• In no country do high-performing girls outperform high-performing
• In the large majority of countries and economies, high-performing girls
underperform high-performing boys in mathematics.
Spatial learning, and consequently spatial relationships, has been shown to
have positive impacts on student ability to understand numbers and other
• The area of mathematics achievement that revealed the largest
mean effect size for gender difference on an earlier PISA report was
Space/Shape (which focused on spatial relationships) with boys
demonstrating a significant achievement advantage in this area (
Else-Quest, Hyde, and Linn (2010).
• On the TIMSS, a report international data on math and science, boys,
on average, had performed better in spatial–mechanical skills, boys
performed better than girls overall on the mathematics portion of
the test because of better spatial abilities (Casey, Nuttall and Pezaris,
• Research of early elementary students’ math strategies found that girls
tended to use physical representations to manipulate numbers, where
as boys are more able to do it using memory or abstractly. (Carr and
• Boys tended to depend on spatial strategies (mental pictures) when
solving problems that required them to mentally rotate a shape
(Casey, Nutall, and Pezaris, 2001). Girls tended to use verbal/analytical
strategies (algorithms) for solving these problems.