News Spotlight

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Elementary School Teachers’ Biases Can Discourage Girls from Math and Science

The biases of elementary school teachers have a profound effect on whether or not girls pursue studies in math and science, suggests a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Beginning in 2002, NBER researchers began following three groups of Israeli students from sixth grade through the end of high school. Students were given two exams covering multiple subjects, one that was graded by their teachers and another one that was graded by outsiders who did not know the students. The researchers found girls outscored boys in math when graded by outsiders, but this was reversed when they were scored by their teachers, an effect that was not seen in other subjects such as English and Hebrew.

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