Equally prepared for life? How 15-year-old boys and girls perform in school
Growing demand has led to the need for a better understanding of the different educational experiences, successes and eventual outcomes that prevail for men and women world wide.
Compelling moral, social and economic incentives for individuals and societies have motivated research to better understand gender differences from early childhood through to labour market participation. Research focusing on gender differences can inform policy endorsing gender equity. More specifically, research on educational performance
and attitudes can be effective in promoting quality student outcomes and equity.
The OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) explores the educational performance and attitudes of 15-year-old girls and boys. This report begins with a general summary of gender differences measured outside of the PISA assessment programme. It then considers the knowledge gained about gender-related issues from
previous PISA cycles. Some key findings include:
– In reading in PISA 2000, girls significantly outscored boys in all countries.
– In mathematics in PISA 2003, boys outscored girls somewhat.
– In the combined science scale in PISA 2006, there was no overall significant difference observed between boys and
girls. However, when examining the various science competencies, knowledge components and attitudes to science,
there were some marked differences.
Table of contents
What does the literature say about gender differences from early childhood to the labour market?
What can PISA say about gender differences?
What did PISA 2000 tell us about gender differences in reading?
What did PISA 2003 tell us about gender differences in mathematics?
What did PISA 2003 tell us about gender differences in problem solving?
What did PISA 2006 tell us about gender differences in science?
Appendix A - Background of PISA
Appendix B - Data tables
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