Gendered education myths come in all shapes and forms. They argue that ‘all boys underperform’, ‘girls and boys always learn differently’ and that ‘girls are naturally better at reading’. However, these myths can dangerously pigeonhole children and lower their expectations by others and themselves. One myth that seems to have gained exceptional potency is that ‘girls just don’t like Maths’. This is deeply concerning as fewer girls pursue Maths at higher levels, dismissing careers like engineering, science, finance, technology or – well – mathematics.
Consequences of gendered education myths
Gendered education myths create anxiety and kickstart a vicious cycle in which a person becomes trapped in a mindset of incapability. It is not that girls are inherently worse at Maths but the fact that Maths often gives girls anxiety and they lack self-confidence in their ability to solve Maths problems. This then leads to lower results and fuels a dislike of the subject in a circular fashion, which often stems from low expectations by both parents and teachers. At times it is also watching other girls in class not doing well in maths because of gendered education myths, and other girls just wanting to fit in. Young girls who may feel a conflict between being a girl and excelling at maths rarely associate Maths with being ‘girly’ – a falsified feeling many feel they have to strictly adhere to.
Disrupting gender stereotypes
When thinking about Maths, we need to remind ourselves that maths is very much like a language that anybody can learn – even if aptitude levels vary across the board. Our Director at Über Tutors, Tania, often tells our young students that Maths is the language of tangible ‘truth’ everyone must learn to communicate. And why should girls and women not be able to excel at solving for the truth? Thinking about Maths as something that can be developed and nurtured with steady and focused practice could change girls’ perceptions of maths and their willingness to invest more time and effort in the subject.
Furthermore, it is also important to highlight role models, who can excite girls about maths-related subjects and encourage them to pursue them seriously. Additionally, realising how prevalent maths is in everyday life may also increase children’s enthusiasm as they apply it to everyday life. This can be put into practice whilst going shopping, splitting dinner bills or setting up a savings account. Illustrating how maths is “alive, joyful and creative” and giving Maths class a much-needed makeover are all ways to inspire girls (and boys) to engage more with the subject and overcome gendered education myths.
How we dispel education myths
At Über Tutors, we believe that all of our students are able to excel. Sometimes all it takes is that extra push through individual attention by a role model who is enthusiastic about learning.
We are a tutoring and mentoring service based in London who teach all subjects, including maths, sciences and many more at primary and secondary level, and for GCSE and A-level exams. We often work with girls (and boys) who dislike maths but they quickly develop a love for the subject. Our super tutors create lessons that engage and challenge all our students, teaching them that maths is a lifetime skill they will carry with them forever. Additionally, our tutors are trained to make ‘boring’ and ‘difficult’ maths problems fun and they apply them to real life.
Nurturing your child’s ability in maths is absolutely crucial. We are here to lend a caring and expert hand in developing maths skills. So, get in touch at 02030867311 or email@example.com today to discuss how we can help your girl or boy thrive.