decreased from 2009 to 2012. For female students, the percentage decreased more than 8 percentage points, from 52.2 percent in 2009 to 44.0 percent in 2012. For male students, the percentage dropped from 53.5 percent in 2009 to 48.8 percent in 2012.

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