Why boys and girls still don’t have an equal chance at school

by Marilyn Achiron

Editor, Directorate for Education and Skills
So: girls are now widely recognised as better students than boys and as more likely to earn a university-level degree than boys. Gender equality in education is achieved!

Hang on. What happened to the boys? And what about all those high-achieving girls who still shy away from further studies in mathematics and science, and who arch an eyebrow in disbelief when someone suggests a career in engineering or scientific research?

If you want to know why real gender equality in education still eludes us, take a look at The ABC of Gender Equality in Education: Aptitude, Behaviour, Confidence.An analysis of PISA data reveals how student performance is affected by such “intangibles” as behaviour in and outside of school, and self-confidence, and how, in turn, students’ behaviour and confidence can be influenced by parents’ and teachers’ attitudes and expectations.

So, no, we’re not there yet; but this book offers practical ways for teachers, parents and students, themselves, to shrink the gender gap in education outcomes even further – so that girls and boys have an equal chance of fulfilling their potential, both in school and beyond.

OECD Gender Portal
Download the summary: PISA in Focus No. 49 What lies behind gender inequality in education?
Join a public webinar  on 5 March, 17:00 CET with Andreas Schleicher, Director of the OECD Education and Skills Directorate, and Francesca Borgonovi, Education Analyst.  Password to register OECDEDU.
Follow on twitter #OECDPISA.

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