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Gender gap in school science is greatest in the UK

27/05/2009 Joanna
The performance of boys and girls in science subjects is more polarised than in any other developed country, new research has revealed.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's study of 57 countries, boys perform far better than girls. So much so, the research calculates they are more than a quarter of one school year ahead.

However, the study of 15-year-olds did find that girls are more capable of identifying the broader issues of the subject.

Teacher's assistants working in the sciences will be pleased to hear that in other countries the reverse is true - in Turkey it is the girls that are ahead.

The report observed that it is not just what the children learn in the classroom, which affects their development.

"The structure of the education system and specific educational policies play a role, but there may also be pressures operating outside the school which may contribute to gender difference," noted the report's authors.

Unsure which famous female scientists to tell their classes about, teaching assistants could start with Marie Curie - pioneer in the study of radioactivity she went on to be the first woman to win a Nobel Prize.
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