Gender Report 2019 – Mathematics and Gender: Are attitudes and anxieties changing towards Mathematics
Publication Date: June 2019
Author: Assoc Prof. Inge Koch
The under-representation of young women in advanced mathematics courses in school,
in university mathematics degree programs and in mathematics-related careers in many
western countries is of concern for economic and gender-equity reasons. Effective
strategies for increasing engagement and participation of girls and young women in
mathematics and STEM require an understanding of the forces and factors contributing
to the current disengagement. Potential causes include maths anxiety and low
confidence in one’s mathematical abilities.
With a focus on Australian data from teachers and students in Choose Maths schools,
this report reviews and examines likely causes—including maths anxiety and lower confidence in the
mathematical abilities of female students and primary teachers—of the lower interest, participation
and achievement of girls and young women in mathematics and it proposes methods for addressing
and remediating these barriers.