Classroom Maths Deficit Threatens to Apply Brakes to Innovation
The institute’s latest report card for 2006 to 2015 shows advanced and intermediate mathematics enrolment numbers are continuing an almost thirty-year trend of decline.
“Without immediate action a deepening mathematical skills gap will put the brakes on industry innovation in Australia,” says AMSI Director, Professor Geoff Prince.
National figures for 2015 Year 12 high-level mathematics enrolments (advanced and intermediate) show participation trending back to near 2013 levels. Since 2006, Year 12 advanced mathematics enrolments have fallen by 9 per cent with intermediate enrolments down 12 per cent. Recently released NSW figures echoed this trend.
Despite increased focus reversing gender divides in mathematics, the percentage of female student studying advanced maths remains almost half that of boys. Only 6.9 per cent of Year 12 girls studied advanced mathematics compared to 12.6 per cent of boys.
The gender divide is slightly narrower at the intermediate level with 18 per cent of girls enrolling and 20.5 per cent of boys.
“There is still a pervasive message that girls don’t study maths. Much more needs to be done to rewrite this narrative and encourage girls to pursue high-level mathematics in Year 12 and beyond, says AMSI Schools Program Manager and Choose Maths Director, Janine McIntosh.
Skills according to Ms McIntosh,“essential to equip them to participate in an increasingly technologically driven workforce.”
Year 12 Participation: All levels 2006-2015
Year 12 Participation: Advanced 2006-2015
Year 12 Participation: Intermediate 2006-2015
Professor Geoff Prince, AMSI Director
Janine McIntosh, AMSI Schools Program Manager and Choose Maths Director
Media Contact: Laura Watson
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