Researching education: Five further readings on gender issues

Welcome to this month's edition of Researching education: Five further readings. In this series, we take a look at some further readings available on a particular topic, including open access research papers from various online databases, and Teacher archive content you might not have come across yet.

Data from Mission Australia’s Annual Youth Survey report for 2020 show young people in Australia are becoming increasingly concerned about equity and discrimination, particularly on the topic of gender. Over 40 per cent of the survey’s respondents reported being unfairly treated in the past year due to their gender, with 48 per cent of females citing this compared to 22.5 per cent of males.

In this edition of Researching education: Five further readings, we share five resources which relate to gender issues including equity and identity.

  1. Gender Differences in Years 6-7 literacy and numeracy Transition Outcomes. This research overview, published in 2016, takes a look at gender-based differences in literacy and numeracy achievement in the middle years of schooling, in particular, during the transition between primary and secondary school. The findings from this review of research present in three categories to begin to explain gender differences. They are: attitudes and behaviours, intrinsic and extrinsic value; and, engagement in learning.

  2. Gender report 2019 Mathematics and gender: Are attitudes and anxieties changing towards mathematics? In this paper from the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI), the likely reasons for the lower levels of interest, participation and achievement of girls in comparison to boys when it comes to mathematics are examined. This examination also extends to the maths anxiety and lower confidence in maths ability of young women and primary school teachers.

  3. The elephant in the (class)room: Parental perceptions of LGBTQ-inclusivity in K-12 educational contexts. Researchers from Western Sydney University sought to understand parental opinions and wishes on LGBTQI-inclusive education in this paper published in the Australian Journal of Teacher Education in 2016. The researchers analysed interview data from parents and carers of students in K-12, which show parents’ desire for LGBTQ-inclusivity and their support for teacher training in this area.

  4. Implicit measures of teachers' attitudes and stereotypes, and their effects on teacher practice and student outcomes: A review. This recently published journal article reviewed 49 studies on implicitly measured teacher associations with social grounds of students. The studies show that utilising implicit measures of teacher attitudes has the potential to increase understanding of students experiencing differential treatment from their teachers.

  5. No Limitations: Breaking down gender stereotypes in the early years: A resource guide for early years educators. In this publication, Women’s Health East – an agency working to improve the health and wellbeing of women living in the Eastern Metropolitan Region of Melbourne – provides practical tips and tools for those working in early childhood settings to assist them in enabling boys and girls to interact and learn without being limited by stereotypical gendered expectations.

    ‘Early years educators are in a unique and important position to influence children’s development,’ the report reads. ‘They also have the capacity to create environments that encourage equal and respectful relationships, break down harmful gender stereotypes and promote gender equality to ensure that children are not limited by gendered expectations.’

The first two resources featured in this article can be found through Cunningham Library Catalogue and the third resource can be found through EdResearch Online. At the links below, you can search for more resources on the topic of gender issues in these two online databases.

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