When I saw Gender and Equity on the list of possible Research and
Development Task Forces in early 2015, I knew it was an area of
education I wanted to spend time researching. I was excited by the open-endedness of the topic. What does the research say? What are the trends
and patterns? Is there gender equity in education at our school? I was
eager to dig into the research and find out the facts. However, the topic
quickly became overwhelming. Research on achievement, brain research,
anxiety, self-concept, values and societal influences quickly sent my head
spinning, but it also piqued my interest! What follows is a description of
my learning path. In this chapter I share my inquiry into gender equity
thus far, how my inquiry has lead me to focus on girls and math, and how
I plan to put my learning into practice in my classroom.
Starting with a Question
My inquiry did not start with a curricular focus. I choose to focus on
answering the question: What is the state of gender equality in
education? Working in an American International school, I wanted to find
research that was relevant for the students at ASB. However, there is
little, if any, research focused on international schools.
My search eventually brought me to a document published by The
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), titled
The ABCs of Gender Equity in Education: Aptitude, Behavior, and
Confidence (2015) by the Programme for International Student
Assessment (PISA). This document is based on data collection from 64
countries and economies, and reports on the performance of students
who are about 15 years old (OECD, 2015).